Covid-19 Advice and Resources

We are increasing the availability of in-person sessions in the coming months. The following guide is to inform you of the measures we are taking to keep you and the community safe. Please ensure you read the following before attending your appointment at iCope.

 

Looking after yourself and others

Whilst we follow procedures to minimise the risk of infection, there are risks associated with attending face-to-face appointments. If you have a long-term condition that increases your vulnerability, please let us know in advance.

 

What we are doing to keep you safe

  1. Staff are required to take two lateral flow tests each week.
  2. We will be regularly handwashing.
  3. In your therapy room, surfaces will be wiped down between use.
  4. Your therapy room will be well ventilated. The windows will be kept open to allow air flow. It may be cooler than expected so please ensure you have adequate clothing for this.

 

What we ask of you

  1. Be aware of and answer the screening questions on the following page as accurately as you can.
  2. Please try and attend your appointment on time.
  3. If you are high risk or would prefer yourself and the clinician to wear a mask during the appointment, please let your clinician know in advance or on arrival.
  4. Clean your hands with hand sanitiser before and after your session.
  5. If possible, we encourage you to take a LFT on the day of your appointment.

 

Symptoms of COVID-19 Screening Questions

You will be sent a text message or email one/two days prior to your appointment asking about COVID-19 symptoms:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot
    to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3
    or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

 

If you answer ‘yes’ to these, please do not attend your appointment and contact us to rearrange via another medium e.g. video.

iCope Workshops

We have created 2 online workshops that offer support around managing wellbeing during the pandemic. They are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques which we hope can be helpful. 

Managing Worry During a Pandemic

Managing Wellbeing During a Pandemic

 

Below we also have some free NHS run webinars. You can sign up to watch them live or available to watch previous recordings.

NHS-led Wellbeing Webinars

Webinars for the general public, Tuesdays at 4pm:

Coping Well During Covid webinar series is supporting anyone who is feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus and how it is impacting them, their loved ones, their work and their future. Taking place on Tuesdays at 4pm, each 60-minute webinar is NHS-led and current topics include managing wellbeing, anxiety, low mood and sleeping difficulties.

Each webinar offers participants the chance to explore ideas and tools to support mental health and wellbeing in a clinically led and interactive way, when joining live. Further sessions are also being explored, such as focusing on money and mental health and bereavement. The full schedule and recorded webinars are available from the Thrive LDN website.

Webinars for health and care workers, Thursdays at 4pm: 

A new Keeping Well for Health and Care Workers webinar series is designed to help manage the emotional health and wellbeing of those working in health and care services, whether at the front line or in supporting services. Taking place on Thursdays at 4pm, each session has a focus on sustaining staff wellbeing and will explore topics such as preventing burnout, coping with stress and sleeping better. The full schedule and recorded webinars are available from the Thrive LDN website.

General Wellbeing Advice

Anxiety and distress are a normal reaction to the current pandemic. A lot of things currently feel uncertain and we have never faced this specific health threat before. You may have had to change your routine, been asked to work from home or practice social-distancing with friends and family – all of these things may be having a big impact on well-being.

Despite this there are ways you can help yourself to keep as psychologically well as possible during this time. Below we have a collection of suggestions, webpages, podcasts and apps that we hope can help. Professor David Clark, (the National Clinical Director for all the NHS services like iCope) has made the following recommendations:

In the current stressful situation, it is important that we pay attention to mental health as well as physical health. Here are some tips that may help manage very understandable anxiety and worry.

Take recommended precautions

We all need to take the precautions recommended by Government and the NHS in order to reduce transmission and protect the vulnerable, even if we think we are not particularly vulnerable ourselves. There is quite a bit of fake news circulating on social media. Go to trusted websites for advice such as NHS UK and gov.uk

BUT avoid spending most of your time searching for updates and news.

In such a situation it is tempting to keep checking your phone and searching the web/ social media for news and updates. That is unnecessary and likely to generate more anxiety and worry. Instead you may want to plan to check at specific times, perhaps just once or twice a day.

Keep Active

If you are working from home, try to continue with your projects and routines, at a pace that works for you. If you find yourself with much more spare time than usual, think of creating some new routines or activities. Are there books you always wanted to read but haven’t got around to? Films? Photos to organize? Recipes you haven’t tried? Painting, drawing, etc. Choose things that are meaningful to you.

Some people may find it more difficult to get going in the morning. Keeping normal basic routines like getting up at a specific time, showering, getting dressed etc, can help.

