We understand this is a really stressful time for everyone and it’s extra hard to maintain your mental wellbeing, especially if you have to self-isolate.
Following are some ideas, tips and links to helpful resources to read, take part in and share.
If you’re a student, we are still here to talk to and you can book in for a chat / well-being appointment through Student Support – email@example.com.
Tips on taking care of your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak:
- Don’t be afraid to take time away from social media
- Limit your news in take
- Stay connected with friends and family
- Talk about your worries (see useful websites below)
- Exercise (see useful websites below)
- Click on the image below for more ideas:
Useful websites for if you want to talk:
www.kooth.com is a free, safe and anonymous support for young people which offers a wealth of resources, including distraction techniques and coping mechanisms.
For tips from the NHS on things to do and not to do to aid your mental health go to https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/.
The Mind website is not specific to students but has some good practical advice. To view their page follow this link: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
In addition, you may find it useful to look at some of these:
Student Minds has a wealth of information, tips and resources at https://www.studentminds.org.uk/findsupport.html
The Mental Health Foundation has tips which are constantly being updated: https://mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus
If you have OCD and would like some Coronavirus Top Tips visit https://www.ocduk.org/ocd-and-coronavirus-survival-tips/
If you suffer from an eating disorder and would like help during the Coronavirus go to https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/coronavirus
For those with Bipolar disorder that would like information and guidance on help during the coronavirus visit https://www.bipolaruk.org/…/coronavirus-emergency-how-we-ca...
CALM is a helpline for everyone, but especially men, which has tips on coping with social isolation. Visit https://www.thecalmzone.net/…/putting-the-social-into-soci…/
Anxiety UK has self-help resources for anxiety related conditions. Follow this link: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/
If you are a victim of domestic or sexual violence and abuse you can visit the Victim and witness services at https://www.gov.uk/…/coronavirus-covid-19-victim-and-witnes…
Specifically for disabled students: The grass-roots Disabled Students’ group “Change for Disabled Students” has a general guide. Go to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ffu6XUEO900wNJVD-WxPjn_m51R2DCAmKkRX6Hx93UE/edit
For those with an Autistic Spectrum Condition visit: https://sites.marjon.ac.uk/marketing1/2020/04/01/tips-for-working-during-this-crisis-for-students-with-anxiety-and-autism-spectrum-conditions-ascs/#.Xoc19H22Jas.link
And don’t forget to check out our wellbeing pages at https://sites.marjon.ac.uk/handbook/health-well-being/
Keeping physically healthy whilst studying or working from home can help your mental well-being:
Below we have listed some pages to help keep you active:
One You web page: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/move-more/
Home-based strength and cardio workouts for adults: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/move-more/home-workout-videos/
Seated strength and flexibility exercises for adults with mobility issues: Https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/
Five-week strength and flex programme: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/strength-and-flex-exercise-plan/
Sport England: #StayInWorkOut work: https://www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home
British Heart Foundation: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/activity/get-active-indoors
Stress can be really overwhelming, especially in times like these. We want you to know that we are here to talk to about anything that may be affecting you, be it academic or personal.
If you feel that you would like someone to talk to please contact the Student Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are our top 10 tips on helping to combat stress.
Student space is available to students that need support during the Coronavirus pandemic. They offer:
- Access to dedicated support services for students by phone between 4 pm and 11 pm. Call free on 0808 189 5260
- Access to dedicated support services for students by text 24/7. To start a conversation text ‘STUDENT’ to 85258.
- Information and tools to help you get through the challenges of the Coronavirus
Click HERE to visit the website and find out more.
Every Mind Matters
The Every Mind Matters campaign, “Make Inside Feel Better”, has been set up to help support the nation’s mental wellbeing.
There’s a COVID-19 hub, advice on how to help others and practical tips on dealing with stress and anxiety.
To find out about the campaign visit the NHS website.
While you’re there why not create your own Mind Plan, an interactive quiz that will offer top tips and advice.
Domestic Violence and Abuse
If you require medical attention or police assistance please call 999.
If you require police assistant but are unable to talk please call 999 followed by 55.
What is Domestic Abuse
It doesn’t matter how old you are, what gender you are, your ethnicity, sexuality or background – anyone can be a victim of domestic violence or abuse.
