A new coronavirus symptom, help us keep streets clean, it's time to be kind + more

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Be kind to yourself and each other

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) and in these unprecedented times, it brings a timely reminder about the importance of looking after your mental wellbeing. 

From people staying at home to key workers or those shielding, the pandemic has caused stress and uncertainty for many of us.

There are a host of mental health and wellbeing resources on our website to help residents at this time, including the NHS Every Mind Matters guide.

We're also sharing ideas and tips on Facebook and Twitter this week, based on the five ways to wellbeing: connect, be active, take notice, learn and give. 

This year’s MHAW theme is kindness, so we’re also encouraging you to think about if there’s anything you can do to spread kindness in the community.

Perhaps you can help a neighbour, send a letter to a relative, or share a story of kindness on social media using the hashtag #TowerHamletsTogether. Random acts of kindness may cheer someone up when they need it, and may lift your mood too.

Random acts of kindness >

Talking Therapies

Talk to someone if your mental health is suffering

The uncertainty and dramatic shift in routine at the moment is affecting us all and understandably having an impact on some people’s mental health. Everyone responds differently so this Mental Health Awareness Week, take a moment to see how you’re doing.

If you're struggling, you do not need to face your worries alone.

  • Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies can help, with sessions available over the phone or online. They also have a series of free webinars which cover a wide range of topics, including coping with self-isolation.
  • Mind in Tower Hamlets and Newham has brought its services online, offering one to one and group mental health support, counselling and information and advice over the phone, email or by video call. The team has also put together support on bereavement, employment and working from home.
  • If you're experiencing a mental health emergency, the Tower Hamlets mental health crisis line is available 24 hours a day on 020 7771 5807, with professionals on call to help.

Talking therapies >

Stay 2m apart

Keep your distance to stop the spread

We hope you're enjoying the sunshine if you can, but please remember to respect the government guidelines when you're outside.

Keeping two metres away from others outside your household remains vital to stop the spread of coronavirus, although you can now go outside more often and meet one person in public as long as you keep your distance.

Don't forget to stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun and when you get home, wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  

Latest guidelines >


Loss of taste or smell? Self-isolate

The government has announced this week that suffering a change or loss of taste and smell is now recognised as a symptom of coronavirus.

If you or anyone in your household suffers this symptom, a new continuous cough or fever, you should stay at home to stop the spread in line with the government’s self-isolation guidance.

This means you should stay at home for seven days, or longer if you still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell. If you live with anyone else, they should also stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.

Read more >

Thank a Teacher Day

Get creative and tell us why your teacher is the best

Like many key workers and others, teachers are working incredibly hard at the moment. Tomorrow (Wednesday 20 May) is National Thank a Teacher Day, so it's a great chance to make teachers feel appreciated.

Support your children to record a short video, draw a picture of their favourite teacher or write a simple or creative message of thanks. Then you can share your contributions to @TowerHamletsNow on Twitter using the hashtag #ThankATeacher. Don’t forget to tell us the name of your teacher and your school!

Find out more >

Keep TH Tidy

Help us keep the borough clean and tidy

We're reintroducing our online request form that enables residents to request a sprucing up of streets in their area.

The form can be accessed on our website and can be used to report flytipping, flyposting, graffiti, overflowing litter bins, animal fouling or to request a street clean.

We are facing an unprecedented challenge to provide services while we respond to coronavirus, so please bear with us as we deal with your requests as quickly as we can.

Request street cleaning >

BBC Asian Network videos

BBC presenters share messages in many languages

To support some of our the country's diverse communities, TV and radio presenters have recorded messages in multiple Asian languages to help people protect themselves and others from coronavirus.

The videos aim to support people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds by informing them of the latest guidelines. So far, messages have been released in Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Sylheti, Gujurati and Tamil.

If you know someone in Tower Hamlets who may feel more comfortable hearing these messages in their mother tongue, please do share.

Watch online >

Coronavirus: useful links

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Updates in other languages

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