Look after yourself

Eat healthily and regularly, consider moderating alcohol intake, get plenty of sleep, and exercise. All of these are good for the immune system and tend to help mood as well. Of course, social isolation means not going to gyms or exercising in groups but an exercise routine at home, in the garden (if you have one), or in a largely empty park is feasible. There are many home exercise videos available on You-tube. Some gyms have their own virtual instructors. In stressful times, some of us can become self-critical. You’ve got enough burdens without that. Be kind to yourself. If you live with others, remember they are also under stress and try not to personalize any irritating actions.

Become MORE socially connected

We have to physically distance ourselves from others, but we are social beings. Compensate by reaching out to friends and colleagues using social media, phone calls, Facetime, Skype, Zoom etc. This will combat the loneliness we can feel when physically isolated. Create regular ways of linking with your work colleagues even if you are all working from home. Maybe a daily group video conference? Consider creating a WhatsApp, Slack or other social media group. Click here for some further information for couples to consider during COVID-19 and the easing of lockdown.

Be Kind to Others

Kindness is a double blessing. It makes the person who receives a kind act feel better and it makes you feel better for doing it.

From Oxford Anxiety Disorders and Trauma Group.

Practical support & information

The local boroughs are coordinating practical support which can we be explored in the below links. They can help with things like doing food shopping, emergency food packages, collecting medication from the pharmacy or more general practical advice.

For services see Camden here; Islington here and Kingston here.

Please also see here for up to date government guidance on social distancing, shielding, safe travel and more.

Employment

Citizens Advice – General and legal advice around employment, debts, benefits and more.

ACAS – provide Law Advice For Business Owners and Employers.

Get Back on Track (Islington Only Service) – Able to help people back into work after a period of being of sick. Also able to advise on rights and legal advice.

Turn 2 Us – Up to date information on Benefits & Coronavirus.

UnionLine – Information for Employers on how to provide safe work environment. With a helpful list of frequently asked questions.

 

Handwashing & Social distancing

Video on Government Advice here

For more information on Social Distancing, and up to date guidance please visit the Government Website. 

Emotional Support

 

Video by Dr Russ Harris outlining some key and basic tips to managing your emotional  wellbeing during this time.

Samaritans 

Every Mind Matters

Mental Health Foundation

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder UK

Mind

Support for Couples

Managing Uncertainty – Coming out of Lockdown

Anxiety UK also have a free helpline (03444 775 774) and a text message service (07537 416905)

Talk for Health (Offer online peer support groups)

 

Apps & Podcasts

Good Thinking

British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)

NHS Mental Health Apps Library 

NHS Choices Wellbeing Audio Guides

Calm – Sleep, Relaxation and Meditation  App

Headspace – Meditation App

Frontline Staff Resources

MindEd – advice and tips from our large panel of international experts. For all frontline staff created with NHS Health Education England in partnership with NHS England-Improvement, supported by Skills for Care.

Front Line 19  – Offering free confidential support for front line workers.

Trauma Group – Tips and advice around coping with stress for hospital workers.

NHS Employers – Collection of resources available for NHS workers.

NHS Webinars – Free 1 hour webinars for health care workers. Focusing on managing wellbeing during a pandemic. 

Domestic Violence

Support for victims

Government advice about domestic abuse in the context of the Covid pandemic –  Find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse. Information can be found here on what domestic abuse is and signs to look out for. 

24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Refuge –  supports women and children who experience all forms of violence and abuse, including domestic violence, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’-based violence, and human trafficking and modern slavery. Refuge have written some safety tips for survivors here.

The ‘Bright Sky’  app by Hestia . This mobile app provides information about domestic abuse such as online safety, stalking, harassment and sexual consent.

Camden Safety Net provides services to survivors of domestic abuse/sexual violence who live in Camden.
Phone: 0207 974 2526

Solace Women Aid are a London-based Domestic Abuse charity. They offer safe refuge, advice and accommodation
Advice line: 0808 802 5565
Solace Rape Crisis helpline: 0808 801 0305

Galop provide Hate Crime, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence support services to people from the LGBTQ+ community who are experiencing domestic abuse.
Phone: 0800 999 5428

 

Support for perpetrators  

Respect Phoneline and  Respect UK both work with perpetrators, male victims and young people who are using violence in their close relationships and want to make changes. 

 

Materials for different populations

Doctors of the World Translated COVID-19 Information Materials

Mencap – Easy read guidance and support for those with a learning disability.

SignHealth – COVID-19 support in British Sign Language.