Domestic violence and abuse can include physical and sexual violence, verbal abuse, coercion and threats and financial control between intimate partners or family members.
It may also involve control, threats and stalking which can be carried out through email, text and phone messages.
Domestic violence and abuse and online harassment is not acceptable in any situation, the police will always take it seriously – Marjon will always take it seriously.
Domestic Abuse and COVID-19
During the COVID-19 outbreak there has been a significant increase in the number of cases of domestic violence wand abuse reported.
As a response to this crisis charity Hestia’s national campaign UKSAYSNOMORE launched Listening From Home, a new domestic abuse awareness campaign which encourages everyone to be aware of, and report, signs of domestic abuse during lockdown. The campaign offers tools and resources to provide a community response to domestic abuse and raise awareness that Hestia’s refuges remain open. This includes a mobile app, Bright Sky which enables users to locate their nearest support services by their area.
It is important to remember that those experiencing domestic violence and abuse are able to leave their home and seek help during lockdown. Furthermore, they are able to apply for free train travel. To do this they should contact their local domestic violence service. This can be found using https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/.
Support at Marjon
We would encourage anyone that is a victim of domestic violence and abuse to come forward.
You can contact us at email@example.com to be referred to the wellbeing team or you can complete the Wellbeing self-referral form. The wellbeing team can offer a listening ear, provide general support and help you access specialist services.
Alternatively, you can use our report & support system by clicking on the following link. Report & Support is a way to access support from an adviser and can be used either for yourself or on behalf of another person.
Marjon also have a counselling service which you can request to be referred to.
Should your studies be impacted upon we can put you in touch with the Academic Advice Coordinator, who will be able to assist you in claiming extenuating circumstances.
If you find that you are struggling financially we can refer you to the Student Funding Advisor to explore avenues of support.
Specialist support services
There are a number of specialist services still available during lockdown. These include:
- Women’s Aid
- Men’s Advice Line
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline
- The National LGBT+ and Domestic Abuse Helpline are available on 0800 999 5428
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone can visit Boots, who are providing safe spaces for victims of domestic violence and abuse.
For anyone concerned about their use of violence and abuse there is the Respect phone line available on 0808 802 4040
For the most up to date advice please go to our Coronavirus web page: https://www.marjon.ac.uk/coronavirus/.
We would like to introduce you to the Marjon Bereavement page, we realise that these are difficult times for all students and especially difficult for those that have lost someone. We hope you will find these pages helpful in supporting you during this difficult time.
If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of studying at home, a personal or study issue, please contact Student Support at email@example.com and remember that Michelle and Claire are still on hand for a virtual cup of tea and a chat, you can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
A message from Michelle and Claire
Things that may help but we don’t want to talk about it…..
Someone you love may well have passed away because of this virus; firstly we want you to know that there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. You might feel angry, sad or depressed, or even guilt or relief. You might be numb and not feel anything. The way you grieve might be influenced by your culture, beliefs, or how your family and community understand loss.
How you react might be different to how other people around you react. You might not feel anything for a while and may experience delayed grief. There might be some occasions when you are expecting it, like when you experience one of many ‘firsts’, such as your first Christmas without that person. Or these feelings might catch you unaware sometimes. Grief can come up at any time.
If you are staff member or student at Marjon we want to support you in this very difficult time.
If you are a student please feel free to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org as well. This can be about anything and not just if your loss is affecting your academic work. If you feel that counselling may help then please feel free to email email@example.com
If you are the person responsible for arranging the funeral for a loved one, Michelle and Claire would be happy to be contacted to officiate at the funeral service. You may have never had to do this before, the Chaplaincy team would be happy to talk you through the process of arranging a funeral with you.
Funerals during the Corona pandemic, at the time of writing, can only take place either in a local crematorium or at the graveside. Unfortunately, no churches or chapels can be used, including the Marjon chapel, but clergy are still available for a religious service if desired. There will likely be a limit of the number of people who will be able to attend the funeral. (This is constantly changing but likely only to be immediately family – the funeral director will be able to advise on the latest advice for this, however some crematoriums are allowing live streams of services.)
One of the saddest outcomes of this virus is that you may not be allowed to attend a funeral of someone you love. When everything gets back to ‘normal’ Michelle and Claire will be happy to lead memorial services, or maybe one large memorial for those that we have lost during this time.
