No one could have prepared themselves for the events that have occurred this year. Those with existing mental health needs may be finding the global pandemic particularly difficult; and others may have developed mental health conditions as a result of the dramatic lifestyle changes that occurred as a result of the pandemic.
We are all facing uncertain times. With thousands of people losing their jobs, businesses closing down, not being able to see those who we love and care about, not being able to have visitors in hospitals, new parents not being able to attend scans together and in many cases the labour and of course losing so many people as a direct result of the virus.
I for one can say that my mental health has been on one hell of a rollercoaster this year. I have seen more ups and downs than ever before. I do not tend to discuss my own mental health much, in person, or here on the blog. However, lately I have found that talking about how I am feeling, with the people whom I trust, has been quite relieving. One of the main reasons why I started this blog, three years ago, was to show people that they are not alone and to provide a safe, non-judgemental place for them to open up with someone about their mental health. This still stands, now more than ever! Our emails and social media inboxes are always open if you need someone to talk to, or if you need some advice and/or guidance.
Back in March, when we first went into lockdown here in the UK, Young Minds Charity conducted a survey with 2036 young people in regards to their mental health. The people involved in the survey each had a history of mental health needs. When asked whether they believe that the pandemic had made their mental health worse, 32% of the participants agreed. However, when this survey was repeated between the beginning of June and the beginning of July, this had increased to 41%. Most of the respondents spoke about having increased feelings of anxiety, loss of coping mechanisms and loss of motivation.
According to recent research conducted by Mind Charity, over 60% of adults have stated that their mental health has decreased during the pandemic.
In the repeated survey by Young Minds (June-July, 2020), among over 1000 young people who were accessing support in the three months leading up to the crisis, 31% stated that they were no longer able to access this support, even though they still needed it.
11% of young people stated that their mental health had improved during the crisis (up by 6% since the previous survey), they felt as though this was as a result of being taken away from the usual pressures of everyday life (such as excessive work loads, bullying and academic pressures).
Mind Charity set out to find what was causing people’s mental health to deteriorate during the pandemic. They shared their findings by showing us what the top five concerns were for both adults and young people’s mental health during the pandemic:
1. Being unable to see family, friends or partners that they didn’t live with (79%)
2. Feeling anxious about family or friends getting coronavirus (74%)
3. Not being able to go outside except for essential reasons (73%)
4. Feeling bored/restless (69%)
5. Feeling anxious about gettingcoronavirus (66%)
1. Feeling bored/restless (83%)
2. Not being able to see friends (80%)
3. Not being able to go outside except for essential reasons (76%)
4. Feeling lonely (72%)
5. Feeling anxious about family or friends getting coronavirus (64%)
Mental health is more important than ever before. We need to be checking in on our loved ones as well as taking extra care of ourselves during these difficult times. If you are able to donate to a mental health charity, please please do so! They are all under added strain at the moment, but that does not mean that they are any less willing to help those in need.
Have Hope Always,
If you need someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to contact us. On the other hand, here are some incredible charities who advocate for mental health as well as some who offer support services: