A new online programme of stress control classes has been developed to support people during the response to coronavirus (COVID-19), recognising the need to stay at home, while also recognising the impact that the pandemic and changes to our lifestyles is having on mental health.
The free online stress control classes are being supported by the Department of Health, Health and Social Care Board, Health and Social Care Trusts and Public Health Agency and are aimed at supporting people’s mental wellbeing at this time of massive uncertainty.
The classes, presented by Dr Jim White, a clinical psychologist, will be available at www.stresscontrol.org. Simply click on the subscribe button and you will be kept up to date with the latest videos when logged in to YouTube. The classes can be watched either in the afternoon or evening and each class lasts for one and a half hours.
These gold standard sessions are very effective in helping to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
Professor Hugo van Woerden, Director of Public Health at the Public Health Agency (PHA), said: “It is important we recognise how uncertainty and change to our lifestyles is impacting on people’s emotional wellbeing and we need to support people to manage the stressors they are now facing in their lives.
“This new programme of support is now available to help deal with feelings of anxiety, panic attacks, racing thoughts or problems sleeping. People are being encouraged to register for the new online version of the Stress Control classes which have been previously operating across Northern Ireland in physical venues for some time, but are now being provided free in the new format from Monday 13th April.”
Professor Nichola Rooney, Clinical Adviser, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and current Chair of the NI Division of Clinical Psychology added: “The online Stress Control classes are an excellent free resource to have access to during these uncertain times. People are experiencing emotions and feelings of stress they may never have encountered before. They may be feeling overwhelmed and would like some guidance on how manage their feelings and actions.”
“The classes are an innovation on a well-respected programme which teaches skills and techniques for managing stress. This programme has been used widely around the world. It has been adapted to be available online.”
“Topics covered include an overview of what stress is, controlling your body, your thoughts, controlling your actions, techniques to get a good night’s sleep. Stress control is a class, not ‘group therapy’. People can take part in the class from the privacy of their own home.”