Helping to build confidence in the Covid-19 vaccination

If you are an adult (aged 16 or over), living in Coventry and Warwickshire, with a severe mental illness, we want to encourage you to book an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccination. 

This will include people with:

    • a diagnosis of schizophrenia
    • a diagnosis of bipolar disorder
    • any mental health illness that causes severe functional impairment. This means any mental health problem that has a big impact on your daily life, and makes it hard to do day-to-day activities.

You could also be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine if you are a carer for someone with a severe mental illness.

What you can expect from the vaccination process

You will be invited to make an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccination

You may receive a letter, text or email or you might be contacted by the NHS or by your own GP.

You may also be able to book an appointment directly if you belong to another priority group – for example, if you are older than a certain age.

For more information on who can book a Covid-19 vaccination online see here.

If you think you have a serious mental illness but you have not been invited for a vaccination, you can contact your GP. Your GP should be able to tell you if you are already on a priority list. If not, they can discuss with you whether you can be added.

About the vaccination

The Covid-19 vaccination is free of charge. The NHS will not charge you for a vaccination and will not ask for your bank details.

You will need to receive two doses of the vaccine approximately 12 weeks apart.

When you book your appointment – have a pen and paper handy

Your letter, text or email will include details on how to book vaccinations either online or by phone.

You may be given the option to book your second appointment when you book your first appointment.

Your carer is able to book the appointments on your behalf.

You will be given a booking reference number – make a note of this number. You will need to take this with you on the day, along with the letter.

How you can ask for ‘reasonable adjustments’ to be made for your appointment

When you make your booking, ask to make a reasonable adjustment to your booking. Examples where this might be neccessary include:

      • A longer appointment time or one later in the day.
      • Somewhere quiet to sit while you wait for your appointment.
      • Asking if a carer/friend/peer support worker could accompany you to your appointment.
      • If you are housebound and not able to travel to a place that is providing vaccinations.
      • If you need a sign-language service.

When you attend your vaccination appointment

You can take a carer with you into your appointment if you need to.

All vaccination centres are Covid-19 safe and cleaned regularly. People will be socially distanced and you will need to wear a mask, unless you are exempt.

Your appointment should take around 30-45 minutes in all – including 15 minutes sitting down after receiving the vaccination.

On arrival at the centre there may be a queue. If you need to wait in a quiet space or require additional support, please let a member of staff know.

You might be given a form to fill in on arrival asking some basic questions, such as: your date of birth, contact details and NHS number. Your NHS number can be found on any medical records or prescriptions.

The person providing the vaccination will also ask you a few questions and talk through what to expect.

The Covid-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

If you have a phobia or are feeling anxious about this, let a member of staff know so that they can support you.

After you receive the vaccine you may be invited to sit down for about 15 minutes before going home. This is quite normal practice.

After the vaccination

Some people may have mild discomfort after getting the vaccine. This might include soreness in the arm, tiredness or aches. These don’t usually last for very long.

The first vaccine dose takes about two to three weeks to take effect. People who have received the vaccine need to continue to practice social distancing and comply with all the current regulations.

Listening to the experiences of others (videos)

Sometimes, it’s helpful to hear about others’ experience. These two short films talk about receiving the Covid-19 vaccine

Your physical health is really important: helping to make annual physical health checks more accessible

Our partner Grapevine has created a short survey to help understand the barriers that stop people with a severe mental illness from attending physcal health checks. Results from this survey will help Grapevine to make annual physical health checks more accessible to all.

For anyone aged 18 years and older.

Useful tips if you’re worried about your vaccine appointment

If you’re feeling worried or anxious about getting your Covid-19 vaccine, you could try some of these ideas:

Find out where your vaccination will be, so you know what to expect. It could be at a vaccination centre, a local health centre, a hospital or at your GP surgery.

Take someone with you. You can take a carer with you into your appointment if you need to.

Arrange something to look forward to afterwards. For example, this could be a nice meal, a chat with a friend or a film to watch.

Use relaxation techniques like focusing on your breathing, grounding techniques or distracting yourself with music or a book. See Mind’s pages on relaxation for more ideas.

Ask what support there is. Your GP should be able to tell you if there’s any flexibility in where you attend your appointment. At the appointment itself, the person giving you the vaccine may be able to use things like numbing cream if you are worried about pain or sensations.

Find out more about the vaccination from the NHS here.

Need help right now?

A safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. Call 116 123 at any time of the day or night for free.

A team of highly trained and experienced support workers who use counselling skills to provide you with emotional guidance and information. 24 hour helpline.

Call on:  0800 616171 from a landline

0300 330 5487 from a mobile phone.

Or text on 07786 202242.

SANEline is a national out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers.

Open every day of the year from 4.30pm to 10.30pm

Leave a message on 07984 967 708 giving your first name and a contact number, and one of the professionals or senior volunteers will call you back as soon as practicable. 

Email at support@sane.org.uk, and they will respond as soon as possible.

Coventry SafeHaven

Out-of-hours mental health support to anyone aged 18+ in the Coventry area. Support is currently provided by telephone. Open Monday to Sunday 6-11pm

Telephone:  07921 876065

Email:  coventryhaven.mhm@nhs.net

Warwickshire SafeHaven

Wellbeing practitioners will be available for face-to-face appointments*, by phone, video link, text message or email.* Face-to-face appointments should be booked. Please contact the Safe Haven staff between the hours of 6pm and 11pm who will arrange an appointment with you.

Open from 6pm to 11pm every evening. For anyone aged 16+ who is struggling.

Call on: 

(024) 7771 4554

Text (07970) 042270

Email safehaven@cwmind.org.uk