Let’s Keep Talking To Save Lives
30th April 2020
ICS Mental Health Deputy Director, Paul Hopley
It’s possible that people’s mental health may be adversely affected as a result of coronavirus (covid-19) isolation and lockdown.
For many people, their working situations, studying plans and social lives have changed dramatically in a short space of time. These changes don’t just impact on them directly but on all of their family, friends and colleagues.
Some people are used to having a lot of face-to-face contact with friends and family and are now feeling more isolated as the social distancing measures continue. I have seen through my own friends and family this impact, from friends being furloughed or having their contracted work cancelled which has given them a lot moretime to worry.
Personally, I have also seen the impact within my own family, from my own energetic son who has not been able to see and play football with his team (and listen to his coach shout) or see his friends, through to my 85 year old Grandma who has not been able to leave the house in over 5 weeks. My Grandma is usually a very independent individual and is struggling with not doing things for herself or having that face to face contact. Now more than ever, we need to make sure we look after ourselves, our family and our friends.
It is important that people continue to get practical support and access sufficient emotional support and reach out virtually to their networks of family and friends. However, for many that is not possible and we have been working hard in Lancashire and South Cumbria to make sure people know that there are many organisations out there ready to offer them a listening ear.
To tackle this, we have pulled together a number of resources, which have been made available by Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) encouraging everyone to keep talking to friends, family, or organisations available to help you, throughout the pandemic. We encourage organisations, businesses and community groups to use these resources to help get the message out
Social media can help us stay in touch with loved-ones, but often it’s good to have a chat on the phone or via a video call. Sometimes we can have a lot of priorities building up at home as we juggle home-work and home-school – it’s important to set aside some quality time to relax with family and housemates.
- If you or someone you know has harmed themselves call 999.
- Anyone struggling can call Samaritans on 116 123.
- Here is a list of help available in Lancashire and South Cumbria: healthierlsc.co.uk/MentalHealthSupport.
- If you run a business or organisation that has socially-distanced footfall and access to a printer, consider printing a poster: https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/application/files/6015/8747/8877/Suicide_Prevention_During_Isolation_Posters_Final.pdf
- If you run a social media account and would like to share our resources they are available here: https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/news-and-events/campaigns
Hoping that everyone continues to stay safe and well.