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Why we need to flatten the curve for everyone struggling with their mental health

It’s both true to say that no one’s experience of lockdown has been the same and that it has affected all of us. And the fall out from what everyone has been through will mean it will keep affecting us all for some time. But we don’t want anyone to feel they’re going through this alone so we all need to work together to flatten the curve for everyone struggling with their mental health.

We’ve all been through A LOT in the last four months and at CALM we know how much it has affected so many of us. In our recent survey 43% of people felt that the current pandemic and UK lockdown has had a negative impact on how they feel everyday. And 60% of people surveyed stated that they are experiencing anxiety during the current pandemic and lockdown.

So if you’ve been feeling crap for whatever reason, know that you’re not alone. The pandemic has brought on loads of factors that can put a massive strain on you, whoever you are. 

We’ve been talking to you on social media and seeing what you’re telling us on the polls we’ve run – as well, of course, as the calls and webchats we’ve taken on our helpline – and we’ve heard first hand about the ways it has affected you – whether it’s loneliness, money worries or things that were already tough being made worse.

To show that you’re not alone with these worries (these are real worries and you should never have to feel they’re not) we’ve pulled together the ones we’ve heard about the most. Another benefit of this is that by understanding what factors are affecting and creating this spike in mental ill-health and distress we can begin to work to help people with them. So, without further ado, here they are: 

Isolation and loneliness 

You probably don’t need telling that Isolation and loneliness is obviously something that has affected people. There’s been a huge rise in concerns around personal mental health because of social isolation. There’s not being able to see friends and family and not having been able to leave the house at all. People have also felt trapped with their own thoughts, with no way to escape them – and that can lead to anxiety and existential fears. And there are also other things that you may not realise as well – like the fact that your experience of the lockdown if you live in a city is very different to if you live in the countryside.

“Not having anything to distract myself and having to be in solitude for so long”

“Feeling like I didn’t have the freedom to go to all the places that make me happy”

“Trying to overcome social anxiety after being isolated from people for so long”

“Not having distractions or a routine so being stuck in your head 24/7”

Money and work

Money and work is another concern: naturally, people are really worried about finances and jobs and wondering how they will put food on the table or keep a safe roof over their heads as the pandemic has taken hold. These are big stresses. Whether you’re just leaving uni and looking for a job or have a family to support, money worries and what the pandemic has done – and will do – to the economy is something that a lot of you have told us has worried you. 

“Being out of work”

“Where to begin?! Financial stress,loneliness/lack of connection, no sense of purpose”

“Hope that I’ve been doing all I could for my family”

Struggles made worse by the pandemic

There are other things that are unique to each person’s life that have made lockdown even more challenging – it can be stuff that can be taxing but enjoyable, like homeschooling the kids, right through to very serious issues like domestic abuse or drug use. And issues that you’re already going through have been made worse by the pandemic. Things like  bereavement, depression and anxiety, domestic violence, drug and alcohol use, relationship breakdowns, childcare issues have had a massive effect on people.

“Living with an addict. 24/7”

“Homeschooling the kids”

“Socialising via Zoom, whatsapp, IG etc It’s been super draining.” 

“Not seeing people, not having that cheeky pint after work to catch up. Not having a kickabout in the park.”

 

We know that those who were already living with a mental health problem have found the pandemic really challenging. And the scale and nature of what’s happened has also seen more and more people’s mental health impacted. But by all working together we can make life better for people struggling. 

At CALM that’s what we’re all about – all of us working towards a more hopeful society. One where people reject living miserably and get help when they need it. That’s why we all need to work together to make sure we flatten the curve for everyone whose mental health has been affected.

To find out the role you can play in flattening the curve for those struggling with their mental health, head here

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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