An award-winning mental health charity is offering a digital lifeline to anyone affected by growing anxiety or worry due to the coronavirus outbreak.
PoetsIN, which supports children and adults with mental illness and those needing rehabilitation, has launched a host of contingency services as the country adapts to ever-increasing social distancing restrictions.
These include a free 10-week online creative mental health programmes, moving in-person workshops with service partners including the Shaw Trust, Mind and Headway to video conferencing and free-to-download creative mental health packs for families to use alongside home schooling.
There is also the opportunity to join PoetsIN’s long-standing Facebook community offering troll-free virtual support and understanding.
PoetsIN is based in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire but provides services to those in need wherever their location. It was founded by writers Paul Chambers and Sammie Adams, who have both used the power of words to have a positive impact on their own mental health.
Paul, the charity’s chief operating officer, said the Covid-19 pandemic was causing a spike in levels of anxiety and other mental health issues. And this impact could yet increase with new, tougher restrictions on people’s normal day-to-day lives being announced on an almost-daily basis.
The 50-year-old said: "In these uncertain times, maintaining our wellbeing is key. Social distancing will affect many negatively so these measures will help to bridge that gap.
“Workshops over video conferencing recently saw someone that struggles with anxiety, previously too shy in physical groups, share in great depth from feeling safe in his environment; whilst still 'in' his group."
The creative mental health packs for families have been designed by Sammie, PoetsIN’s chief executive officer.
She said: “With schools now closed for the foreseeable future, parents are now tasked with educating their children at home, which is a tough burden on everyone.
“These packs are designed to open up discussion and engage parents and children in creative writing tasks proven to aid mental health and wellbeing. As a parent myself, I hope they give you some relief in the form of writing during these difficult moments.”
To join the Facebook community, visit www.facebook.com/groups/poetsin and answer the three questions, then request to join.