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.
St Columba’s Safeguarding Officers:
Sam – firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by
Telephone: 0808 200
Live Fear Free helpline (Wales)
Telephone: 0808 80 10
Men’s Advice Line
Telephone: 0808 801
Rape Crisis (England and Wales)
Telephone: 0808 802
Telephone: 0808 802
Galop (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
Telephone: 0800 999 5428
Women’s Aid Federation (Northern Ireland)
0800 917 1414
runs a national honour-based abuse helpline.
Telephone: 0800 5999 247
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.
online help and resources in a number of languages about identifying
manipulative situations and how friends can support those being
are a women’s organisation addressing violence against black
and minority women and girls.
Southall Black Sisters
offer advocacy and information to Asian and
Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse.
Stay Safe East
provides advocacy and support services to disabled
victims and survivors of abuse.
provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British
Sign Language (BSL).Telephone: 020 3947 2601
Text, Whatsapp or
provide free confidential information, support and legal advice
on all housing and homelessness issues.
Sexual Assault Referral Centres
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
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
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
This service runs on Monday to
Friday from 10am – 2pm https://chat.womensaid.org.uk/
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
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:
Make a Spiritual Communion - Spiritual Communion is
the heartfelt desire to receive Our Lord, even when we are unable
because of the distance or for some other reason.
Watch Mass -
Alessandro is livestreaming Mass every Sunday at 10am on the joint
. In addition to this, many dioceses are providing information about live-streamed Masses
parishes. You may also like to visit the website of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales for more information
on parishes live-streaming Mass online: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/
Live Mass for the Sick, their Families and Care-givers -
Masses for the sick, their families, care workers and NHS staff will
be celebrated by one of our Bishops in his Cathedral
Thursday at 7pm
Click to see the
Read the Mass readings of the day - you can follow the
prayers and readings of the Mass at home.
on the Mass readings
discerning what God might be telling you through them, using Lectio
Divina, an ancient method of prayer. There is a guide for how to do
this on www.IgnatianSpirituality.com.
Watch a video of a priest preaching on the day’s
- listen to the day’s Mass readings and hear a
priest give a homily.
an online community praying together daily
It is more important than ever to join together in prayer and
utilise technology to form communities so that no one is isolated.
The CTS will be posting prayers every day on Hozana.
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
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,
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
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:
Limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching things
which aren't making you feel better. Perhaps decide on a specific
time to check in with the news;
Stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information
such as government and NHS websites, and updates from the World
Health Organisation (WHO);
Take some time away from news websites and social media if
you are feeling anxious;
Mute key words which might be triggering on Twitter and
unfollow or mute accounts
Mute WhatsApp groups and hide Facebook and other social media
posts and feeds if you find them overwhelming;
Talk to someone if you feel that you can’t manage your
anxiety alone. Support helplines are listed below.
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:
Phone: 08444 775 774
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
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and
Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health
Catholic Truth Society: Weekly Blog
Hozana: Social Prayer Platform
The International OCD Foundation
OCD Action and
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:
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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
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.
Be relaxed. Try a relaxation
or meditation exercise that works for you and practice it once a day
for at least 10 minutes.
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
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.