With the coronavirus situation rapidly escalating and the government now advising to minimise social contact and gatherings of people, we’ve had to review what we can and can’t do as an organisation to continue supporting people with mental health needs whilst ensuring we keep everyone safe.
After much consideration, we’ve had to make the really difficult decision to suspend all our courses, groups and activities with immediate effect for the next four weeks – until 15 April 2020. This measure is to reduce the impact of coronavirus and protect the most vulnerable people in our society. As we approach the end of the four weeks, we’ll review the situation again and assess whether or not we can restart our activities. We’ll keep you informed via our newsletter and will post updates on our website as well as Facebook or Twitter pages, so make sure you visit them regularly for the latest information.
Some one-to-one appointments still available
Until 15 April 2020, our offices will be closed and our staff will work from home, but we’ll still be able to offer some one-to-one appointments over the phone or via video call. If you’d like to receive some support, please get in touch with our Area Co-Ordinators directly.
John O’Malley for Mole Valley – firstname.lastname@example.org or 07868 203 512
Michael Powell for Elmbridge – email@example.com or 07961 478 625
Parvin Ahmed for Banstead, Epsom & Ewell – firstname.lastname@example.org or 07380 857 701
Alternatively, we have listed all the mental health helplines you can contact for immediate support. We’d recommend to only contact NHS 111 if you’re having symptoms and they are getting worse.
Safe Havens remain open for people in crisis
Our Community Connections Safe Haven services in Epsom, Aldershot, Guildford, Redhill and Woking are to remain open every day from 6pm until 11pm until further notice, but will only be seeing people in mental health crisis.
For those in crisis visiting our Safe Haven services, we’d like to remind them that they must follow the latest hygiene guidelines listed below:
We ask that anyone visiting our Safe Haven services washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dries them thoroughly as soon as they enter the premises. They should also refrain from shaking hands or having any close contact. This applies to everyone, regardless of having symptoms or not.
On top of this, we will ask them to follow the latest guidance if they have symptoms:
- Please do not attend our Safe Haven services if you have a temperature of 37.8 or above.
- Please do not attend our Safe Haven services if you have a persistent cough or develop a new cough.
- If you do, please remain at home for 14 days.
Similarly, if you are pregnant, or over 65, or have certain long-term health conditions such as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease, the advice is to stay at home too.
However if you are in mental health crisis and housebound, it is still important that you ask for support. We have listed all the mental health helplines you can call if you can’t visit our Safe Haven services. We’d recommend to only contact NHS 111 if you’re having symptoms and they are getting worse.
Looking after your mental health
If you’re feeling anxious about the coronavirus outbreak and are unsure of what to do to look after yourself, we recommend reading the Mental Health Foundation guidance.
We’ve also put together some self-help tips in our Doing It Your Way guide to help you stay well during the outbreak and in general.
For the latest guidance on the spread of the virus and what to do to protect yourself and others, please visit the government’s website.
We hope you all stay well and safe in the meantime.
The Mary Frances Trust Team