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A final-year student nurse at the University of Huddersfield has developed an online resource to enable people to appraise their state of mind and receive help and guidance where needed.
Sophie Rane’s Facebook innovation is designed to support those struggling during lockdown to help themselves or reach out for help from others, said the university.
“Community services are seeing a lot of stress-induced psychosis, or stress and anxiety due to people being at home on their own”
Ms Rane is in the closing stages of her mental health nursing degree and is already working in an acute mental health ward, caring for patients with a wide of range of conditions.
However, she said she was also aware that the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have had a massive impact on mental health.
“Community services are seeing a lot of stress-induced psychosis, or stress and anxiety due to people being at home on their own,” she said.
When the lockdown meant that Ms Rane experienced a lonely 25th birthday, she said it gave her an insight into the plight of isolated people.
As a result, she conceived the idea for a Facebook page that would enable people who visit to judge the state of their mental health by completing a survey.
The results would then be graded on a “traffic light” system, indicating just what level of help and support were required and available.
She ran the concept past her personal tutor Dr Ruth Elliot, senior lecturer in mental health nursing, who put her in touch with other students.
One of them, Nicky Haley, has worked with Ms Rane on creating the Facebook page, using a survey supplied by the university.
“Once people have taken the survey, the results will be green, amber or red,” said Ms Rane.
Green will indicate anxiety, or a low mood and the Facebook page will have resources to enable people to address their issues.
Meanwhile, amber will be a forum where people can share their experiences and discuss what helps them.
A red result will lead to the offer of an email, message or call and some one-to-one support and advice on how to access to mental health services if needed.
The Facebook page is titled HUDS Uni – it’s OK to not be OK and a team of students will be recruited to help with the responses, which the university noted marked a valuable opportunity for them.
“Some students are unable to go out and work on hospital wards because they are vulnerable to coronavirus themselves or have vulnerable people living at home, so we thought it this be a good way for them to get involved,” said Ms Rane.
The Facebook page is now up and running and although it is a response to Covid-19, it will remain relevant even after the passing of the pandemic, she added.
Nursing Times has launched a new campaign – Covid-19: Are you OK? – to highlight the mental health needs of nurses during and after the coronavirus pandemic.