Mental health is a challenge for many of us at the best of times, but some people are especially vulnerable through uncertain times.
Speaking on Scotland Tonight on Thursday, Janis Marshall from Glasgow asked Jason Leitch, the clinical director for the Scottish Government, what people could do to help them get through the coronavirus crisis.
The full programme of question-and-answers with professor Leitch can be found on the STV Player.
Janis: Can Jason help those of us struggling with our mental health at this time? I live with chronic anxiety, which I actively and positively manage as much as possible.
However, a lot of the language around the journey of this virus creates a sense of indefinite uncertainty which for those like me triggers feelings of helplessness and pointlessness to the point some of us feel the situation will never end.
I just can’t get my head around what is meant by “it will ease but won’t go away”.
Will life as we knew it ever return?
It might be an indulgent question, but this is affecting the ability to cope and function in useful ways during the crisis.
I know Jason is not a fortune teller, but could he please give us a glimmer of hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is worth striding on toward it?
Professor Leitch: I don’t think that’s an indulgent question at all… our communities have to step up and I see that over the last few days.
We’re only on day four, we have a long way to go. Media and other parts of society can help us do that. Janice will have friends and relatives around her – Janice can help other people.
I saw kids writing little postcards and put them through neighbours’ doors to say “how can I help you, what can I do for you’ and asking how they could help them. There’s something about volunteering that can help us.
The WHO has specific guidance about anxiety and mental health during the coronavirus epidemic.