Welfare Wednesday: Supporting Other during Covid-19

Following on from my previous ZSL Suicide Awareness training, the organisation recently launched a new module. This was called a "Step Up" and it gives a brief introduction to social isolation, and how to help someone who may be isolated. It takes into account the adjustment individuals have needed to make followed the new normal of Coronavirus and takes into account the significant changes in how many of us live and work.
I was really excited when I saw the learning objectives because it related to me both personally, socially and professionally. Without social interactions people are more vulnerable to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness as they have increased rates of depression, dementia and physical inactivity. By providing signs to look, we can hopefully more easily identify when isolation is affecting someone negatively. These include: lack of interest, not practicing self-care, frequently cancelling plans or changing them. Remember, it's not only the elderly or single occupancy households which are effected but so many more.

They also provided some recommendations to help reduce stress and anxiety which so many people are struggling with. We are lucky in that we live in a technological world and can still speak to friends and family regularly. Make sure to communicate with loved ones via phone calls, emails, texts, video chats or even sending a hand written letter.

As in their other training module, action is needed in some situations and it's important to recognise those and help, even in and during lockdown measures. Some easier options is to encourage them to get information from trusted government sources, but also to normalise their lives and stick to routines.

Finally, implementing strategies for dealing with the new normal is crucial. Change is difficult but we still need to take of ourselves and others. Make sure to be supportive and show concern for those is distress. Start the conversation and offer help where it may be needed. Everyone has different struggles, so each situation is different. Put an action plan in place, with small manageable steps to make things easier.
You can do the module yourself and get a certificate here. I would recommend it because it did give a useful insight into some of the things which may happen and will help int he current climate. I really enjoyed the case studies to see it all work in practice and how a conversation might play out.

Let me know if you do it!

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