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Time to flatten the mental health curve

The pandemic has been tough for all of us. Together we need to flatten the curve for everyone struggling with their mental health.

You may have seen our new campaign on billboards across the UK or on our socials. The vivid yellow. The chevrons. The three points. It looks very familiar, right? Very familiar – but vitally important. The pandemic is one the biggest challenges we have faced this century. It’s changed the world as we know it. And we know the next challenge we’ll have to deal with is flattening the mental health curve.

There has been a devastating loss of life. There has been social isolation. And there has been panic and uncertainty over work, money and the future (we’ve written about it here). It’s left so many individuals and families suffering. We know there has been a huge rise in concerns around personal mental health as a result of things like social isolation; unemployment; housing and income stress; domestic abuse and grief and loss. Alongside this there has also been a decrease in access to help for those who need it. And with an estimated half a million more people likely to experience mental health problems as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic, it’s vital that we act now to make sure we are all supported.

Our message  is simple, clear and direct (because, you know, not all communications are): if you’re finding things tough you can call CALM to get life-saving support. 

But there’s an even more important message at the heart of our campaign and it’s this: we all have an active role to play in flattening the curve for a nation struggling with its collective mental health. This will be a huge job. But our community spirit has doubled down during lockdown and we’ve become a nation of volunteers – helping each other and giving time, money and support. We want to use this power and make a difference to the nation’s mental health. Because we know passively watching on or hoping someone else will take care of things just isn’t going to work. Each and everyone of us has to take action for ourselves and for others. Imagine the power of thousands of us working together to make a difference.

That means supporting people where we can and slowing the rise in mental distress people face so that fewer people suffer. So we have created practical, easy to carry out steps to help us achieve our mission. Whether it’s by donating money, educating yourself, pushing the government to do more or normalising the conversations around all of this, there are many ways to join in our campaign to flatten the mental health curve.

It’s time to take action

LOOK OUT for yourself and for others:

  • Make it an everyday conversation: normalise saying you’re feeling crap or having a really tough day/week/2020. And listening if someone you know says the same 
  • Check in on yourself – are you doing everything you can to be mentally healthy? Our ambassadors offer some great guidance on that here. We also have our ALERT tips to help too.
  • Check in on the people around you: listen to what they’re saying,  let them know you’re there for them and be available and trust your instincts.
  • Keep listening and learning

STEP IN and start the conversation (we know it’s scary but we can’t be passive now):

  • If you need support or think someone is going through a tough time don’t stand back – don’t accept ‘I’m fine’ if you know they’re not.
  • Share information and resources – make sure people know what support there is and what they can do to help themselves and others. 
  • If someone isn’t getting the importance of mental health – or, worse, deliberately blocking the conversation – tell them it isn’t OK

STAND UP and be counted: 

  • Show support on social media, clearly signal that you are an ally and amplify the voice of CALM
  • Make a donation to causes which are supporting people and pushing for change 
  • Write to your MP and tell that more needs to be done – we’ve created this template to let them know
  • Sign petitions that are helping to make change and create a mentally healthier society.

And please remember, the most important thing to remember is if you ever need us – like our billboard says – call us. We’re here every day, 5pm-midnight, whatever you’re going through with free, confidential and practical support. Call us 0800 58 58 58 or through our webchat.

 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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