With National Conversation Week and Mental Health Awareness week around us, we thought it was apt to discuss the topic of community, reaching out and support. The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is ‘kindness’. What an amazingly apt theme considering all the goodwill and feel good stories circulating at the moment highlighting communities and families coming together to support each other during these challenging times.
Loneliness is something that can affect all of us, however, it can be especially prevalent in the elderly and vulnerable. According to Age UK, there are over 2.5million over 75s living alone, with over 1 million admitting that they sometimes go over a month without talking to a loved one or a friend. Anxieties and worries can be heightened during times of change and uncertainty, there are many ways to support others during this crisis, Time to Change have some great ideas: visit https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/coronavirus .
With the theme of kindness in mind, why not reach out to a loved one, neighbour or friend that you have not spoken to in a while? Research by the British Red Cross and Co-Op in 2016 revealed that out of the 9 million people in Britain who admitted to feeling lonely, around two thirds felt uncomfortable saying it out loud and admitting it. As a community this means that we can take the first step to combatting loneliness by reaching out to those around us.
If you are feeling lonely, vulnerable or are struggling with the change and uncertainty of the current times then there are many ways to receive support and guidance. Below you can find a selection of links to organisations and charities that can help:
For advice on helping loved one who you think may be struggling, visit the NHS website for guidance on how to help: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/helping-others/
To talk to someone about your mental health and receive support, contact Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/
To read stories about people living with mental health problems or reach out for help, you can contact Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/
For help specific to our senior community, contact The Silver Line: https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/
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