If you are in need of crisis or other support during this time please utilise the services of the below organisations:
In an emergency please always call 999.
Mental Health Helplines and Contacts
Addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
Cruse Bereavement Care Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Mencap Phone: 0808 808 1111 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Given the current climate of social exclusion there are a number of online communites where you could talk to a group of people with common interests or experiences. There are many online communities, including mental health specific forums and communities like:
Beat Message Boards - Eating Disorders
Beyond Blue - Sometimes talking about mental health can get a bit heavy - this is the place to post if you want to chill out and socialise with other members on other topics.
Bipolar UK eCommunity - our eCommunity is a supportive online forum for everyone affected by bipolar.
Big White Wall - An anonymous community where members can support each other with 24 hour a day, 365 days a year.
Carers UK Mental Health - For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Clic - Online mental health forum
Elefriends - is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. We all know what it’s like to struggle sometimes, but now there’s a safe place to listen, share and be heard.
Mental Health Forum - Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues
Sane - Our Support Forum facilitates a key part of the SANE online community and is a safe space to offer support, ideas and share experiences. The forum is available 24 hours a day.
If you aew aware of a community forum that we have not listed, please do let us know, thank you.
Sometimes it can be useful to hear and learn and understand the personal experiences of others. We have looked across the internet to find you a range of blogs that we hope you will enjoy. If you have found a blog that you would like us to add to this list, please get in contact here
CommUNITY Barnet does not endorse any particular digital service, including those listed on this page. This is due to the fast-moving nature of digital services which means it's not possible to provide a complete list of online tools, sites and apps. It is your responsibility to decide whether the service you are considering using is appropriate for you.
A Life In Breakdown - This is a personal journey with tools she’s discovered to help improve her mental health. Life In A Break Down has helpful advice for anyone struggling, from tips on how to break bad habits and embrace positivity to the best ways to deal with chronic pain. Sarah also shares her own experience and relationship with debt and has plenty of handy money-saving tips that can help with any money worries that may be adding to mental health issues.
Be Ur Own Light - Raises awareness about living with bipolar disorder. Diagnosed at 16, Eleanor has lived with bipolar and uses Be Ur Own Light to show that you can live a happy and fulfilling life, combating the stigma often associated with this illness and increasing the understanding of mental health overall. Be Ur Own Light documents Eleanor’s journey and struggles with mental health, posting about the accessibility to treatments on the NHS and inviting guest bloggers to share their stories of overcoming anxiety and stress.
Cara’s Corner - Cara, a mental health nurse, wanted to create a place where she could share her own personal experience with mental illness and encourage people to share their stories. Since 2017, Cara’s Corner has posted a variety of articles, from Cara as well as guest bloggers. Keen to show that there’s more to her than her diagnosis, topics covered range from discussing what depression can feel like to recognising Cara’s travel recommendations.
Mike’s Open Journal - this blog started as place to share his experience with mental illness because he wanted an outlet and found it therapeutic. Mike is passionate about encouraging people to talk about mental health and has started his own podcast where he has guests join him to discuss everything from relationships to mental health in education. Mike’s Open Journal recognises the work of other mental health bloggers including guest posts as well as running its own awards.
Mind - have listed their top 5 Blogs for 2019.
Psychreg - enters our mental health blog ranking for the first time with their blog focusing on psychology and providing readers with access to an open access journal. Founded by Dennis Relojo-Howell in 2014, Psychreg is one of the leading online resources for psychology, mental health and well-being, listing useful articles and research papers to help improve your mental wellbeing. Psychreg even has its own podcast, ‘The Mental Breakdown’ which covers a range of topics from adult ADHD to how to raise mentally strong kids.
The Looneychick Blog - Started by Vicky Williams as a place to share articles and tips on mental health. The Looneychick Blog journals Vicky’s ups and downs as she shares her experiences in honest posts, offering readers advice on a number of issues, from how to deal with bereavement to tips on staying positive in the darker times. Vicky is based in Cornwall.
The Mental Elf - A blog that aims to keep readers up-to-date with the latest developments and news in mental health. The Mental Elf now has its own podcast, covering a range of topics from how mental health affects mental health professionals to the future of digital mental health.
