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April 2020 IMHN E-bulletin


We have all been feeling the strain of being confined to our homes for the last month, and the seamlessly endless days we now must fill. Below are a few ideas of things going on to entertain, stimulate and maintain wellbeing.  There is a lot of talk about which services are closed but many of our local services have acted quickly in adapting the way they deliver so that they can stay open – do have a look at the local services section at the end of this e-bulletin. 


Things to do during #lockdown


If you are looking for places to find things to do ‘Time Out’ is a great place to start. Time Out worldwide (or London) has become ‘Time In’ during this period of worldwide lockdown and has regularly updated recommendations on what is going on to entertain us from home in the UK and from all around the world.


To watch, listen and read

  • Subscribe to ‘The Happy Newspaper’ to get some good news for a change.

  • Some of the paid for subscription TV and Movie streaming services, such as Disney+, Netflix and others, are offering a week or month free ‘try before you buy’ before the monthly charge begins. If you are feeling canny you could try one after another making sure to cancel your account before the first charge date. If that’s not for you then free video content can also be found on social media sites like Facebook Watch and InstagramTV and YouTube.

  • Missing watching sports? are putting full length classic races on their YouTube channel

  • While away some hours with your mind in a place that’s not your living room with an audiobook – Audible has launched a free website for non-members to enjoy a collection of audiobooks during this time. Audible Stories features a variety of children’s and classic books free to listen to read by well-known narrators. With books like Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry ready to be indulged in. Additionally, if you have an Amazon Alexa ask ‘Alexa, what’s free from audible?’ to hear the selection of free listens available each month. Or alternatively say ‘Alexa, start The Great Game’ to jump into a Sherlock Holmes interactive murder mystery story.

  • If audiobooks seem like too much of a time commitment for you why not try tuning into your local radio station or access one of 100,000 radio stations and podcasts from Tune In. Alternatively browse through the best podcasts of 2020 on a never ending list of subjects from TV shows to books, cooking to history. BBC Sounds is a good resource for these, as is Spotify.

  • Want live music? Stream virtual concerts or acoustic sessions from Levi’s 5:01 Live sessions.

  • Need more laughter or drama in your life? Watch some live theatre or comedy to keep your spirits up.

  • Book depository are running ‘read together’ from April 8th to May 5th.


For the mind and body

  • The Community Connections providers have rapidly changed the way they deliver services and they all have something on offer including virtual groups and/or phone support.  Mary Frances Trust are offering seated exercise classes and even Zumba! Catalyst and Richmond Fellowship have lots going on too. 

  • Feeling anxious? Read #EveryMindMatters tips on how to alleviate anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • If you are used to attending places of worship on a regular basis this time of lockdown can pose particular challenges. GetSurrey and the Surrey Comet have put together articles on alternative ways to access faith in Surrey during lockdown, and the Diocese of Guildford have a list of how to interact with each of the churches in Surrey.

  • Meditation and mindfulness can be helpful during times of uncertainty and upheaval - Headspace, Calm and Zen are apps specifically for meditation and sleep. There are other apps aimed at keeping your mental health healthy such as habit and mood trackers that could be useful during these difficult times.

  • Sign up for a free short course on one of 1000s of topics from Future learn, Corsera or even the U3A are starting to run some of their courses virtually. Or learn a new language with free bite sized courses from Duolingo.

  • Adding exercise to your day has been shown to significantly improve mood as well as physical health – there are so many options available online to get active from traditional exercise classes, dance and yoga.  You can check out the ‘exercise at home’ page that Active Surrey have put together and you could follow the #StayInWorkOut hashtag on twitter.  Surrey Coalition is running daily walk and talk sessions each afternoon at 2.30pm via Zoom.

  • A good read on why its okay to not want to do anything at all at the moment.


To make you smile

  • Live webcams of faraway places such as Paris, Cornwall’s beaches or nest cams of Peregrine falcons in Woking

  • If you are feeling isolated join an online community dedicated to an interest - such as fishing or trains - or joining virtual cafes, pub quizzes and choirs. Take the plunge and join social media, you’d be surprised at how many of your old school friends and neighbours now have a Facebook account, why not use this time to reconnect and catch up with people you’ve lost touch with.

  • If virtual is not for you why not write someone a letter, it will bring them joy to receive it and you may get a return.

