Psychiatrist looks forward to resuming face-to-face sessions and stresses importance of maintaining good mental health

By Chelsea Centkowski

A Leicester-based psychiatrist who is currently having to run sessions via phone cannot wait to get back to face-to-face appointments with his patients.

Will Key, 23, of Narborough Road, Leicester, used to spend his days travelling to several GP surgeries to speak to his patients but, when the pandemic led to the country’s third national lockdown, he had to transfer to phone sessions.

“I go in to work every week because I have to use the surgery phones to speak to the patients, but I find phone sessions difficult because I feel like I can’t give my patients as much support and care as I would like to,” Will explained.

He is looking forward to returning to work and being face-to-face with his patients, which should resume when lockdown restrictions are lifted.

At the moment, however, he can still arrange face-to-face appointments if a patient really wants one.

“When a patient requests a face-to-face, we have to sit two metres apart and both wear masks throughout the session. They usually last between 45 minutes to an hour, and they are really helpful for myself and also my patients as we can address each issue and work through it together.”

He also expressed how important it is for people to focus on their mental wellbeing and to reach out for help when it is needed.

“These lockdowns have made it incredibly hard for everyone to keep their mental health on track and being stuck inside all day and unable to see friends and family makes us feel extremely isolated, which can have a serious impact on our mental health.

“All we can do at the moment is keep in touch with loved ones over the phone and over social media, find things to keep our minds busy, such as picking up new hobbies, or taking our daily exercise outside to get some fresh air.

“However, if it does get to a certain point, reaching out to friends and family or any mental health helpline such as the Samaritans can make a huge difference.”

If you feel like you need help, call Samaritans on 116 132.

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