The Mental Health Foundation - Is the official blog of the Mental Health Foundation, a UK charity that aims to help improve mental health for all. The Mental Health Foundation Blog has a selection of guest bloggers who regularly post their advice and experience of dealing with a range of mental health issues, from feeling the impact of Brexit anxiety to the pressures faced by young people. Accessible to readers of all ages and walks of life, the Mental Health Foundation Blog is providing a vital service, offering advice and tips for coping with mental health problems
Thoughts On Life And Love - Was created by a licensed therapist who started her blog to share the lessons she’s learned both personally and professionally. Thoughts On Life And Love offers useful advice when it comes to managing mental health in various situations, from dating to finding the ideal work-life balance. A trained cognitive behavioral therapist, Mandy shares techniques for readers to help with their mental health, whether it’s discovering the power of a smile or understanding the benefits of yoga.
Food Banks in Barnet
Tues & Thurs: 12 noon - 2.30pm
Muswell Hill Food Bank - Referrals needed from Barnet Council
Tel: 020 8357 0923
Unitas Youth Centre
Mobile apps can be considered useful in more ways than one. Entertainment, social media and on-demand services have proven to be very useful. Far from being a substitute and more people are turning to apps for self-help and wellbeing covering a huge range of topics that we hope will help and it's paying off. According to research by Accenture, people in the UK are increasingly turning to tech to help them look after their mental health. Around 39 per cent of people said they were using such tools as online services, apps and wearables to manage their stress, improve sleep and boost their mental wellbeing.
Please be aware that some apps will ask you to enter personal health information. Before you provide this, you can make sure the app is genuine and secure by checking the Orcha website which provides reviews and assessments of health apps, including how the app uses and stores your data. A lot of the apps are free, however some do have a charge attached. CommUNITY Barnet does not endorse any particular digital service, including those listed on this page. This is due to the fast-moving nature of digital services which means it's not possible to provide a complete list of online tools, sites and apps. It is your responsibility to decide whether the service you are considering using is appropriate for you.
The NHS have a range of apps listed, covering Mindfulness, Anxiety and Stress, Panic Attacks, Self Harm, Breathing Techniques, Fitness, Positivity and mich more. These apps have been assessed against NHS standards.
MyCognition Pro - An NHS-accredited cognitive fitness programme that when used 15 minutes per day optimises your cognitive health so that you can get better at focusing, memorising, strategising and making accurate decisions faster. You can find more information here
My Possible Self - The Mental Health App has been clinically proven to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people living with stress, anxiety and low mood. You can find out more here
Be Mindful - is a unique, clinically proven and NHS-approved online mindfulness course. It helps people achieve lasting reductions in their levels of stress, anxiety and depression through learning to practice mindfulness techniques in daily life.
There are now more and more apps out there that can help with anything from managing your general wellbeing to those for more specific health concerns. Listed below are some apps** to get you started. Whist these apps can be useful, they are not a replacement for seeking medical advice if you have concerns about any symptoms you are experiencing.
