Ocean KineticsOcean KineticsOcean KineticsOcean KineticsOcean Kinetics

Health / Mental health charity sees spike in referrals as lockdown relaxes

LOCAL mental health charity Mind Your Head says it has experienced a “spike” in demand the past few weeks as lockdown eases.

The arrival of the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s mental health, with some experiencing a melting pot of anxiety around issues such as health, isolation and employment.

But the easing of lockdown, with people going back to work or being faced with prospect of socialising with large groups, has added an extra layer of stress for some.

Practitioner Charity Johnson said Mind Your Head’s wellness programme – a low level support service to improve people’s mental wellbeing day-to-day functioning – has “always had a steady flow of referrals, but we’ve seen a recent spike in the past couple of weeks, which is uncommon during the summer months”.

“Many of the issues that our wellness practitioners have had to focus on in terms of supporting folk are towards managing lockdown anxiety, health anxiety, coming out of lockdown, and stress due to financial uncertainty,” she added.

“One of the biggest challenges that we’ve also observed is a higher risk of isolation and self-harm.

“At the moment, I think we are all just navigating what we are able to do around the regulations that are set, hoping that mental health and wellbeing will continue to be considered as a high priority.”

Johnson said Mind Your Head is currently offering phone, text, email and video call support for anyone who is experiencing a change in their mental health or supporting/caring for someone who is struggling with their mental health.

“We find that many folk tend to minimise their own struggles, with the notion that there are more people out there who need or deserve help,” she added.

“But that’s not the case at all. We are here for everyone who needs help, regardless of how significant or insignificant they feel their troubles are. That’s what the Wellness Programme is for.”

She said if anyone is unsure as to whether they need support or not, “the best thing would be to ring us and see what help is available”.

Resources are also available online.