Looking after ourselves has never been more important than right now. The 'new normal' has changed the way we live, the way we work. We're missing family, friends and colleagues. We're using words like 'Covid-19', 'lockdown' and 'social distancing' at a time when we all need comfort the most.
The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is about kindness and looking out for each other. There is support for people who are finding life a struggle and who need a helping hand. No one should suffer in silence. Details and phone numbers of organisations and charities who can help are below.
One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times.
We have learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope.
The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing.
Beyond ourselves, our report reveals how inequality is rising in our society and its harmful effects on our health.
Life expectancy is falling for the poorest for the first time in 100 years. As child poverty rises, children and young people in the poorest parts of our country are two to three times more likely to experience poor mental health than those in the richest.
After the 2008 credit crunch it was the most vulnerable in our communities who experienced the severest consequences of austerity, with devastating effects on their mental and physical health. This not the hallmark of a kind society.
We must not make the same mistakes after this pandemic.
Coronavirus is affecting mental health in general - causing disruption, uncertainty and anxiety. It is also:
- Adding to specific triggers (e.g. food, hygiene)
- Undermining existing coping strategies
- Accentuating existing physical health problems
- Causing social deprivation and acute financial pressure
- Creating difficulties accessing support
- Putting people at risk of violence and abuse
Samaritans: Call free on 116 123 or visit the website
NHS 111: Non-emergency advice is available online (Only call 111 if you cannot get help online). People with hearing problems can use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) service.
MIND: Mind has tips and support on its website. Coronavirus and your wellbeing | Mind, the mental health...
Shout: Confidential 24/7 crisis text support. Text "SHOUT" to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line
Crisis Support For Young People: Under 35s. Call Papyrus's Hopeline UK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends. 0800 068 41 41. Text 07786 209697 or visit the Papyrus website
CALM: The Campaign Against Living Miserably, for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason. Call 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight). Free, anonymous webchat with trained staff or visit the CALM website.