Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people who were on the Highest Risk List

Advice to help people who were on the Highest Risk List make informed decisions and access support services.

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Support with mental health, wellbeing and loneliness

If you’re struggling, remember you can always talk to your GP or someone in your clinical team.

There are resources available on NHS Inform to help you stay calm and relaxed.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call one of these free services:

  • NHS 24: call 111 if you need urgent support for your mental or emotional health. Open 24 hours a day
  • Breathing Space: call 0800 83 85 87 for a free, confidential, phone service for anyone in Scotland over 16. If you’re experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety, Breathing Space provides a safe and supportive space, listening, offering advice and providing information. Open Monday to Thursday: 6pm to 2am and Friday to Monday: 6pm to 6am 
  • Samaritans: call 116 123 for confidential emotional support if you're in distress or despair. Open 24 hours a day
  • British Red Cross Helpline: call 0808 196 3651 if you're feeling lonely, worried, or are having difficulty accessing food or medication. Support is available in more than 200 languages. Open every day from 10am to 6pm


  • the Scottish Association for Mental Health website has further resources and support
  • the Clear Your Head website has more information to help you cope as restrictions ease and for advice on how you can support other people who you think might be struggling
  • the Young Scot website has support and information for children and young adults

Support to help if you’re feeling lonely or isolated

Connecting With You is a free service run by the British Red Cross. It’s available to all people aged 18 or over in Scotland who are experiencing issues associated with loneliness.

We know when you were on the Highest Risk List may have meant you experienced loneliness or difficulty keeping up your connections more than other people. Many of you have told us about how isolating you found shielding. We also know that you may now be finding it hard to get back to doing the things you did before, and meeting the people you met before. Connecting with You aims to help you rebuild your independence.

How to use the service

To arrange a phone conversation about what kind of support would be most helpful to you, contact the British Red Cross:

Types of support

Support will depend on your needs and what is available in your area. It could include things like:

  • weekly phone calls to check in with you
  • online support
  • in-person meetings, if you’re comfortable with these
  • support getting into new or old hobbies and interests
  • help meeting new people, or getting back in touch with people you already know
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