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COPING WITH COVID-19: Updates, advice and useful links from the College of Medicine

The continued spread of COVID-19 continues to challenge countries all over the world, halting daily life as we know it and placing huge pressure on communities, testing our physical and mental resilience.

The College of Medicine, pioneers in social prescribing and led by our Chair Dr Michael Dixon, will work throughout the crisis to bring you advice, news, interviews and opinion – plus information on free sessions being offered by our members, on areas including yoga, healthy eating and beating anxiety. Some of the information on this page was contributed by the Social Prescribing Network.

Follow the College of Medicine on social media – click on the buttons at the top of the page – or email us to share your own resources and experiences…

FREE ONLINE HEALTH SESSIONS FROM COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MEMBERS

Many of the College of Medicine’s members are offering free online sessions to help people who are isolation on a variety of topics – all focused on health and well-being during the pandemic.

For more details on each session, visit our online sessions page.

Dr Deniah Pachai is doing free yoga sessions every Saturday at 10am for more details on all online sessions from College of Medicine members, click here

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  

The most recently discovered coronavirus, a large family of viruses which can cause disease in humans or animals, causes COVID-19

In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). (source: World Health Organization)

CHECK YOUR OWN SYMPTOMS USING THE NHS CORONAVIRUS CHECKER

READ THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE’S LATEST COVID-19 STORIES

HEALTHFLIX: WATCH VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH LEADING NAMES IN SOCIAL PRESCRIBING AS THEY DISCUSS COVID-19

The free online video streaming service HealthFlix offered health-focused content, including interviews with key figures in the world of social prescribing during lockdown.

Aiming to be the equivalent of Netflix for people interested in health-related content, the YouTube channel discusses health, wellness and lifestyle.

Here’s some of the streaming service’s available videos:

Pre-Medicus Campaign

The College of Medicine is proud to be a part of the Pre-Medicus Campaign, a new online resource that aims to help future doctors access vital information during lock-down. FIND OUT MORE HERE

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

COLLEGE OF MEDICINE ARTICLES ON MENTAL HEALTH AND COVID-19:

NHS Practitioner Health, a free, confidential NHS service for doctors and dentists across England with mental illness and addiction problems is now also available to medical students who have been brought in to clinical practice and retired doctors returning to work. Email: prac.health@nhs.net, call 0300 0303 300 or register online here. There’s a Crisis line, available 24/7 for urgent help – text NHSPH to 85258.

Doctors common room: Run twice daily on Zoom to establish a safe, containing space in which to think and reflect for doctors. Each session is hosted by experienced Practitioner Health clinicians. Book here.

#OurNHSpeople well-being support

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new Wellbeing support to all NHS staff through a helpline, and text service at all times of the day from trained professionals in a number of areas, from coaching and bereavement care to mental health and welfare support. Text frontline to 85258 any time of the day or night or ring 0300 131 7000 from 7am to 11pm.

Distancing with Dementia 

Dementia Change Action Network (DCAN) is a joint initiative by NHS England & Improvement, Alzheimer’s Society and the Coalition for Collaborative Care. DCAN is using their network to focus on ways to live well during social isolation and distancing.

Distancing with Dementia is an open space where people can share and learn from each other’s ideas and experiences during the pandemic.

The College has partnered with two apps to help mental health during lockdown.

Sleepio is a web-based sleep improvement programme, which is clinically evidenced through 12 RCTs to improve your sleep. Sleepio consists of 6 weekly 20-min sessions, facilitated by ‘The Prof’ – an animated professor who guides users through cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to improve their sleep.

Daylight is a smartphone app that provides support around worry and anxiety. It has completed its first RCT demonstrating substantial reductions in symptoms of worry and anxiety (in publication). Daylight is personalised to individuals through an initial problem assessment, and can be used whenever a user needs (including ‘in the moment’ support, e.g. after a bout of anxiety. 

All of the major mental health charities have pages dedicated to helping people stay mentally strong while in isolation, including:

PHONE APPS

CAM for COVID-19: VIRUS HEALTH AND WELL-BEING CHECKER

Health Hawk, a group of health practitioners, patients, researchers and organisations supportive of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are asking healthcare professionals, as well as the general public, to complete the V-HAWK virus and health and wellbeing checker to find out how people are interacting with complementary and alternative medicine during the pandemic. For more information on V-HAWK go to hawk.health/health-practitioners/

DEALING WITH BEREAVEMENT DURING COVID-19

Cruse Bereavement Care have curated resources specifically on grief and bereavement during the Covid 19 outbreak

GARDENING AND HORTICULTURE RESOURCES

Planting, Gardening, Flowers, Plant, Garden, Growing

The Royal Horticultural Society website has ideas for gardening for all abilities as well as ideas for gardening with children and links to buying plants from  the garden shows that are not happening anymore, visit: https://www.rhs.org.uk/garden-inspiration/grow-at-home

The National Gardening Scheme is also supporting virtual tours click here to find out more.

Wildlife Webcams 
The Wildlife Trust have some great webcams of wildlife on their website, (I have just been watching an Osprey in a nest in Rutland water).  Not only are there webcams but a whole host of ideas for children and families, and a Youtube channel.

ARTS AND CULTURE

The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance has an extensive list of resources available for practitioners and organisations, which is regularly updated. It is well worth signing up for the regular newsletter in this area.  We have picked some examples of what you can find.

Arts Council England has announced emergency funding for individuals to support artists, creative practitioners and freelancers with £20 million. The fund opens to applications on 9th April.  Further details can be found here. 

Address Book, Notebook, Notes, Stationery, Draw, Book


The Cultural First Aid Kit has been produced by Manchester Museum & Whitworth Art Gallery, filled with creative and fun activities and workshop ideas for carers to use at home.  

Museums across the world are making themselves accessible via virtual tours.  Here is a list from Top 10. 

Katie Mason from English National Ballet has a video for chair-based yogawhich is really accessible for anyone with limited mobility or space.  For that matter, it is great for anyone who is spending too much time sitting. 

HELPING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Public Health England has developed guidance for parents and carers on supporting children & young people’s mental health and well-being during the Covid-19 outbreak.

USEFUL LINKS TO OFFICIAL ADVICE

AND A LITTLE SOCIAL MEDIA LIGHT RELIEF…

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