Prioritising mental health during Coronavirus

Read our latest blog written by our Senior Communications Executive, Gina Francey. 

As a nation I think we are more aware of mental health and wellbeing than we ever have been. Over the last decade significant changes to social attitudes in response to mental health have improved and now every child in the country is taught about mental wellbeing and how to support one another.

Social media has played a big part in helping people open up and discuss mental health, from vloggers posting their own personal journeys to large scale Instagram campaigns such as #ImHereForYou and #ItsOkayNotToBeOkay.

However, that is not to say there has been a reduction in the number of people who suffer from mental health conditions or that we are necessarily becoming better at recognising those who may be struggling.

In 2018, 6,507 people committed suicide in the UK. A tough fact to swallow, but the reality is this was a large increase from the year before with 75% of the suicides recorded being committed by men.

Not only this, but 1 in 4 British workers are affected by common conditions such as anxiety depression and stress every year. However, taboos surrounding mental health in the workplace continue.

In a survey carried out with 2,000 people in 2019, 67% of employees admitted to not telling their employer about a mental health condition because they felt embarrassed or had fears that this would fundamentally impact their career.

What is clear is that we are still trying to understand mental health conditions and that many people still suffer in silence. So, as we continue to stay at home to adhere to the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown, what appears to be a big concern is the impact this will have on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Whilst the real effects of social distancing and the global pandemic is still yet to be realised, many have reported that they have been feeling more stressed, anxious or depressed during this period.

Another thing which remains troubling, is that those most susceptible to suicide, men between the ages of 45-49, are much more likely to live on their own compared to women of the same age group. Meaning they are more likely to be going through lockdown on their own.

That is why in the amidst of Mental Health Awareness Week (18th – 24th May), I wanted to share some information on the support charities and groups that are out there, should you or somebody you care about should need them.

We are all going through this together and nobody should feel they need to go through this alone.