Taking time out of your day to care for your mental health has never been so important. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, people all over the world are dealing with increased levels of anxiety, depression and loneliness, making access to mental health support and resources even more vital.
This mental health awareness week, it’s important that we all take some time out to think about how we’re really feeling. After all, over the last couple of months, we’ve had to contend with a whole host of pressures: alongside our worries about catching Covid-19, we’ve been facing the stresses of panic buying, anxiety about the future and concern about our friends and loved ones.
Accessing support to deal with these issues is still as important as ever. Alongside GP and NHS services (which are still running throughout the pandemic), there a number of great free and easily accessible mental health resources available online such as the NHS Every Mind Matters website or the mental health charity Mind – with many more being created specifically to support those affected by the current situation.
It’s only normal to feel anxious and worried about everything that’s going on – especially when the circumstances are changing so fast – but these mental health resources should help you to feel a little more calm and in control.
So without further ado, here’s a look at some of the great free online resources you can access at the moment. From free online therapy sessions to meditation courses designed to help you deal with uncertainty, these resources will provide you with tools to help you manage your mental health during this difficult time.
Balance’s free one-year meditation subscription offer
Meditation app Balance are offering free one-year subscriptions to their guided meditation resources for anyone struggling with their mental health at the moment.
Their meditation library offers routines for every kind of situation, whether you’ve woken up in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep or want to get better at practising gratitude.
To access their temporary offer, just email email@example.com for instructions.
Sanvello’s free premium access offer
Sanvello’s toolkit of strategies and resources to manage stress, anxiety and depression are being offered for free during the coronavirus outbreak.
The health and wellbeing app – which offers a number of key resources based on how you’re feeling and what help you need – has unlocked it’s premium membership access for all new and existing users.
Activities available include guided meditation, activities to help you recognise and shape your thoughts and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help you manage your emotions. The app also boasts a number of communities and discussion groups which allow users to share how they’re feeling with others.
To access Sanvello’s premium content, just download the app and upgrade your subscription using the “for a limited time” option.
Muse’s Calm in the Chaos resources for stress management
Meditation technology app Muse have launched a series of free resources to help users to relieve anxiety and manage stress.
Simply download the Muse app to access their Stress Less collection of 20 guided meditations for free – and tune in to their Instagram Live page at 6pm every day to take part in their online group meditation.
You can find more information on their Instagram @choosemuse.
Peer emotional support app HearMe
This free app allows users to connect with a trained, empathetic HearMe listener in real-time to allow you to open up about something that’s on your mind.
The service is completely anonymous and secure, so you don’t need to worry about your personal information going anywhere – just get whatever is on your mind off your chest by sitting down for a quick chat with a trained listener.
You can download the app here via the HearMe website.
Calm’s Covid-19 Hub
Mindfulness meditation app Calm is offering a bunch of resources for free to help people who are feeling anxious and uncertain at the moment.
From soothing meditations help you manage anxiety in the moment to sleep stories which will help to calm your busy mind at the end of the day, these free resources are a great way to ground your mind in this unprecedented time.
To access all the free resources, just follow the link to their website.
Headspace’s Weathering The Storm series
To help people all over the world cope during these uncertain times, mindfulness meditation app Headspace has released a series of free content available to download via its app.
Covering content including navigating change, reframing anxiety, at-home workouts, focus and advice for tough times (such as impermanence and change), the series is designed to help us safeguard our mental health and wellbeing during this time of heightened stress.
To access the free content, simply download the app and get listening, or go to the Headspace website.
The Mindset Support Group with neuro-linguistic programming expert Rebecca Lockwood
This free Facebook group from mental health expert Rebecca Lockwood provides free, resource-based support for people who need help with their mental health during this tricky time.
Lockwood’s advice will include tips and tricks to deal with specific worries you might be having, free resources to help you with your mindset and training to give you the tools you need to cope.
To join the group, all you need to do is search “Mindset Support Group with Rebecca Lockwood” on Facebook.
Help Hub’s free online therapy sessions
New online therapy service Help Hub are offering free 20-minute sessions to help vulnerable older people and people who are self-isolating or struggling.
Although the service was originally set up to provide support to a small area in West Oxfordshire, it is now expanding nationally after therapists across the UK volunteered their time to help people struggling with the effects of isolation.
The service will launch next week with a brand new website. For more information, including how to volunteer your time if you’re a qualified therapist, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can check their website from next week for information on how to access the service.
Set up specifically to support people working from home as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, this project allows newly remote workers to connect with others and learn more about how to manage their time when working from home.
Set up as a Slack group, this community is not only designed to help people feel more connected during the coronavirus pandemic: it’s also designed to help their wellbeing, too. Remote Workmates is hosting activities such as group discussions and events such as their Wellbeing Week, which includes virtual yoga, mindfulness and exercise sessions.
To join, just follow the link on their website.
Self-Care Is For Everyone
With over 800,000 followers, @selfcareisforeveryone is the wellbeing-focused Instagram account we all need right now.
Full of helpful self-care prompts, reassuring messages and relatable graphics, @selfcareisforeveryone is the place to go when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and need a respite from everything that’s going on in the world.
To follow them, just search “@selfcareisforeveryone” on Instagram, or visit their website.
NHS Every Mind Matters
This free site powered by the NHS and Public Health England provides access to loads of free mental health resources and advice.
Their Your Mind Plan service even provides you tailored advice and resources based on a short quiz about how you’re feeling and any specific worries you may have at the moment.
You can access the resources on their website.
Talkspace’s Coronavirus Resource Hub
Online therapy service Talkspace is offering a free resource hub with lots of handy tips and tricks on everything from confronting feelings of powerlessness to how to manage working from home.
They’ve also created a coronavirus anxiety toolkit to talk you through everything you may be feeling right now – and all you need to sign up is an email address.
To find out more information and access their coronavirus support hub, visit their website.
Coping with your mental health during the pandemic
If you’re struggling with your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important to understand that this is a completely normal response to the current situation. However, if you’re looking for a way to alleviate some of those feelings, here’s three more articles that might help.
- How to regain a sense of control when everything feels so uncertain
- Everything you need to know about seeking mental health support during the coronavirus pandemic
- The one word a cognitive therapist says could ease your coronavirus anxiety