Mental Health Experts Express Concern Over The Impact Of Isolation

Social isolation and loneliness can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. And with the constant uncertainty and changing government rules, it is no surprise isolation has caused an unprecedented surge in mental health issues

Loneliness is our brain’s way of motivating us to reach out and interact with friends and family. When we feel lonely, we naturally want to surround ourselves with other people, and for obvious reasons, this is currently not possible.

With the uncertainty of what 2021 brings, feelings of isolation can escalate and become a problem if not addressed properly. As a result of the pandemic, nearly 10 million people will seek mental health support. Increases in depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety (to name but a few) have been noted in the aftermath of large-scale events like terrorist attacks or natural disasters.

It is important to understand how isolation can impact your day-to-day life and find ways of coping with it.

Efficacy’s clinical director, Lee Grant, identifies five ways to do exactly that.

Switch off

We all need to keep up to date with current (changing!) guidelines, but watching news updates too frequently can maintain a worry cycle leading to an increase in fear and anxiety for the future. While it is important to know what the latest rules and restrictions are, limit your time watching the news, or if it is now a source of fear you could ask a friend or family member to share the headlines most relevant to you. If you find yourself on social media often, try to scroll past news announcements. One update a day should be enough.

Find a routine

It may seem like an obvious one but adding structure to your week is an excellent way of coping with isolation. Whether you are still working, on furlough or just have more time on your hands it is crucial to plan your time and set goals to feel you have accomplished something every day. Introduce new hobbies into your routine such as reading, running, painting or yoga. These activities are the perfect distraction while looking after your physical and mental health at the same time – it is a no brainer!

Distant socialising

This past year, technology has kept friends and family closer than ever – ensure you are having regular video contact with those we love. Do not wait for someone to call you, be proactive and pick up the phone and say hello. Engage in conversations where you discuss your feelings as these can make you feel less alone and more supported. Remember, looking after others in their time of need is another good way of improving your own mental health. Think about guidance on social distancing as physical distancing, keeping up our social contacts.

Regular exercise is key

Research has shown that regular exercise leads to improved mood, increased energy, and better sleep as well as reduced feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Isolation makes us feel cut off from the world, so getting outside is a great way to feel more connected while still protecting others. Spend more time in nature as this can significantly improve mental health, making you feel happier, healthier, and more relaxed. While it is sometimes hard to get back into the swing of exercising, start off slowly (a slow short walk around the block will do) and work your way up. There is no time like the present! And remember there is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothes. 

Reach out

If you are struggling emotionally you may decide to seek professional help, especially if you do not, or can not talk to family and friends. Engaging in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy during difficult times will help you overcome the difficulties of isolation and give you personalised advice on how to tackle feelings of loneliness. While we continue to navigate through the pandemic, CBT therapists can provide Remote Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions from the comfort of your home via telephone or digital channels. SilverCloud – Efficacy’s online therapy programme – was designed to give clients access to flexible cognitive behavioural therapy which is useful for mild to moderate mental health issues like anxiety, low mood, or financial and work-related stress.

To find out more about CBT therapy or book an appointment with a BABCP accredited therapist, please call us on 020 3795 8718, or send us a message.

Company: Efficacy

Contact Phone: +4420 3795 8718

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fresher and healthy

Dr Alex George Launches Scape Fresher & Healthy Initiative to Tackle Concerns Over Student Wellbeing This Academic Term

Student living specialists, Scape has launched a new wellbeing initiative with Love Island’s Dr Alex George. The Fresher & Healthy service has been developed to help ensure students are feeling physically and mentally well, and socialising safely, as they start or head back to university life this year.

Scape has teamed up with Love Island’s Dr Alex George, a certified A&E doctor, to offer guidance to students that face uncertainty surrounding their wellbeing due to Covid-19. Dr Alex George has worked with Scape to produce a series of tips and advice to address the main health and wellbeing concerns of students who will be returning to academic life during the pandemic this autumn. The advice will be on offer to students via Scape’s social channels and website this academic term.

As part of the initiative, Scape is providing a new service that will be available to students on a weekly basis from the week of 5th October. This will feature bookable one-on-one health consultations with private GP service, Gogodoc. Students that book a consultation will receive a free physical examination and mental health advice by a general practice doctor. Trusted patient information and reassurance will be given to students as part of the consultation process, as well as advice on the correct course of action or prescription based on their health concerns.  

Along with the consultation, students will be given the option to receive a flu vaccination. They will also receive a free Fresher & Healthy kit packed with essential wellbeing items that can used in and around University, including an Ally face mask, Hande hand sanitiser, a discount on Vitl nutrition supplements and healthy refreshments such as a Equinox Organic Kombucha and Properchips’ Sea Salt Lentil Chips.

Scape’s new Fresher & Healthy initiative strives to make a tangible difference to the wellbeing of its students at a time when university life is somewhat different to how it used to be. The events of the last few months have meant that students are now left with feelings of anxiety and worry regarding their health and social life in the upcoming academic year. Aiming to reassure residents, the new initiative will provide an offering that can help them to overcome the fear that they have towards socialising and being in a new student environment during the pandemic, as well as helping to reduce the risk of ill health among students


Dr Alex George, Fresher & Healthy Celebrity Ambassador, explains:

‘It is vital that students take care of their physical and mental health when they start or go back to University during these unprecedented times.

For the majority of students starting at University, it will be their very first time away from home. In order for them to embrace this change and the uncertainty of this new situation, it is crucial that they are offered the right medical knowledge and health advice to best prepare them for life as a student this year.

Helping young adults to feel safe, by providing them with the correct medical insights and practical health advice, is an area I’m very passionate about personally, and so it’s a pleasure to be working with Scape on this Fresher & Healthy service to help support and protect student wellbeing.’

The initative follows Scape’s recently announced partnership with student mental health charity, Student Minds. This new partnership ensures students and staff at Scape are equipped to help improve mental wellbeing at a time when university life will be somewhat different to how it has been previously.

Scape has also launched a new app that aims to maintain student wellbeing among its residents. The app allows students to directly contact a a residential team member, trained in mental health, for support and help if they are struggling. Once contact has been made by a student, advice and guidance will be provided by one of 65 mental health trained staff and referrals to a psychologist can be made if needed.


Neil Smith, Scape’s Managing Director says:

Empowering students and ensuring their wellbeing has always been at the heart of everything that Scape does. We feel strongly about our responsibility to help and support student’s physical and mental wellbeing, particularly at a time when young people may feel worried about starting or heading back to university.

The start of a new academic term is a crucial period for any student, by offering this new Fresher & Healthy service, we feel confident that we’re providing students with the best pratical health advice, insights and offerings for them to feel relaxed and safe whilst at University and socialising with their peers.’