The United Nations have published an article on the 12th of May 2020, to warn about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in Europe.
Research carried out across various countries has indicated that feelings of stress, deep sadness and anxiety have increased significantly over the last months. Social isolation, changed daily routines, restrictions in free movement, and (a fear of) losing income, health and loved ones have all significantly impacted mental wellbeing. On the longer run, the UN expects that this will increase the number of cases of drugs- and alcohol abuse, self-harm, and suicide. Although it will require additional research to understand the full scope and severity of this collective mental health challenge, the UN already warns that governments should regard mental wellbeing as a priority in their recovery plans.
Chances are that, working as a coach or mentor, you may have been – or will be - confronted with clients with mental challenges. And therefore, it’s even more important today than it ever was before to really understand the boundaries of the support that you can offer as a coach or a mentor to your clients. Most coaches and mentors are well trained to help their clients deal with and overcome a certain level of fear and anxiety, but most aren’t trained as mental health professionals. And if you aren’t, then you must ensure to refer any clients in need of mental healthcare to qualified professionals.
If you aren’t sure about those boundaries, we urge you to read this whitepaper, published by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), which contains clear guidelines for referring clients to therapy.