Covid-19 Advice

At this very difficult time, you may feel the need to seek advice. On this page, you can access numerous links to different websites offering advice

Abuse & Domestic Abuse Advice During COVID-19

Every person has a right to live their life free from violence, abuse, intimidation and fear.

There are many types of abuse: - domestic, exploitation, financial, neglect, physical, psychological, sexual, slavery, and spiritual abuse. Abusers can be someone close or a stranger.

During Covid isolation, more Women, men and children are suffering domestic abuse at the hands of husbands, wives, parents and other family members. Violence of this kind should never be tolerated or justified. It is an offence against the dignity of the human person.

If you feel you are being abused in any way at all please get assistance from the following as soon as you can.

Helplines and Information

St Columba’s Safeguarding Officers:
Harriet –
Sam –

Phone the Police - If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the head set.

If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police. (NB Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.)

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

Seek help

Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge
Telephone: 0808 200 0247

Live Fear Free helpline (Wales)
Telephone: 0808 80 10 800

Men’s Advice Line
Telephone: 0808 801 0327

Rape Crisis (England and Wales)
Telephone: 0808 802 9999

Respect phoneline
Telephone: 0808 802 4040

Galop (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people)
Telephone: 0800 999 5428

Women’s Aid Federation (Northern Ireland)
Telephone: 0800 917 1414

Karma Nirvana
Karma Nirvana runs a national honour-based abuse helpline.
Telephone: Telephone: 0800 5999 247

Hestia provides a free mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages about identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.

Imkaan are a women’s organisation addressing violence against black and minority women and girls.

Southall Black Sisters
Southall Black Sisters offer advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse.

Stay Safe East
Stay Safe East provides advocacy and support services to disabled victims and survivors of abuse.

SignHealth provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL).Telephone: 020 3947 2601
Text, Whatsapp or Facetime: 07970350366

Shelter provide free confidential information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres
Sexual Assault Referral Centres provide advice and support services to victims and survivors of sexual assault or abuse.

Support for children and young people

Telephone: 0808 800 5000


Telephone: 0800 1111

Support if you think you may be an abuser

Respect is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. The helpline also takes calls from (ex)partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.
Telephone: 0808 802 4040

Live Chat Services

The service will now run from 3 pm – 6 pm Monday – Friday. Additionally, the team will run a chat dedicated to answering questions from professionals, agencies and workers from 10 am – 12 noon on weekdays.

Women’s Aid
This service runs on Monday to Friday from 10am – 2pm

What can Catholics do to protect their mental health during the Coronavirus?

A healthy and nourished spiritual life is central to mental health and wellbeing. For Catholics, attending Mass on Sundays and during the week is a source of mental and spiritual strength, as well as a social and community activity. This section will briefly explore some ways in which we can keep up a healthy spiritual life during times of social distancing and isolation.

Public Masses were suspended in England and Wales from Friday 20 March until further notice. This will be a cause of distress and disruption to Catholics, but we are lucky to live in a time when technology can be a great help for the development of our spiritual lives.

The Catholic Truth Society has put together a helpful list of suggestions for several ways in which you can nourish your mental health and spiritual life during this time. You can find the full list and more information here, but here are a few key points:

As Catholics, we know the importance of going to Sunday Mass which is why the Church tells us that not going is a grave sin. However, this does not include those who are physically unable to get to Mass through no fault of their own. This means if you are unwell, in self-isolation, or for some other reason you cannot get to Mass, you are not committing a sin because in those instances you are not required to attend Mass.

Coping with OCD during Coronavirus

Coronavirus will present a unique challenge to those who live with OCD, especially in the form of scrupulosity (a form of OCD involving religious or moral obsessions). Indeed, the charity OCD Action has reported an increase in support requests from people whose fears have become focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

For people with OCD and some types of anxiety, being constantly told to wash your hands can be especially difficult to hear. It could also be difficult to identify which behaviours are 'acceptable' and recommended, and which are driven by the OCD and anxiety. OCD Action has published some helpful guidelines about how to manage your OCD during this time. The full list and more information can be found here.

Scrupulosity is something which Catholic living with OCD might struggle with during the coronavirus pandemic. Scrupulous individuals are overly concerned that something they thought or did might be a sin or other violation of religious or moral doctrine. In particular, not being able to attend Mass might be a cause of concern and worry for Catholics with OCD. As we stated earlier, it is important to remember that you are not committing a sin by not attending Mass during the pandemic. There are many ways in which you can maintain a healthy spiritual life, listed above.

For more information on scrupulosity and how it may be treated, please see this factsheet from the International OCD Foundation Reading this alongside OCD Action’s guidelines on Coronavirus might be helpful if you are a Catholic struggling with your OCD during this time.

News and Social Media

At times like this it is of course important to keep up to date with health information and advice; however, rolling news is not always helpful, and can contribute to mental ill health, including feelings of anxiety and depression. Here are some pointers for how to look after your mental health while keeping up to date with the news:

Support and Helplines on Mental Health

An extensive list of mental health support and helplines can be found on the Helplines page of the Catholic Mental Health Project website, by clicking here.

Organisations mentioned in this document:

Anxiety UK

Phone: 08444 775 774

OCD Action

Phone: 0845 390 6232
Skype: 0303 040 1112.

OCD Action recommends that if you are currently in therapy for OCD, try contacting your therapist or service provider and ask if they offer skype/phone sessions instead of face-to-face appointments. 


The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health (BBC)

Catholic Truth Society: Weekly Blog

Hozana: Social Prayer Platform

Ignatian Spirituality

The International OCD Foundation

OCD Action and Coronavirus

Top tips to promote resilience whilst at home during COVID-19

Whether you are self-isolating for medical needs or socially distancing, being at home all day can be stressful. It is important that we stay physically and emotionally well during this time.

Here are ten things you can do:
  1. Be up to date. Know what the latest is, using reliable sources such as: & - Try to limit how much news you watch / read to once or twice a day.

  2. Be active. Great for mind and body. Find ways to keep physically active that are suitable to your ability and circumstances e.g. gardening or home-based exercise

  3. Be connected. Know who you need to stay in contact with for help with getting things done or just a general chat; this could include family, friends, local community or faith groups. Find new ways to connect with them such as video calling.

  4. Be prepared. Think about what you are going to need and make a plan. You can make daily, weekly, and monthly plans to help get the things you need, e.g food, medicines, magazines.

  5. Be in a routine. Develop a new daily routine that works for you, this could include regular waking up and bedtimes, planned mealtimes, and time to be physically active.

  6. Be occupied. Now is a great time to get on with your current interests or explore new ones. You could try a hobby that you used to enjoy but haven’t had the time for.

  7. Be helpful. See how you can support others. Whether it’s someone you know or volunteering to support people locally, there are lots of ways to get involved with your community even from home.

  8. Be relaxed. Try a relaxation or meditation exercise that works for you and practice it once a day for at least 10 minutes.

  9. Be heard. Talk to friends, family or community and faith groups about how you are feeling. Writing things down can help to organise your thoughts. Living through a piece of global history could be a great time to start a diary!

  10. Be positive. Try to look for the positives in the situation e.g. having some extra me time or having the opportunity to catch up with something you have been meaning to do.