Coronavirus

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miriam
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Coronavirus

Post by miriam » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:00 pm

It is out there and causing a great deal of anxiety, so I wanted to make us a thread about it - but also to contain all posts on this topic to one place that people can avoid if they are feeling anxious.

I've certainly been feeling anxious. I've taken a few different types of actions to let me feel some control over that:
1) close my offices and ask my 4 members of staff to work from home as much as possible
2) cancel training and convert meetings to video conference where possible
3) skype, text and phone friends and family to keep in contact
4) think about what I can do to increase my cardiovascular fitness
5) prepare for disruption
6) manage stress

Item 4 on that list might seem strange, but as an obese person with asthma and high blood pressure, the best thing I can do to protect myself and my family beyond increasing social distancing is to eat healthily and be a little bit more physically active. Even simple things like going up and down the stairs a few extra times each day, starting each day with a bowl of porridge and drinking herb tea or cordial instead of snacking can potentially make a positive impact on my physical health within weeks or months (I've lost half a stone so far). Likewise thinking of calming things to read and watch, not letting myself ruminate, doing fun/creative stuff and ensuring I get enough sleep might protect my mental health, and give me more positive focus as my usual routine is disrupted. I've also decided to reduce my news consumption to stop me getting more and more anxious. I've ensured that I have enough medication, contact lens solution and other essential items that I won't need to make excess trips out to the shops (though I'm assuming that supermarkets will still be able to deliver and have avoided stockpiling everything).

I've varied in how much information I want to read about it. I've found the science information really helpful in understanding what we are dealing with, and it is helpful to see that children appear to have low infection rates and very low mortality rates (which hopefully means that my client group will be okay, as well as my own kids). It is positive to read that many people are experiencing Covid as no more than a mild to unpleasant cold/flu, and that various drugs are being trialled with positive initial findings and many different labs are researching potential immunisations that will go to human trials within the next month or two. So I don't think it is going to be an unknown/untreatable condition for much longer. But the fact I fit into the higher risk group on at least two counts is worrying, and the figures for older people and those with existing health conditions being at risk does make me worry about my parents and more vulnerable groups within society, and to feel like the picture of what is to come could be very frightening if we follow Italy and don't lock down soon enough and flatten the curve of demand for health services. The government's approach hasn't made me feel very reassured (although they do appear to be taking advice from scientists and doctors which is something) but then I am quite cynical of the current government already!

So, feel free to post if you want to share your experience, or in particular if you have any strategies for managing anxiety or taking positive actions.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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ell
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by ell » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:37 pm

Good idea to contain to a thread. I work in older adult community mental health services (including but not limited to dementia services), and older adult mental health inpatient wards (including a dementia ward). The implications for our clients and our way of working with them feels overwhelmingly big for me to get my head round. That's where my anxiety is mostly coming from.

AnsweringBell
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by AnsweringBell » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:25 pm

Most of my anxiety around this is personal. I'm in a high risk group myself and not getting very far at work with adapting working arrangements yet (unless I'm actually sick - and, if I'm sick, I'm likely to be critically ill so that becomes a bit moot). It's a scary time to be a human person just across the board for us all - and also an additionally scary time to be facing real financial difficulties if I need to be more cautious than my work allows me to be. Do I risk my job and livelihood, or my life? What a thing to be thinking about.

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miriam
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by miriam » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:15 pm

AnsweringBell wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:25 pm
Most of my anxiety around this is personal. I'm in a high risk group myself and not getting very far at work with adapting working arrangements yet (unless I'm actually sick - and, if I'm sick, I'm likely to be critically ill so that becomes a bit moot). It's a scary time to be a human person just across the board for us all - and also an additionally scary time to be facing real financial difficulties if I need to be more cautious than my work allows me to be. Do I risk my job and livelihood, or my life? What a thing to be thinking about.
I'm sorry to hear that they are not being more accommodating for high risk groups. Perhaps as the recommendations for "cocooning" tighten, that will change? If not, and you feel attending work is too high a risk because of your underlying health condition, you might choose to speak to your GP about a sick note on the basis of risk of exposure, or at a push you could self-certify as sick (which currently doesn't require a medical certificate) initially and see what documentation is required later down the line? There must be other people in similar situations, and I'd have thought that there will eventually be a system for workplace absence on the basis of prevention in very high risk groups.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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ell
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by ell » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:40 pm