Here are some very simple ideas for you to use at the time that the funeral is taking place:
Funerals do not have to be religious. They are an opportunity to remember a person and to give thanks for their lives and a chance to say goodbye. This can be done in any way that you want to and in any way that you think is appropriate (especially when you are doing it at home and not in the confines of a church or crematorium).
- Maybe think about the music that the person liked and make a playlist.
- Find some pictures that remind you of that person, make a collage or rolling powerpoint.
- If you are able (and allowed) go to a place that the person enjoyed.
- Light a candle at the time that you know the funeral is taking place.
- Write down or draw memories
- Send a card to the immediate family and let them know that you are thinking of them and memories that you have of the person.
- Raise a glass to them!
- Speak to others who knew the person to talk about memories that you have.
- Plant something in memory or have something else that is a reminder of the person
- Donate some money to a charity that you know the person who support
If you would like a spiritual nature or words to your way of remembering then these might help:
If you would like any help with any of this then please feel free to get in touch with Michelle or Claire who will know where to find you help and can talk you through what a funeral might look like if you have never been to one.
Finally, it takes time to work through grief and it’s best not to do it alone. Sometimes you might be surprised by feelings of sadness when you don’t expect them – or you might keep worrying about other people’s health, or your own. These feelings are all normal. Most of us get through with the support of family and friends.
If you’re struggling to come to terms with a death, finding daily life hard and things don’t seem to be getting any better, it can help to talk to someone. Tell a trusted friend, family member or teacher how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling very worried, you can talk to your GP about counselling and professional support.
It’s can be normal to feel guilty. But remember, the loss you have experienced is not your fault. And if you stop feeling sad or in pain, it does not mean that you don’t care enough. You are allowed to move on in your life, and it is not a sign that you don’t care enough for the person you have lost.
When it comes to grief, experts agree that getting the support of other people is paramount. A key to understanding the grieving process is that people express it differently at different times. The Kubler-Ross stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. A community of grieving people around a single person or event can be in any stage at a given time.
Would you like to talk to someone anonymously?
For anonymous support you can contact:
Other links to how to handle grief can be found here:
Quick Advice for Covid-19 related bereavement – the charity Sudden has produced Covid-19 specific bereavement advice which can be accessed as follows:
Cruse Bereavement Care – About Grief
How do I help a grieving friend?
It’s so hard to know what to say or do, this short video by Megan Devine is really helpful (you can skip the advert)
Further avenues of support are listed below:
Hope Again – Hope Again is Cruse Bereavement Care’s website for young people with information, vlogs, podcasts, videos and sharing personal stories. They offer a free helpline: 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 09:30-17:00).
The Bereavement Trust – The Bereavement Trust offer support and practical advice about bereavement. They run a free helpline service, call 0800 435 455 (6pm to 10pm every day).
Survivors of Bereavement By Suicide – Offer a free helpline service, call 0300 111 5065 (9am to 9pm every day).
Sands – Anyone affected by stillbirth or neonatal death can call Sands on their free helpline, 0808 164 3332 (9.30am to 5.30pm Mon-Fri and 9.30am to 9.30pm Tues and Thurs evenings)
Is it ok to post on social media?
This link gives an insight into how and why interacting with social media may help friends and relatives who are grieving:
The University accepts that social media may be the primary focus for students’ grief, especially if the student’s death happens at a time when it’s not possible to support each other in a physical space. We therefore ask students to be:
- careful not to speculate about the circumstances of the person’s death
- careful not to post anything too quickly or before they are sure all close relatives and friends are aware
- respectful of the grieving family and the memory of their loved one
- mindful that their comments / photos are in the public domain
- careful of what they post and how these might be perceived / influence the discussion
- constructive and supportive
Emerging from Isolation
So, the good news is that isolation won’t last forever. However, our lives have changed and some people may find it strange returning to how things were before.
Please see the link below for suggestions on how to emerge from isolation as smoothly as possible.
If you find that you are struggling and would like some support please remember you can email
firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a wellbeing appointment.
If you have been financially affected by COVID and would like to apply for the COVID University Hardship Fund (UHF) you can do so by completing the application form. If you have any questions about applying please email StudentFunding@marjon.ac.uk