Mental health and managing isolation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Exploring the lived experiences of loneliness and isolation with people with mental health problems during the COVID 19 pandemic in the UK
The aim of this research study was to find out about the experiences of feeling lonely or isolated and how they may relate to experiences of mental health problems during the COVID pandemic and more generally.
Lived experience researchers conducted telephone and online interviews with people with lived experience of mental illness to help us understand more about mental health and loneliness and how it relates to COVID 19 pandemic.
It will also help us to do further research looking at how to measure these things, or to develop ways of supporting people’s mental health and reducing loneliness and isolation particularly during pandemics.
The study was organised by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health Policy Research Unit, within the Division of Psychiatry at University College London, and the Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health Network, within the Division of Psychiatry at University College London.
UCL Research Ethics Committee have approved this study: Project ID number: 15249/001
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in this study.
Watch an MHTV episode about this research.
Read the first paper published from this research 'Experiences of living with mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: a coproduced, participatory qualitative interview study'.
Conversations around loneliness and mental health: What helps and what to do if it doesn't
As part of the interviews, we asked people what (if anything) had helped them feel less lonely and we have co-produced a booklet to share their words with you.
- 4 Mental Health: resource to help you find ways to feel a bit calmer and for ideas to help you cope
- NHS Every Mind Matters: covid 19 and staying at home tips
- Anxiety UK: covid 19 anxiety support and resources
- Public Health England: Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of the coronavirus (COVID 19)
- MIND Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- Mental Health Foundation: How to look after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- Royal College of Occupational Therapists: staying well when social distancing
- World Health Organization: Mental Health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID 19 outbreak
- UNICEF: How teenagers can protect their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak
- The British Psychological Society: Dealing with the effects of covid 19
- Centre for Mental Health report: Supporting Mental Health Communities during the coronavirus crisis
- Royal College of Psychiatry: COVID-19: Accessing medication for mental health
- The MARCH Network have put together a resource pack for creative activities that are available online.
- Video from the Academy of Medical Sciences on loneliness in researchers https://acmedsci.ac.uk/grants-and-schemes/whats-available-to-me/career-support-space/loneliness-and-social-isolation
- NHS site: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coping-loneliness-during-coronavirus-outbreak/
- Mental Health Foundation: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/loneliness-during-coronavirus
- Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org.uk/stories/disasters-and-emergencies/uk/coronavirus-six-facts-about-loneliness
- Local Government Association: https://local.gov.uk/loneliness-social-isolation-and-covid-19
- What Works Center for Wellbeing: https://whatworkswellbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/COVID-LONELINESS-2020.pdf
- Office of National Statistics: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandlonelinessgreatbritain/3aprilto3may2020
- Independent Age: https://www.independentage.org/how-covid-19-affecting-loneliness
- NHS Confederation: https://www.nhsconfed.org/blog/2020/06/how-the-arts-tackle-loneliness-and-isolation-during-covid-19