A specialist in mental health care has developed a ‘Resilience Routine’ to safeguard people’s psyche during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Neil Atkinson of BounceBack, which delivers mental health first aid courses to companies across the UK, says Government advice addresses physical wellbeing but not the mental health of those suffering anxiety, stress and depression.
He says this must be also be addressed now to avoid a pending mental health crisis in the UK.
Neil says the harm that isolation, fear and the huge influx of negative news bring could damage people for years to come and urges employers to take that into consideration.
“Every work-place has – by law – to have a first aider, someone trained to care for a colleague who is unwell until they can be treated by a medic.
“We at BounceBack believe that trained mental health first aiders should also be provided. Such help is needed more than ever – even if it has to be delivered remotely.
“More than 50 per cent of days taken off work today are due to mental health issues – Covid-19 will only make that worse as people worry about their loved ones, their businesses, their jobs and their mortgages.
“It took generations for the military to understand the mental health issues its personnel faced after leaving the services but today Post Traumatic Stress is an accepted mental health issue.
“Let’s avoid that pitfall by planning ahead and acting now. Even the most hard-nosed businessman or woman watching the business they have spent their life building fall apart will be affected.
“We can help. Our Resilience Routine programme is a 90-day course of proven-to-work professional bite-sized advice, guidance and actions to help everyone get through it. From tips used by the Army in war zones on how to sleep when your head is too busy worrying about the ‘what ifs’ to how to force yourself to stop overloading on tragedy via social media.
“We will be approaching the UK Government and asking them to add looking after your mental health and building resilience to the official guidance – the benefits will be long-lasting and beneficial to individuals and businesses.”
Our course will be delivered via daily emails aimed at lasting throughout the outbreak – offering daily hints and assistance to help users protect their mental health and build their mental resilience.
Neil suggests using the time normally spend on a commute to read, take in and begin practising the techniques – to set yourself up for a day working from home or a social distance. The average UK commute is 58 minutes per day (1hr 21mins in London).
Of course, those on the “front line” may be the worst affected and BounceBack is offering the Resilience Routine course free of charge to NHS staff.