Mental Health Toolkit

The following was contributed by unityonline who thought this might be useful to those who might come across this in our local community during these challenging times.



Mental Health Toolkit 


Increasingly staff and volunteers are in contact with people who are distressed and frightened by the current situation regarding Covid-19. Some of these people are already known to statutory specialist mental health services, and some are not. It is important that we give a consistent and appropriate response when we are in these situations, and this toolkit is intended to help with this.



This toolkit is to be used by those working in the Local Resource Centres and Tier 1 & 2 in Hampshire’s Welfare Service as part of the co-ordinated response to the Coronavirus pandemic in Hampshire. It is intended to be a useful guide for staff/volunteers who are in contact (either face to face or by telephone) with people presenting with mental distress as a result of the pandemic. 

This toolkit does not replace business as usual processes, and it remains essential that all people presenting in this way are referred on in accordance with your service’s referral routes as soon as possible. 

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. People will express their distress in different ways and you should think about how you would respond to someone you know who presents as upset or distressed. 



Adopt the following principles when you are talking to someone in distress:

  • Listen, avoid making assumptions or judgements
  • Acknowledge their difficulties/concerns but don’t try to solve everything
  • Be clear and concise with individuals with what action you are taking
  • Know how to refer on and do so as soon as possible
  • Stay within the limits of your role – do not get over-involved or share personal information and be clear on what actions your organisation expects you to take in your role.

If you are face to face with the person, you may feel that it is not possible to leave them, in which case you should contact your line manager/supervisor as soon as possible and seek advice. 

Equally Listen to your internal warning signals. Leave if you don’t feel safe/end contact, seek advice/support and alert the appropriate agency if necessary.

If there is an immediate threat to life you should call 999 straight away.  



If it is appropriate within your role, you may be able to signpost the person to seek their own support. Below are some useful links – this is not an exhaustive list. The websites are updated regularly.

For people in Mental Health Crisis:-

Mental Health helpline: 02380 179049


For people in need of support and ideas to help cope with their mental health:- (bereavement)


For people who are affected by drugs and alcohol:-

25yrs and over: 0300 124 0103

24yrs and under: 0845 459 9405


For people affected by Domestic Abuse:-

Domestic abuse helpline: 02394 216816  (professionals’ email) (secure email address)


Other Useful Website Resources:-



This can be emotionally draining on you. It is important not to take things personally, to take a break as soon as practicable if you need one, and to seek support/supervision through your usual routes. If you feel upset by the impact of supporting someone with their mental health, talk to your line manager/supervisor if you feel this would be helpful. The links above will have further information and resources that you may find helpful.


[this page was last edited on 17 May 2020]