Far from being a substitute for therapy, mental health apps have gained a place in today’s culture of wanting help here and now. They are often seen as an adjunct to counseling and an introduction or a ‘step in the right direction’. People with multiple sclerosis (MS) can experience a range of issues and may not be ready to engage with counseling, but still require a level of help, here is where apps can come into their own. We asked MS-UK Counsellor Louise Willis for some of the best tried and tested apps on the market
The Oprah magazine recommends a variety of apps, we have looked at the free downloads listed below. The full listing can be found here
Smiling Mind - Mindfulness is the goal with Smiling Mind, a free meditation app developed by psychologists and educators that offers a wide variety of programs for all ages. Particularly if you feel anxious about the coronavirus or your kids feel stressed about disruptions to their everyday normal lives, this is an app that will have solutions for the whole family. Free - Download the app here
Insight Timer - It’s easy to find a meditation app that touts a free trial. It’s a lot harder to find a quality meditation app that is in its entirety free. Enter the unicorn of gratis meditation apps: Insight Timer. A multifaceted gateway to more than 30,000 guided sessions that tap into every emotion rattling your nerves, it also offers relaxing music tracks, a section for kids, and therapeutic pep talks from the likes of Indian yogi Sadhguru and psychotherapist Anthony DeMello. Download the app here
Seven cups - Feeling isolated? Connect instantly with one of 160,000 trained volunteer listeners and licensed therapists with 7 Cups. The app engages users in anonymous, free, confidential conversations so you can vent about your day or simply hear a human voice. It also gives the option to connect with multiple users and to participate in guided discussions in group support chat rooms. Further information is available here
SuperBetter - Mental illness is not a game, but the app SuperBetter tastefully takes a gaming approach to managing depression, anxiety, chronic illness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Players earn rewards for completing real-life exercises that help them build positive skills and behaviors like resilience and optimism. Further information is available here
Moodpath - Bills itself as "your mental health companion", screens users for depressive behavior via daily questions designed to increase their awareness of their thoughts and emotions. After 14 days, the app will generate a report about your condition that you can bring to a mental health professional for discussion. More than 150 videos and exercises are available, too. Further information is available
Sanvello for Stress & Anxiety (Pacifica) When anxiety has you tight in its clutches, it can feel like your world is going to end. But Pacifica helps users find a place of peace via psychologist-designed tools. Based on CBT, mood and health tracking, relaxation and mindfulness meditation, the app targets the on-going cycles of negative thoughts that lead to anxiety, stress and depression. Further information is available here
Headspace - Meditation. If you have never meditated before or find it difficult, Headspace is a great place to start. The popular app 62 million people have downloaded this app, which takes you by the hand and leads you through guided meditations and mindfulness techniques to help establish calm and wellness in your life. The free basics course teaches you meditation fundamentals; the full library is accessible via a subscription fee. Further information
Anxiety Relief Hypnosis - promises to target the subconscious thoughts that lead to anxiety via the power of hypnosis. It features audio read by a certified hypnotherapist, accompanied by peaceful ambient music. After daily use for one to three weeks, users may experience less stress and more relaxation. Find out more here You can find the full listing of wellbeing apps listed on The Independent here
Mindscape - is a mental health app launched by creative agency Cult in 2018, combining voice technology, artificial intelligence and science-led music therapy in one handy app. Developed in consultation with mental health charity Mind, the app is aimed at people dealing with panic attacks or anxiety.
The voice app talks people through relaxing breathing exercises, before asking them questions about their current emotional state. It can offer practical tips for managing work, money, education and sleep and also has bespoke soundscapes tailored to the person using the app. You can use Mindscape through your Amazon Alexa device at home. Download on Amazon Alexa
HealthUnlocked Communities - One difficult part of dealing with any health issue is feeling isolated and alone. HealthUnlocked Communities wants to solve this. It’s like a social network of communities, linked by health. Different communities focus on different areas from exercise to anxiety. These communities provide a space for people to meet others going through similar issues, enabling them to receive emotional support in return. Charities and patient organisations monitor the different communities too, to ensure people are sharing the right information. Download the app here
Tomo - Chatbots are a fun way to interact with tech and Tomo is a bot that comes with some hidden benefits. The app enables you to ‘find healthy habits’ and record how you’re feeling, so you can keep track of what’s going on. As you talk to Tomo, it learns about your lifestyle and how you handle challenges and then suggests new habits for you to try. Every time you complete a habit, Tomo invites you to share a photo of your achievement with the community, so you can receive virtual congrats from the Tomo cohort. This virtual buddy system is designed to ensure your habits stick. The app is completely anonymous and not a social network, but instead, a tool to help you take control of your mental health. Download the app here
Drugstars - If you take medication for a condition, it can be tricky to remember the right time and day to take it. DrugStars is an app that reminds you when to take your meds, as agreed with your doctor, and you collect a star every time you do it. In time, you can donate the stars you earn to health charities, which DrugStars then turns into real money.
