'We have to get used to a new normality' - looking after our mental health as Covid-19 lockdown continues

People with existing mental health conditions may struggle to adjust to a 'new normality' if the UK remains in lockdown for many months, according to the boss of a charity.

Olivia Craig, CEO of Devon Mind, says a lengthy spell of isolation will be challenging for people who rely on seeing friends and family as a way to cope with life.

Many people might struggle to access vital medication, while some therapy sessions are having to be postponed or delivered online.

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Olivia Craig from Devon Mind Credit: ITV News

I suppose the difficult thing is we have to get used to a new normality, and it's a normality we've never had before. This pandemic doesn't have any boundaries when it comes to individuals. For many people who are very connected and outgoing, being confined to their house is going to be really difficult.

Olivia Craig, Devon Mind
Ailsa says she expects things will get harder as the lockdown continues. Credit: ITV News

Ailsa Lindsay, who lives in Cornwall with her husband and 18-month-old son, says she worries things will get harder as the lockdown goes on.

I've got a lot of friends who were struggling with their mental health before this came in. I think it will have a big impact on them. I'm lucky to have a family and to have outdoor space. Getting outside in the sunshine is going to be really important.

Ailsa Lindsay

The Samaritans say they are working hard to minimise disruption to their helpline, and added although it may take longer to answer calls, they were still around and available.

In this challenging time, much of what is happening daily is unprecedented, so it is more important than ever that we keep in touch with the people we care about and reach out to those who many need extra support.

Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans CEO

You can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or e-mail jo@samaritans.org