Looking after your emotional wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic
27 March 2020
Although we have had to change how we operate many of our hospice services we are still here to offer emotional support to our patients and families.
The emotional and spiritual wellbeing team is still accepting referrals as usual. We will be offering telephone and online support to those referred to us.
There may well be additional worries and concerns at this time.
You may be concerned about what might happen to someone living with a life limiting illness if they get coronavirus. You may be thinking about whether services they access will continue and you may be struggling with being separated from people you love. If you’re providing care for a family member or friend, you may be thinking about what will happen to their care if you become ill.
You may feel very alone following a bereavement.
These are all normal things to worry about in this situation. It can help to talk through your concerns and get some support from family and friends.
Even though you may be physically separated from people who support you, think about how else you can connect with your loved ones and feel connected. Keep in contact by phone and access platforms and apps such as Facetime, Zoom or WhatsApp.
Some useful resources for maintaining good mental health:
- Mental Health Foundation
- Headspace - for meditating and practicing mindfulness
- Home But Not Alone - community service to help those in need during COVID-19
- Action for Happiness
- Resources for anyone isolated at home
- Supporting children and young people during COVID-19
Emotional support is available for adults, children, families and carers who have been referred to the hospice.
The team are available weekdays from 9am to 4pm to discuss any queries relating to referrals and advice on accessing support services.
Please call the team directly on 01473 707999.
Coping with illness, loss and change is not easy for anyone. We can help patients and families with the practical and emotional aspects of facing life with an illness, life challenges and bereavement.
A range of services can be accessed through our emotional support team:
- Telephone advice and enquiries 01473 707999
- Practical support
- Art therapy
- Support groups
- Children’s specialist support
Our highly skilled team is able to:
- Support both patients and families with their emotional, spiritual and social needs
- Offer counselling
- Give information and advice regarding welfare benefits
- Offer advice on support groups available
We work with families as a group to:
- Enable couples and families to talk about what they are facing and gain support from one another
- Help families to make important decisions
- Prepare children, in partnership with their parents, for loss or support with their bereavement
- Negotiate and liaise with teachers and employers
Children and young people
The team and our specialist children’s workers/counsellors are highly trained at supporting children and young adults.
The illness or death of a close family member can be a painful and even lonely experience for a child or young person. It can be hard to talk with parents or close relatives who are upset, and friends may be reluctant because they do not know what to say.
Parents can be supported when difficult information needs to be shared with children. Advice and resources are available to both parents and children to help families talk about what they are all facing. Individual work with children and young people can also be offered.
Art Therapy and Music Therapy
People often find expressing themselves through art and music is easier than talking. We are able to offer art and music therapy to patients and relatives.
Working creatively can prove deeply rewarding often, when it is least expected. Many feelings, difficult or even impossible to express in words, can find release through picture making or sculpture: whether of shock, fear, anger, loss or sadness; and equally of hope, faith, gratitude, courage, love and joy.
Art therapy sessions take place in the art therapy room or at a patient's bedside. Alternatively, the art therapist may be able to visit a patient at home.
Music therapy is about the use of music to help and support people. It has been proven to be very effective in difficult situations when all other forms of communication have failed.
The aims of music therapy may include increasing communication and expression, providing emotional release, relaxation and comfort.
Our music therapists have a range of accessible instruments including a piano, xylophone, drum kit, guitar and various percussion instruments which are available for patients and families to use.
Our music therapists are able to work in a range of ways including providing live music as relaxation, improvising music with or for the patient, song writing, choosing and listening to music with the patient, life review through music and making CDs.
Our music therapists can provide individual or group sessions in a variety of settings such as the the patient's bedside or in a family member's home.