The Ministry of Social Affairs offers assistance with on-line chat and a phone number where immigrants can call during weekdays. They answer in 8 languages and it is free of charge.
If you are anxious or need counselling, you can always contact the 1717 Red Cross Helpline or Online chat.
The Red Cross has a Polish-speaking responder, both by telephone and online chat on Thursdays between 20:00 and 23:00.
The service is free of charge for everyone.
Counselling is available for issues such as:
· anxiety, loneliness, depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm
· trauma, grief and mental difficulties
· financial difficulties, school-related difficulties, housing difficulties and loss of employment
· relationship difficulties and prejudice
· bullying and harassment
· child protection issues
· sexual, emotional and/or physical abuse
· health issues, substance abuse or dependency
Support relating to wellbeing
You can obtain information on entitiesthroughout Iceland who can help you with problems relating to your wellbeing.
The public health division of the Directorate of Health has issued these 10 guidelines for health and wellbeing. The advice has also been translated into English and Polish.
Pamphlet on how to deal with worries and anxiety in the time of COVID-19. See English version and other languages, including Polish.
Pamphlet with good advice for parents and guardians.
Information on heilsuvera.is about wellbeing, communication, loneliness and stress.
Manual on cognitive behavioural therapy, developed by Reykjalundur staff in themental health department.
Video on worries and anxiety, remedies and what to do, longer version and shorter version.
When do worries become an issue?
Everyone worries, and thinking ahead can help us plan for the future and deal with upcoming situations. It is oftendifficult to determine when worries have become excessive. In the presentsituation, worries are normal. However, if worrying has become excessive andhas started to control your life, e.g. if your worries cause anxiety or sleepissues, it is important to seek measures to feel better and limit the time spent on worrying.
How do I manage my worries?
Balance your everyday life. Psychologists see wellbeing as a combination of activities that spark joy and closeness and make people feel a sense accomplishment. Communication isrecommended; however, new methods need to be implemented to keep the recommended distance when socialising, such as video chats and other kinds of online communication.
We must ensure that worries are reserved for real problems and not possible problems. If we worry about many possible future problems, it is important that we remind ourselves that the mind is occupied with problems we cannot solve at this time. Subsequently, it is helpful to find ways to relieve the worries and focus on something else.
Practice puttingworries on hold. Worries can be relentless and cause you to feel theneed to respond immediately. By practicing putting worries about possible problems on hold, you can often gain new insights and understanding in regard to your worries. In practice, it is all about taking the time daily (e.g. 15–30minutes) to think about your worries and then try to let go of such thoughts atother times.
Write down negative thoughts. A good way to reduce your worries is to write down any thoughts that arenegative or which cause you anxiety and then to speculate on possiblesolutions.
Use mindfulness. Learning mindfulness and practicing mindfulness exercises can help to release worry and focus the mind on the present. Full attention on your breath or environmental sounds canbe an anchor for directing the attention to the present and relieving worry.
Exercise. Daily exercise isvital for mental, physical and social health and wellbeing. Regular exercise is not only important for preventing numerous diseases, but it also providesmental and physical strength to engage in daily tasks and promotes better sleeppatterns and rest in general.
Wellbeing and children
As for other age groups, the pandemic is a significant challenge. Here you can find a range of information relating to education, recreation and care during the pandemic.
· Detailed information for parents and children may be found on the website of the Directorate of Health.
· Information on the coronavirus for children and young people – Ombudsman for Children
· What is the coronavirus? – Ombudsman for Children
· The coronavirus: FAQs – Ombudsman for Children
· How do I explain the coronavirus to children? – Ombudsman for Children
· Information on the coronavirus ineasily readable format – the National Association of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities
· Preschools and children– Instructions prepared by the Directorate of Health
· Hello, my name is Corona – material for children –Guðlaug Marion Mitchison, psychologist
· My Hero is You – a children’s book prepared by experts to read with children about the global pandemic.
· Krakkafréttir (news programme for children) has discussed the virus and the pandemic in an interesting and up-beat manner. Children also attended an information meeting held by the CivilProtection Authority and asked a number of interesting questions.
Krakkafréttir March 2020
Krakkafréttir 29 September 2020
Krakkafréttir 30 September 2020
Krakkafréttir 1 October 2020
· Children with special care needs in quarantine, instructions for parents/guardians – Directorate of Health
· Children in quarantine – Instructions and suggestions for guardians – Directorate of Health