It has sadly been well-documented how the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have affected people’s mental health.

Isolation, job losses, fear, and grief have all been contributors to worsening mental health for many people.

According to research by charity Mind after the first national lockdown, more than two thirds of people with mental health problems who shared their experiences said their mental health got worse.

Cygnus Support has offered counselling and coaching sessions for people living in Northumberland for over 35 years.

Its main centre is based in Ashington, but also works from hubs across the county, including in Hexham.

Although face-to-face support has had to stop for safety reasons during the pandemic, Cygnus is still able to provide sessions remotely via telephone and video conferencing.

As well as one-to-one counselling, it also has a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) digital platform which offers therapeutic modules for people to work through.

The organisation has launched a new listening service helpline (0808 196 3933), open for four hours a day Monday - Friday, which can help give people support and advice they need in that moment.

Lucy Taylor, helpline counsellor at Cygnus, said: “We have seen a great result with our telephone and video conferencing.

“We have not had an interruption in our service.”

She encouraged people who are struggling to reach out.

“We are able to offer support in such a wide variety of ways,” Lucy said.

People can call 01670 853977 or visit for more information on the services it provides as well as the link to a self-referral form.

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind has also launched a new support line after it saw an increase in calls due to the impact of Covid-19. It will run until March 31 from 8am to 8pm. People can contact 0191 4774545 or visit for more details on other services the charity offers.

Talking Matters Northumberland also offers free psychological treatment for people aged 16 and over who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health related problems. Call 0300 303 0700 or visit for more information.

Further support is also on its way to the area.

Anxious Minds is an award-winning charity which provides mental health support, with its main office in North Tyneside.

However, it has recently bought acres of land in Prudhoe’s woodlands and will be opening a new outdoor therapy centre there.

The centre will provide support for veteran families, but also to the wider community.

Eddie Dean, founder and chief officer of Anxious Minds, said: “We want to get as many people as possible involved.”

Eddie said people would be able to try different activities, including talking therapies and mindful group exercises.

“A lot of people don’t want to talk,” Eddie said. But he added getting outdoors and away in a new environment could help people.

It is so important for people to reach out for help and to talk to each other not only during the pandemic, but also going forward.

In an emergency, people should call 999.

If you’re in a crisis and need to speak to someone, call NHS 111 (for when you need help but are not in immediate danger), or contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email

Shout also provides 24/7 instant support in a crisis. Text 85258.