Dr Ava Easton, the Chief Executive of the Encephalitis Society, speaks to Dr Bonnie-Kate Dewar and Dr Jessica Fish about mental health and wellbeing following the Covid19 outbreak. (Recorded on April 28).

Dr Bonnie-Kate Dewar and Dr Jessica Fish both form part of our Scientific Advisory Panel which includes a range of experts from a wide range of neurology and immunology to, in the case of Jess and Bonnie-Kate, psychology and neuropsychology.


3m30s - Have you worked with many encephalitis patients and what did that work involve?

6m18s -We are obviously talking during an unprecedented moment in our lifetimes, how have you and your colleagues been coping? 

9m11s - How have your working days changed during the Covid-19 pandemic? 

12m17s - Dr Benedict Michael was talking last week about how the public support for the NHS has been particularly comforting and inspiring to him personally and to his colleagues. Have there been any moments which have stood out to you? 


15m04s - We’re now entering our sixth week of lock down, social distancing and for some social isolation. Has anything stuck you about how the nation as a whole has been coping? 

19m10s - Is there a lot of current research being undertaken looking at the impact of social distancing and lockdown on the general public? 

20m57s - Coronavirus has affected all aspects of our lives and the constant news about the pandemic can feel never-ending. Not only is it impacting our physical health but it is taking its toll on some people's mental health too. Staying at home, social distancing and self-isolating are crucial in stopping the spread of COVID-19, but they can affect us psychologically. Why does that happen and what are the types of things people might notice that might suggest they are experiencing stress during this time?

25m06s - Do you think these feelings be magnified for people post-encephalitis? 

26m40s - Not only is the threat of a new virus scary, many people are also facing stressful life challenges. What type of behaviours, activities and ways of being can people adopt to strengthen and improve their mental health and wellbeing?

36m02s - It can be hard to escape the constant barrage of bad news in the media too, which can add to feelings of stress and anxiety. In addition, we have all had to migrate and spend a lot more time online, some of that will undoubtedly be on various social media. Do you have any tips about managing ourselves online to help people reduce any burden they might be experiencing?

41m09s - Certainly demand for our support service has been going through the roof since the lockdown began. We’ve had calls from people who are struggling with feelings of isolation.

42m50s - One thing we are expecting is that the strain on carers will also increase, mainly because they will not have the respite that they normally would. What would you suggest to carers who are in a situation where they are living with someone who needs support? 

46m28s - Some of our viewers may be frontline staff – what can they do and to cope with the stresses and trauma of the frontline work?

49m27s - What would your Top 3 recommendations be to people generally for them to maintain their mental wellbeing during this time?

51m41s -  I can’t let you go Bonnie-Kate without asking about your mammoth fundraising event  - cycling from London to Brighton in support of the Encephalitis Society on September 13? 

Sponsor Dr Bonnie-Kate Dewar

53m50s - As we bring this podcast to a close is there anything else that you'd like to say? 

Useful Resources