Safeguarding at the Cathedral

Mental Health in the CV-19 Crisis

What can Catholics do to protect their mental health during the Coronavirus?


This document provides some advice and suggestions on how Catholics can protect their mental health during the challenging time we face due to Coronavirus.


Mental health and your spiritual life


A healthy and nourished spiritual life is central to mental health and wellbeing. For Catholics, attending Mass on Sundays and during the week is a source of mental and spiritual strength, as well as a social and community activity. This section provides some ideas for sustaining a healthy spiritual life during times of social distancing and isolation.


Public Masses have been suspended in England and Wales until further notice. This will cause distress and disruption to Catholics, but we live in a time when technology can help.


The Catholic Truth Society has put together a helpful list of suggestions through which you can nourish your mental health and spiritual life during this time:


  • Make a Spiritual Communion
    Spiritual Communion is the heartfelt desire to receive Our Lord, even when we are unable because of the distance or for some other reason.
  • Watch Mass
    Many dioceses are providing information about livestreamed Masses in parishes. For more information on parishes live-streaming Mass online, visit Churchservices.TV or the  Catholic Bishops’ Conference
  • Read the Mass readings of the day
    When you can’t attend Mass, you can follow the prayers and readings of the Mass at home.  These can be found on the Parish website.
  • Meditate on the Mass readings
    Spend time meditating on the Mass readings to discern what God might be telling you through them. There is a guide for how to do this on Ignatian
  • Join an online community praying together daily
    It is more important than ever to join together in prayer and utilise technology to form communities so that no one is isolated. The CTS will be posting prayers every day on


As Catholics, we know the serious obligation of attending Sunday Mass, and that not going without good reason is a grave sin. However, this does not include those who are physically unable to get to Mass through no fault of their own. If you are unwell, in self-isolation, or for some other reason you cannot get to Mass, you are not committing a sin because in those instances you are not required to attend Mass.


Coping with OCD during Coronavirus 


Coronavirus will present a unique challenge to those who live with OCD, especially in the form of scrupulosity (a form of OCD involving religious or moral obsessions). Indeed, the charity OCD Action has reported an increase in support requests from people whose fears have become focused on the coronavirus pandemic.


Some people with OCD and some types of anxiety may find it difficult to identify which behaviours are ‘acceptable’ and recommended, and which are driven by the OCD and anxiety. OCD Action has published some helpful guidelines about how to manage your OCD during this time.


Scrupulous individuals are overly concerned that something they thought or did might be a sin or other violation of religious or moral doctrine. In particular, not being able to attend Mass might be a cause of concern and worry for Catholics with OCD.


Remember that you are not committing a sin by not attending Mass during the pandemic. There are many ways in which you can maintain a healthy spiritual life, listed above.


Further information is available on:

International OCD Foundation    …..   OCD Action and Coronavirus


Anxiety UK … Phone: 08444 775 774


OCD Action

(if you are currently in therapy, contact your therapist/service provider first)

Phone: 0845 390 6232
Skype: 0303 040 1112


News and Social Media


Here are some ideas for looking after your mental health while keeping up to date with the news:

  • Check in with the news just two or three times a day.
  • Stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information such as government and NHS websites.
  • Take some time away from social media if you are feeling anxious.
  • Mute WhatsApp groups and hide Facebook and other social media posts and feeds if you find them overwhelming.
  • Talk to someone if you feel that you can’t manage your anxiety alone. Support helplines are listed below.

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