Our wellbeing webinar

C&I held its first service user and carer webinar - moving the popular Mental Health Matters series online because of social-distancing

The webinar was hosted by our Medical Director, Dr Vincent Kirchner, with Physical Health Lead, Christina Amin, who gave advice and answered questions during the live event.  There were lots of interesting points and areas of discussion around improving mental health and wellbeing, coping with the challenges of the pandemic.

There is a list of useful resources lower on this page and you can watch a recording of the webinar by clicking here

Message from Dr Vincent Kirchner:

I greatly enjoyed the webinar with service users. The questions were great, thank you so much for sending them. Sorry if we didn’t get to your question during the live event. I have tried to answer them in the text below.

  • There were many comments and questions about the pandemic feeling endless and the social distancing and lockdown being a real strain. I appreciate personally how this feels, but the pandemic will pass, we just don’t know when. The current evidence that a second wave is approaching is understandably making us all feel worried about the immediate future.
  • It is important that people do seek help for mental health problems. These problems, if anything, have got worse during the pandemic. There is a lot of evidence how, particularly the lockdown, has caused or aggravated people’s mental health.
  • We are seeing people face to face so please let your mental health worker know if you need to see them in person. The other options of video or phone contact will continue to be available. Not everyone has the skills or equipment to use technology so we are working hard to ensure everybody is able to access the services they need.
  • We are entering the flu season and it is vital that everyone who is eligible gets a vaccine. We will have a robust campaign for staff to get vaccinated so that we do not pass on flu to our service users and also to maintain staffing levels.
  • We had a question about the safety of swimming in Hampstead Ponds. I don’t know about Hampstead ponds, but it is safe to go swimming in a swimming pool provided the changing rooms and area around the pool are kept Covid-safe.
  • There was a question about staff testing. Staff are tested if they are symptomatic according to national guidelines. If there were an outbreak then all staff in that team would be tested. We await an increase in testing capacity that will allow us to test more.
  • It is important that we are all aware of the importance of nurturing our own wellbeing and mental health. That particularly applies to people who are shielding, those in vulnerable groups and anyone at increased risk of a mental health crisis. Please remind yourself that this will end eventually. Try to limit the amount of time you read or watch the news about Covid-19. Consider taking up a new hobby or activity that occupies your mind. Try to do some exercise – physical activity increases our health in general, including mental health. It is also important to develop good sleep habits and to eat well. You may also find mindfulness and relaxation exercises helpful. There are a range of coping strategies and different ones work for different people, so if one thing doesn’t work for you – don’t give up, please try something else!

Always remember that if you do need more support, we are here for you. Get in touch with your usual contact at the Trust, who will be best-placed to help.

You may find some of the resources below useful:

C&I Recovery College


The Recovery College runs a wide range of courses and have moved many of them online. They include sessions on mindfulness, exercise, food, growing plants, depression, coping with the festive season - and much more. You can see the full programme and enrol online.


One You


One You has been developed by Public Health England – there is a website and also several free apps that you can download from the App store. The One You suite includes a fitness programme with a range of simple exercises you can do at home, a plan to help you cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink and even a healthy eating app with great recipes. It also offers a Couch to 5K app which was developed with the BBC and you can choose from a range of celebrities whose voices encourage you to keep going and achieve your goals.

The section relating to mental health is called Every Mind Matters https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

It has a quiz that helps to assess your state of mind in quite a fun way, and then offers a programme to help you improve your mental wellbeing


NHS – Better Health 

https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/ - free NHS weight loss plan to help you start healthier eating habits, be more active and start losing weight.

The plan is broken down into 12 weeks so you can:

  • set weight loss goals
  • use the BMI calculator to customise your plan
  • plan your meals
  • make healthier food choices
  • get more active and burn more calories
  • record your activity and progress


Thrive LDN 


Thrive LDN is a citywide movement to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all Londoners. It is supported by the Mayor of London and led by the London Health Board partners. It is really comprehensive, there is a lot to read and several podcasts you can listen to. It also has links to a lot of resources and organisations for specific groups, such as young people or people who are LGBTQ+


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