Student Minds has collated some useful resources for those concerned about their mental health during this period. This includes links to information created by other organisations such as Mind and the Mental Health Foundation.
Psychology Tools have produced a free booklet to download entitled "Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty"
We suggest updating your email signature with mental health messages related to corona virus (i.e. looking after yourself, coping in isolation, and reducing anxiety, including practicalities like Skype for sessions).
The March Network has a page of links to creative, home-based activities.
Working practices - service delivery
Please see our blog post about considerations for working at home for 1:1 appointments, including tips from members.
- Make sure that the platform you are using is reputable and secure.
- Have a trial run to make sure you are familiar with the functions before your appointment
- You may need to offer the student a mini-tutorial so make sure you are fairly confident with this!
- Make sure you have a confidential space to work in, and where possible ensure a neutral background, free from distractions
- Discuss in advance what you will do if the session is interrupted either by technical difficulties or physical interruption (e.g. by a pet or another person).
- Gain the appropriate consent from the student (if DSA funded this should be from the student's email address as registered with the Student Loans Company)
The appointment itself
- Ensure you know the exact location of the student when the appointment takes place to ensure a prompt response should there be a safety issue i.e. room number, address and phone number.
- Conduct any normal risk assessments.
- Reiterate boundaries as working from home brings you into each other’s personal space a little bit more.
- Acknowledge any apparent awkwardness or difficulties and be prepared to find a new way of working.
- Be clear about recording of the session - you shouldn't be recording a session if you wouldn't normally do so, but should clarify this anyway.
Working practices - working from home
Many staff may not be used to working from home - some may enjoy the new challenge, while others may find the lack of normal team contacting isolating.
The City Health Mental Health Alliance have produced some tips for "Supporting Colleagues to Stay Mentally Health in Unusual Working Conditions"
Self-employed/freelance/zero hours contracts
The government is currently being lobbied to provide more support for self-employed people.
The Guardian has produced some clear information about what support and benefits are currently available, and so has the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed.