As the lockdown continues you may be finding things increasingly challenging. Some people are struggling with isolation, some are feeling bored, others are feeling lonely or lacking motivation. There might be feelings of tension in the home, as people are in a shared space for longer than usual. These feelings are understandable, and it is important that you allow yourself time to recognise and validate your feelings, as well as making space for yourself to rest and relax. If you are struggling, please remember that our mental health team members are here for you and you can find a reminder of their contact details listed below. If at any point you feel unsafe or need immediate support, please use the support numbers below.
Here are some tips to help structure your days and the coming weeks:
Best apps to play games with friends during coronavirus lockdown - Independent
- Try to stick to your regular routines. Get up at the time you would normally get up to come to college, eat regular meals and try to take a daily form of exercise outside.
- Where possible, try to have shared mealtimes or social time with other members of your household.
- Keep in contact with friends via social media. Zoom is free to download and you can have meetings with groups for free for 40 minutes at a time.
- Reach out to others who may be feeling lonely or isolated, or if you need some support yourself. It is ok not to feel ok and if things are difficult it is more important than ever to be together with people who care and don’t judge. Remember, a little kindness goes a long way.
- Play games together online, here are some suggestions:
Watch free gigs with friends online or organise a remote movie night together and discuss the film afterwards.
- Many museums and galleries are offering virtual tours, again depending on your interest a quick google search will bring up a list of results.
- Remember to include activities each day that you enjoy and that make you feel calm. If it helps, plan these into your day.
- Try to limit exposure to constant news updates and try to avoid online content that adds anxiety or worry.
- Try to find things to do that don’t involve being online, you may wish to take up a new interest or do something creative. Here are some links and suggestions you might be interested in, on and offline:
- You may wish to join Mindful Arts and Creative Expression online, this is a free global creative initiative which Jude Smit (college Mental Health Advisor) has been involved with and provides a reflective space where you can connect with your feelings in a creative way and if you choose to, you can share your creative reflections with others on the associated Instagram account. No arts experience is needed.Mindful Arts and Creative Expression
The college Mindful Art group is still meeting weekly on Microsoft teams, if you would like to join, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- 64MillionArtists is still providing daily challenges:
- Free art activity pack:
www.obby.co.uk runs courses, classes and workshops online, but these are not free.
- You may wish to try out new recipes for meals or for baking, or planting things you can watch grow. If you can, access nature daily.
- Many exercise and music groups have gone online, a quick online google will produce results, there are also YouTube clips that provide guidance for exercise, music and creative pursuits.
Teaching and learning
The college is providing regular updates about your teaching and learning, please check your emails and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your tutor, TTL or class teacher.
In addition to the ones already shared, these resources may also be helpful:
NHS – looking after your mental health
Your mind plan – an interactive quiz to get top tips and advice for you
Various blogs about ways to support yourself
Ways to boost your wellbeing while staying indoors
How to support your friends/family/others
Some other general guidance with links:
Looking after your mental health during coronavirus outbreak
Support service numbers
Here is a reminder of the support numbers you can contact if you need to talk to someone immediately.
- Samaritans: 116 123 operates a 24-hour service
- Saneline: 0845 767 8000 (6pm-11pm)
- Rethink: 0845 456 0455 (Mon-Fri 10am-2pm)
- The Listening Place:
- CALM (charity supporting suicidal men): Helpline: 0800 58 58 58 Website:
- Papyrus HOPELINEUK Call: 0800 068 4141 Text: 07860039967 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The May Tree Crisis House: 020 7263 7070 or
- Contact NHS 111 on 999 if you feel at risk
- You may also consider making yourself a safety plan,
www.stayingsafe.net has a useful tool that you can download.
Esher Mental Health Team
The mental health and welfare teams are here to support if you have any questions and can direct you to additional services. Please reach out if you need support.
Declan Mason (DMM) Student Welfare Manager
Jude Smit (JGS) Mental Health Advisor/Specialist Assessor
Sara Doak (SED) College Nurse
Lisa Herouvin (LH) College Nurse
John Graves (JPG) Student Counsellor
Viv Louizos (VEL) Student Counselling Services Co-ordinator
Tom Webb (TDW) Learning Support Manager