09th October 2020

It is safe to say that World Mental Health Day 2020 is probably the most important one yet. This year has been a challenging one for us all. The months of lockdown have had a significant impact on our mental health.

According to research by mental health charity, Mind, a survey across 16,000 people showed more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health got worse during lockdown1. We know that many people have developed new mental health problems because of the pandemic and, for some of us, existing mental health problems have become compounded. Prioritising mental health has never been more important than it is now. So, this year it is about bringing everyone together on 10th October to mark World Mental Health Day and speak up.

Making positive changes can seem hard, especially during uncertain times. And sometimes, it can be hard to know where to start. Whether you want to take the first step towards getting some help or learn more about helping those around you, there is support out there. Some examples of the fantastic services available include:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/seeking-help-for-a-mental-health-problem/where-to-start/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/getting-help

https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-and-stigma/help-and-support

https://www.rethink.org/aboutus/what-we-do/advice-and-information-service/get-help-now/

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If someone is feeling anxious or worried, you do not need to be an expert on mental health to support them. The ‘Time To Change’ campaign proposes three top tips2:

1) Check in

If someone doesn’t feel ready to meet face-to-face, picking up the phone, having a video call, starting a group chat or messaging someone on social media lets them know you are there to talk and ready to listen.

2) Listen and reflect

Whether you have a mental health problem or not, this will be a challenging time for our mental health and wellbeing. If someone opens up to you, remember that you don’t need to fix things or offer advice. Often just listening and showing you take them seriously can help someone to manage.

3) Ask questions

Ask how people are managing, and ask again if you are worried that they are not sharing the full picture. Asking again, with interest, can help someone to open-up and explore what they are feeling.

With a growing mental health crisis in the UK, here at the Mission, we invest in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. Embedding this training into our organisation encourages people to talk more freely about mental health, promoting early intervention which enables recovery, reducing stigma and creating a positive culture.

References
1. https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/world-mental-health-day-2020/
2. https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/coronavirus