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Covid-19 is more than a “news story” – it has become a lived experience that has changed every aspect of life in the UK. For some people, that has meant the devastating loss of loved ones, or facing work on the frontline where their own health is at risk. But beyond the direct impact on those perilously close to the virus itself, every person in the UK is facing a challenge like never before.
At times, as the spring weather brings out the flowers in gardens and parks, or an open window lets in the sound of birdsong, it is easy to feel like nothing has changed. But everything is different, from the way we interact with our loved ones to the way we work or manage our finances; the things that consume us with worry, the way we spend our waking (and sleeping) hours.
For some of us, the toll on our mental health is clear, whether it is the brutal withdrawal of support networks or the sudden profound isolation of living alone without physical human contact. But each of us has a valid and relevant story to tell about how we are coping.
How often in the past few weeks have you found yourself asking “how are you doing?” in a WhatsApp to a friend, over the phone to a parent, or on a conference call with colleagues? A nation parodied for our emotional reserve, we are suddenly asking – and wanting to know – how each other is feeling more than ever before. At HuffPost, we believe the personal is newsworthy. We want to turn that question back to our readers: how are you feeling?
We want to know how Britain is experiencing this crisis, the different stages of collective emotion and resilience, the reactions we are all feeling. They will tell us a story just as important as the statistics and political rhetoric.
On this page you will find advice to help deal with the mental and physical toll of what is happening around us. We would like to invite you to tell us how you are feeling today using this Google form. We know there are good days and bad days, and that for some the mental health toll is more serious than for others. We welcome regular updates, as well as one-off messages, because many of us feel overwhelmed on a certain day and strangely calm the next.
Anything you tell us will be used to make our reporting of this crisis better. We may quote you in an article, but if you want your words to be anonymous you can let us know in the form. Please leave us a way to contact you to speak further if you are happy with that – we may, for example, find a pattern in the things people are saying, and want to have a longer chat with some of you.
And if you just want to let us know what’s in your head on any given day but you’d rather not be contacted or quoted, just tell us.
When this is over, we may all want to look forward, not back. But we are committed to ensuring we don’t forget what we lived through and what each of us experienced.
So tell us: how are you feeling?
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Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: email@example.com
- Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.
- Childline - free and confidential support for young people in the UK - 0800 1111
- Bullying UK - Advice on bullying at work, school and cyberbullying - 0808 800 222
- The Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership by Women’s Aid and Refuge): 0808 2000 247
- In Scotland, contact Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234
- In Northern Ireland, contact the 24 hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414
- In Wales, contact the 24 hour Life Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
- Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
- Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their own behaviour): 0808 802 0321
Need friendly, confidential advice on drugs?
- Contact FRANK on 0300 123 6600 or visit the website for alternative contact methods.