Looking After Your Mental Health

Arthur Ellis Mental Health Services have redesigned their services in response to the current situation.

Please note, there is charge for services but they have been reduced in order to make sure this is as accessible as possible, only covering staff costs.

Provides emotional support for those in distress or going through an emotional or mental health crisis.
Free phone: 116 123 (24 hour service)

Supporting young people with their mental health. Their counselling service is continuing by telephone but they are unable to accept new referrals. However, young people or adults that support them can contact them on Facebook Messenger to get informal support from one of our trained professionals. Further information can be found on their website

Information For Carers Of People With Learning Disabilities

Learning Disability Professional Senate has put together resources to use with people with learning disabilities through the coronavirus restrictions.

Information For Older People or Carers Of Older People

Age Space website provides you with practical help and advice to support elderly relatives at risk.

They also have a coronavirus Facebook group to offer support to people supporting elderly relatives.

Age UK have outlined some tips to help stay safe and well over the coming weeks.

Keeping Healthy in Self-Isolation Video
The Open University has created a short film linking the ‘Five Pillars of Ageing Well’ and how best to use these when self-isolating and under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

Learn my Way: Video-Calling
In this video calling course you will learn about how you can see people when chatting to them on the internet. The course explains what you need to make video calls and help you choose the best method for you.

The following articles have been shared to inspire ideas about how we can use technology to stay connected:

The only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Telephone number:
0800 470 80 90

Information For Families

Arthur Ellis Mental Health Services works with organisations who want to support the mental health and wellbeing or their staff or communities.

They have redesigned their services in response to the current situation.

Please note, there is charge for services but they have been reduced in order to make sure this is as accessible as possible, only covering staff costs.

Contact, the charity for families with disabled children, support families with the best possible guidance and information. They bring families together to support each other and help families to campaign, volunteer and fundraise to improve life for themselves and others.

Government guidance on maintaining educational provision
Exceptions have been announced for children of key workers, vulnerable children with social workers and children with education, health and care (EHC) plansThe government has now published guidance on this. In the guidance it states that schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with EHC plans.

Coronavirus and welfare benefits
You may have concerns about the financial implications for your family, particularly if you or a partner are likely to have to stop working or see a significant drop in earnings. Contact’s family finances adviser answers some of your most common questions about benefits that as a parent with a disabled child you might have.
There have already been a number of changes to the benefits system in response to the current outbreak. It is likely that further changes will be announced in the near future so this webpage will be updated regularly.

What does the emergency Coronavirus bill mean for disabled children?
The emergency Coronavirus Bill published on 19th March 2020 by the government and made an initial assessment for families with disabled children. The aim of the Bill is to help the government deal with the current coronavirus pandemic. It’s not law yet and still needs to pass through Parliament – so there will be a very short opportunity to influence it, which Contact and their partners will try to do.

Fledglings online shop
It remains open and includes goods such as continence products and dishwasher-safe toys. www.fledglings.org.uk

COVID-19 and families with disabled children – resources to help
Families caring for disabled children may be particularly worried about the COVID-19 coronavirus. You might find it helpful to read these two resources from WellChild and Carers UK.

Contact’s free helpline: 0808 808 3555
Website: www.contact.org.uk

Healthwatch Milton Keynes has information on how to explain about coronavirus to children and young people, how to support their mental health and wellbeing as well as listing other useful organisations.

National Autistic Society have created resources and tips for autistic people and families. 

Visit their website for more information.

Suffolk Parent Carer Network and SENsational Families have co-produced this booklet with education, health and care services. It is intended to provide information for parents and carers about Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health. 

They have information on talking to your child about coronavirus and Ten tips from Young Mind’s Parent Helpline to support family wellbeing.

Telephone Number: 020 7089 5050
Parent Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Mon – Fri, 9:30am – 4pm)
Urgent Help: Text YM to 85258

Information For Young People

From [20th March 2020], you’ll only be able to speak to a counsellor online or on the phone between 9am and midnight. To make sure we can answer everyone who’s waiting, you won’t be able to join the queue for a 1-2-1 chat after 10:30pm. After 10:30pm, you’ll still be able to call us for free on 0800 1111 up until midnight. You can also send a message from your locker any time, but we won’t be able to read this straight away. Visit the Childline website for more information.

Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people. You will either need to log in or sign up. Online hours: Monday to Friday 12pm – 10pm, Saturday to Sunday 6pm – 10pm.

Telephone number: 116 123
Website: samaritans.org

Adult Social Care – Access Team (ASCAT)
Telephone number: 01908 253 772

General Information

As shared public spaces from pubs and cafes to churches and gyms close their doors to prevent the spread of the virus, virtual communities are more important than ever.

Independent Living Facebook Group provides a safe place for people with disabilities and carers looking for advice, shared experiences, or just a sympathetic ear.

It is a closed group. You just need to request membership and answer the two simple questions, and the group administrators will approve you.