For World Mental Health Day, this Saturday , October 10th, Samaritans are joining forces with Professor Siobhan O’Neill, interim Mental Health Champion NI, to get the message out: that our emotional health and well-being is just as important as good physical health.
With loneliness, isolation, illness, family, finances and unemployment being just some of our concerns, Samaritans theme this year is; Staying Connected. With Covid-19 causing separation from loved ones, jobs, friends and hobbies, it’s been harder for everyone to stay connected with oneself, let alone others.
“The outbreak is affecting the way many of us live; it therefore follows that this will impact people’s mental health – we need to understand that this is a normal response. It’s important to tackle the stigma around Mental Health, we all feel down, stressed or frightened at some point in our lives and most of the time those feelings pass. Sometimes however, they can develop into a more serious problem. Mental Health is the business of us all and it’s healthy to know and say how you’re feeling. Listening to others has never been more important,” explains Alan Heron, Regional Director Northern Ireland Samaritans.
Commenting ahead of World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Champion, Prof Siobhan ONeill, said; “We are without doubt going through tough times. The need to watch out for others who might be vulnerable and help them get support has never been more important, and with Covid restrictions ongoing, and the economy being hit across so many areas, the importance of caring for everyone’s mental health and wellbeing is paramount. As the new Mental Health Champion, I am already involved in key discussions and planning to ensure we are able to help people who are suffering as a result of mental health”.
Alan continues: “Many people are feeling more anxious and distressed than before the pandemic. Volunteer surveys, which have gathered over 3,000 responses, revealed the most common concerns related to coronavirus are loneliness, isolation, mental health, illness, family, finances and unemployment. These are perfectly natural human responses. It is vital that we learn to recognise this and feel enabled to talk about them.
Lockdown restrictions have had a huge impact on everyday life for many people, and our Samaritan volunteers continue to be a much-needed source of support. You do not have to feel alone, we are here for you 24/7”.
Find the signs and situations to look out for: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/if-youre-worried-about-someone-else/how-support-someone-youre-worried-about/
Steps to stay connected
Many people struggle to cope at one point or another, so it’s important to remember that you are not feeling alone and it is only temporary and will pass in time.
Talking about how you’re feeling can help put things into perspective and help you feel more positive about the future.
Simple things such as making time for yourself, relaxing and doing things you enjoy at home, whether that’s reading, creative activities or gardening, can really improve wellbeing.
Download the app: selfhelp.samaritans.org
Get in touch: Samaritans volunteers are here, day or night. When only a human voice at the end of a phone will do, talk for free any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org