COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and your mental wellbeing

During these challenging times it can feel overwhelming, and you may wonder how you are going to look after yourself in the months ahead. 

It can be difficult to maintain our mental health and wellbeing when coping with so much uncertainty and turmoil at home and at work.

This page has details about where you can get information, advice and support to help you with your mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 emergency.

Self care tips

  • Make sure you are getting your news from trusted sources
  • Limit your exposure to social media if you find it is heightening your anxiety
  • Think self-care, sleep, routine, rest. You may find yourself working longer hours or more shifts so take care of your physical health as best you can
  • Stay connected to family and friends by phone, email or video calls
  • Check local arrangements for key worker childcare plans in your area

RCN self care resources and campaigns 

  • This Providing emotional and practical support for you leaflet offers a snapshot of how the RCN's Member Support Services team (MSS) can support members with their careers, emotional wellbeing, immigration, welfare, finances, and about the peer support service.
  • The Rest, Rehydrate, Refuel campaign offers resources, advice and posters for members, managers, and safety reps about the importance of breaks, good hydration, and access to nutritional food. 
  • This Self-care during COVID-19 poster resource outlines some important steps staff can take to look after themselves.
  • These Time and Space mindfulness videos were developed for nursing staff, each one covering a different stage of the day, and providing you with different practical techniques to use. There is also a "team support and defusing" video for nurse managers or nurses in charge.

Country specific resources

England: Our Frontline: support for healthcare workers 

Northern IrelandPublic Health Agency: Staff health and wellbeing.

Scotland: National wellbeing hub for people working in Health and Social Care

Wales: Health for Health Professionals Wales


Frontline 19 offers free online mental health and emotional wellbeing services to support frontline workers.

If you're a frontline worker directly affected by COVID-19 and you need support to help you through this difficult time, you can access emotional support via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime with a fully qualified psychologist, psychotherapist or counsellor at a time that suits you, free of charge.

'Our Frontline' resource

Our Frontline offers all healthcare workers round-the-clock one-to-one support, by call or text, from trained volunteers, along with resources, signposts, toolkits, tips and ideas to help look after your mental health. It's tailored depending on whether you are working in healthcare, emergency services, social care, or as a key worker.

Alternatively, you can browse their general resources, including resources specific to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

Wellbeing apps

NHS staff have been given free access to wellbeing apps such as Headpace and Unmind. To find out more see the NHS Employers website.

Headspace has also designed a free section within their app called 'Weathering the storm.’ This section is available to everyone and includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises

Wellbeing apps Sleepio (to help improve sleep) and Daylight (to help with symptoms of worry and anxiety through cognitive behavioural techniques) have offered free access to NHS staff. Non NHS healthcare workers should also be able to sign up too, as you don't need a NHS e-mail to register.

The My Possible Self mental health app has been made free to all during the COVID-19 emergency. Use the simple learning modules to manage fear, anxiety and stress, tackle unhelpful thinking, record your experiences and track symptoms to better understand your mental health.

You can also browse NHS wellbeing apps, the majority of which are free and available to everyone. 

RCEM wellbeing app for emergency and critical care

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine is inviting nurses working in emergency and critical care settings to use the RCEM Wellbeing App

The app has been built especially for those working within emergency and critical care, and will help you to measure, monitor and track your wellbeing throughout this especially difficult time. Nurses will receive free access to the app until the end of the year.

Dealing with death at work

Whether you are experiencing death for the first time as a student, or have experienced it many times over your career, it is never easy to process. During the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare professionals may be exposed to multiple deaths, and the psychological impact of this must not be underestimated. Here is some helpful advice on coping with the death of a patient: RCN blog: Dealing with death.

For bereavement support contact Cruse Bereavement Care. The helpline (0808 808 1677) is completely free from all UK landlines and mobiles.

RCN Counselling

If you need further professional support contact the RCN Counselling service. We are operating as normal to support our members during this time.

Every mind matters offers all healthcare workers expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

The RCEM wellbeing app is especially designed for emergency or critical settings, helping you to measure, monitor and track your wellbeing.
Mind, the mental health charity has put together Coronavirus and your mental health which contains lots of information, resources and tips.