  • Make plans with people to go somewhere or do something you don’t have to set a date but having a plan for seeing people in the future can help improve your mood and hopeful outlook.

  • Join an online chat. If you just want a bit of human contact from the comfort of your own sofa why not join in with an activity such as one of the Community Connections groups or the Coalition’s Monday morning Virtual Café at 11.00am. 


Get active in your kitchen


What are you doing to stay entertained during lockdown? If you have any recommendations please let us know.  We hope to share photos of your #lockdown projects on our twitter pages – send them in!






IMHN involvement opportunities - April 2020


You can get involved in the network in several different ways, we try to make it accessible for everyone to participate in a way that feels comfortable to them.  We have a range of small groups running (‘sub groups’) which have a specific focus and there is a bi-monthly coordinating group meeting which is usually a larger group of people and the agenda includes updates from reps on some of the projects they have been working on.  You could also consider joining a stakeholder group local to you. 


Alternatively, you can:

  • Send us a written version of your experiences of the mental health services in Surrey. Having these real stories allows us to create change in the system as we can use them as evidence of what is working well and where work is needed.

  • Ring or text the IMHN coordinator on 07305 009869 or email to discuss your experiences and any areas of interest you’d like to be involved in 

  • Join a sub-group: sub-groups provide an opportunity for members to get involved in small groups and be able to give input in a way that suits them and their needs on a single topic that they have lived experience of.

  • Become an IMHN Rep by taking the lead on an area of our work and representing the network at meetings held by other organisations

  • Volunteer to help our team – this may be by promoting the network or by helping to man a stand at an engagement event or helping to run a virtual group.


Due to Covid-19 we expect some of our plans for the year ahead to change, some of the engagement events we had planned have been cancelled (such as flower shows, Surrey Pride and music festivals) and other activities will be delayed or run entirely virtually.






Share your thoughts - This month’s survey:

This month the survey will take you around 3 minutes to complete.  It asks for your thoughts on Mental Health Crisis support during the Coronavirus epidemic. You can either access the survey through this link or you can contact us to fill it in for you. 

Other Information



Local service updates


Community Connections providers have rapidly changed the way they work to respond to the government guidelines.  You can find the latest updates here: Catalyst, Mary Frances Trust and Richmond Fellowship


Action for Carers Surrey have enhanced their telephone support service – find out more here.


Medical Advice - Your GP remains open; however they may wish to book you a virtual or phone appointment rather than a face-to-face if possible. 


For Coronavirus medical advice look to NHS 111 online or phone NHS 111. 


Domestic Abuse


If you are in immediate danger, please contact 999. If you need help but cannot say anything you can dial 999 and press ‘55’ once connected. Be aware that if you are using a mobile phone your location cannot be traced (but if you are using a landline then it can be).

If you are experiencing domestic abuse you can get support and advice from local support organisations. The best place to find out more about what is available is on the Healthy Surrey website.


Your Sanctuary: A Surrey helpline which is open from 9am to 9pm offering listening support, information, and signposting. ‘Your Sanctuary’ also runs two safe houses for women and children and a specialist male support service for men across Surrey.


Mental Health Crisis support


Surrey’s Safe Havens remain open for people in crisis to visit in person. You can find out more information here


Surrey and Borders NHS Partnership Trust (SABP) and the Community Connections providers, are trialling a ‘virtual Safe Haven’.  The virtual Safe Haven will be open from 6.00pm to 11.00pm every day of the week for people in crisis.  Although the trial is for the Epsom Safe Haven, it has been agreed that during this difficult time anyone living in Surrey who is experiencing mental health or emotional wellbeing crisis can access this service.  To access the service, during the above opening hours, please click here:


SABP Crisis line:   0800 915 4644


SABP SMS Crisis line (for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing):  07717 989 024


Samaritans: 116 123


Shout: TEXT 85258



Are you struggling to get shopping or prescriptions?


Surrey County Council have information on where to go for help if you are in need of assistance getting shopping or prescriptions whilst in lockdown. They have also set up the community helpline to give advice on such matters.

The Surrey community helpline was set up to help with:

  1. To help direct residents who need support – if friends or family are unable to help – with such things as picking up shopping, prescription collections or having someone who can be a telephone friend, and to other services that can help.

  2. To provide advice on where to register your offer of help to support your community.


Surrey Community Helpline : 0300 200 1008

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