Not only are you taking your meds on time, but you’re also helping other people in the process. You can donate your DrugStars to the UK-based charity No Panic, which helps people who suffer from anxiety disorders, or Crohns & Colitis UK, which supports people with inflammatory bowel disease. Download on Apple Download on Google Play
Moodrise is all about "digital nutrition": using positive content to help alleviate pain, boost emotional resilience and improve experiences. The app focuses on six popular mood states, including confidence, focus and happiness, and the related neurotransmitters that lead to that mood state. Content has been specifically created to help deliver the desired chemical reaction in the brain, backed by scientific research. The idea is that people can proactively manage their mental health through "digital pills" to help them enhance their own emotional resilience. Download on Apple Download on Google Play to look at the full list of recommended apps by the Evening Standard please click here
A Delicious Indian Meal
Members of The British Bangladeshi Caterers Association are offering a free meal to older people over 70 in isolation. Simply call one of the listed establishments and choose from one of the options presented to you. Your order will be taken and ready for collection by one of your family members. If you have no one to collect, we will arrange a doorstep delivery for you where possible.
Bayleaf Restaurant, 1282-1284 High Rd, Whetstone, London N20 9HH - 020 8446 8671
Bayleaf Takeaway, 1342 High Rd, Whetstone, London N20 9HJ - 020 8446 8999
Woodhouse Tandoori, 219 Woodhouse Rd, Friern Barnet, London N12 9BD - 020 8361 7879
Taste of Nawab, 97 Colney Hatch Ln, London N10 1LR - 020 8883 6429
Coronavirus Information in Easy Read
You can download it here
Coronavirus Information in British Sign Language
Updated Coronavirus Advice in Community Languages-More Languages Update Added
Due to the changes made to the NHS advice regarding COVID19 on Monday afternoon, Doctors of the World have updated our Covid 19 translated guidance:
English, Albanian, Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish are now ready - https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/ We have also added more European languages: Polish, Romanian, Russian are ready.
To be updated very soon: Bengali, Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Kurdish Sorani, Mandarin, Pashto, Urdu, Vietnamese, Tigrinya, Amharic, Malayalam, Somali, Bulgarian, Latvian, and Hungarian!
The guidance is based on the NHS and the UK government's updated advice and health information, and we have produced translated versions thanks to the support and assistance of the British Red Cross, Migrant Help, Clear Voice, and the Eastern European Resource Centre.
Thanks for spreading the resources and we would be happy if you could please continue to share these with your patients, service users and your networks widely so that we reach all communities who would like this crucial information in their own language. We will try to keep these updates these updated as the current advice changes. We very much welcome offers of help from qualified translators.
If you know someone who would find emails on this subject useful, then please do forward this to them. They can subscribe by sending an email to this link (Subscribe) add 'subscribe' in the subject line.
Stay up-to-date on local information here -
Information coming soon -under construction
Advice for informal carers
If you are caring for someone who is vulnerable, there are some simple steps that you can take to protect them and to reduce their risk at the current time.
Ensure you follow advice on good hygiene such as:
Look out for your neighbours
The simplest thing everyone can do right now is look out for their neighbours and offer help with shopping and other errands.
It's not just about neighbours who are self-isolating or vulnerable. Other people in the community who might also appreciate help are:
Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint – your help will be even more crucial in a few weeks' time. For now, the best thing to do is to check in on neighbours.
Stay safe when supporting others
Volunteer with organisations providing support
There’ll be more information on the best ways to volunteer in the coming days. Charities are working with the government and local authorities to create ways for people to get involved.
Here are a few suggestions:
Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses. Here’s how to tune into mindfulness throughout the day:
That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.
This meditation focuses on the breath, not because there is anything special about it, but because the physical sensation of breathing is always there and you can use it as an anchor to the present moment. Throughout the practice you may find yourself caught up in thoughts, emotions, sounds—wherever your mind goes, simply come back again to the next breath. Even if you only come back once, that’s okay.
As you spend time practicing mindfulness, you’ll probably find yourself feeling kinder, calmer, and more patient. These shifts in your experience are likely to generate changes in other parts of your life also. Mindfulness can help you become more playful, maximize your enjoyment of a long conversation with a friend over a cup of tea, then wind down for a relaxing night’s sleep.
Try these 4 practices this week, go to Mindful and go through the exercises.
You might also find it helpful to practice Box Breathing. You can try it out here