Updated on 1 September 2020
As the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) has evolved, the Good Thinking team has been making changes to the service so that we can offer better support to Londoners. We understand that people might be feeling anxious, stressed or struggling with other mental health concerns.
At times like this, it can be hard to think and hard to know where to turn. Social media and Google search can present you with so many options and so much advice that it can become even more confusing. Opinions on what to do can also be strong and not always correct. When you add the uncertainty that a new type of virus brings, feeling anxious about your health is inevitable.
This is what we have done at Good Thinking so far.
We identified key areas
In February 2020, we worked closely with Public Health England to understand how COVID-19 could affect the mental health of Londoners. Together, we reviewed the research on what happened to those affected by previous outbreaks of infectious disease, such as the SARS virus. This helped us to identify the areas where stress could occur – being quarantined or self-isolated was a key issue.
We were also able to draw on our work with the tech sector, particularly with Moderators and Community Managers who work from home for most of their working life. We realised that adjusting to working from home might be an issue for some Londoners. Managing stress, anxiety and practising good self-care were areas where we knew Good Thinking could help.
We updated our self-assessment tool
We have worked with DoctorLink, which powers our validated self-assessments, to ensure that all self-assessments not only give advice on any mental health difficulties but include extra questions about COVID-19 symptoms and information about next steps. DoctorLink has informed us that our self-assessments are updated regularly in line with Public Health England guidance on COVID-19 (the latest update took place on 17 September 2020). Patients displaying COVID-19 symptoms are asked additional questions during their self-assessment, including about where they have travelled and whether they have had exposure to anyone affected by the virus or any confirmed cases.
Our self-assessment tool is updated regularly and Good Thinking users can see when the most recent update took place. At this time, our self-assessments are also of value to those with past mental health difficulties who can check out privately how they are doing, and when to seek further help, if it is needed.
We identified which resources could help with the stress of COVID-19
Here at Good Thinking, we strive to provide Londoners with effective apps, resources and information for free. We have learned from both research and from our work with those who are stressed and struggling with burnout, what makes a difference.
You can still use our quiz and other articles to find something that feels personalised for you but we also want to help everyone understand how, say, a particular app or other resource might be helpful. For example, one of the most common problems during a disease outbreak is not being able to sleep – an excellent workbook from the Centre for Clinical Interventions is available to help you minimise that risk. Lack of sleep can make everything so much harder so it’s particularly important to get on top of it quickly.
We are creating new coronavirus-related content
Things are changing rapidly and we want to be able to give you advice that helps you manage the challenges of today. We are creating a lot of new content in relation to COVID-19 and your mental health. This includes articles about stress, sleep, tension and bereavement, advice for families, healthcare professionals and older people and podcasts from experts in mindfulness, sleep and other areas.
We will strive to help Londoners stay mentally healthy and well-informed about what they can do at this challenging time. We want to reduce stress through practical steps that lessen worries. If we can help you, we will also help those who are important to you and, perhaps, the whole of London. We hope you stay safe and well.
Visit our Coronavirus and mental health hub