AnsweringBell wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:25 pm
Most of my anxiety around this is personal. I'm in a high risk group myself and not getting very far at work with adapting working arrangements yet (unless I'm actually sick - and, if I'm sick, I'm likely to be critically ill so that becomes a bit moot). It's a scary time to be a human person just across the board for us all - and also an additionally scary time to be facing real financial difficulties if I need to be more cautious than my work allows me to be. Do I risk my job and livelihood, or my life? What a thing to be thinking about.
So sorry to hear your work aren't being as supportive as they could be AB. I hope you can get the backing you need for adaptations. There's a lot of focus on older people, but it's important to remember that there's younger people who will also be at risk. Take care.

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Re: Coronavirus

Post by Spatch » Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:34 am

It would be helpful to get an idea about how mental health services are currently operating.

In my opinion, the guidance from the NHS/Public Health England has been quite vague, and as someone responsible for making decisions about the psychologists within my service, I am conscious of introducing splits and differences with other MH services. The overall steer has been to limit people coming into the building (a multi clinic building with several services across the age range), so I have moved to:

- Still turning up to work
- Offering individual sessions by phone
- Cancelled group therapies until further notice.
- Still providing supervision
- Still doing admin in the office (due to not having remote acess to electronic records)
- Physically attending team leaders/operational meetings
- Cancelling any face-to-face meetings, visits or training not connected to providing immediate care.
- Still having trainees on placement.


How does this fit with others services?
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by AnsweringBell » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:30 pm

Thanks both Ell and miriam - you were both absolutely right; with the changing recommendations across the population, the landscape has thankfully changed.It was an awful period where I felt like I was being asked to make an impossible choice and risk far too much (and miriam solid advice on going to the GP - that was my next stop before yesterday evening's changes). I'm now 100% remote working, but our service is continuing to run as usual in person (while looking into skype/phone options for individual therapy).

Locally I've heard the autism assessment service is cancelling all face to face contacts but are still turning up to work (unless symptomatic or at risk), but don't know much more about local community services.

Kitezma
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by Kitezma » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:30 pm

Does anyone know how the Coronavirus outbreak will effect the advertisement of IAPT trainee CBT therapist places this summer? Will training such as this be put on hold? I know it's probably hard to tell at this moment in time...

natalie427
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by natalie427 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:30 pm

Is anyone else still doing face to face therapy. No changes have been made in the residential children’s home I work in

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Re: Coronavirus

Post by Esuma » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:45 pm

I’m not doing therapy as such as it’s not quite my role but I work in a residential school (children’s home) too and we’re business as usual too!

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maven
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by maven » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:28 am

natalie427 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:30 pm
Is anyone else still doing face to face therapy. No changes have been made in the residential children’s home I work in
I think in social care settings, particularly residential care, there is an expectation that life will go on as normal as much as possible. I can see the sense in that in terms of the experience of the recipients of care, but in a time when people are being advised to limit travel and try to avoid being a transmission vector for others, I can also see the problems with trying to maintain professional networks around care recipients if professionals are visiting multiple sites and individuals - and the risks that may cause of increased exposure to contagion for both staff and residents. I'm sorry you are being placed in that position. Is your supervisor sympathetic? Are there any policy documents to refer to?
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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Re: Coronavirus

Post by Mephistofela » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:39 am

Do you think this situation will impact on the DClinPsy intake this year? I am not sure how their funding works and whether it can be taken away in situations like these.

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maven
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by maven » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:01 pm

No, they are interviewing and making offers as normal. There is the expectation that life will eventually return to normal, and health and social care needs are increased rather than reduced by stressful situations like this.
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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