How you can help someone during the pandemic.
Let’s talk about facts.
Did you know that 1 in 6 adults experience common mental health problems like anxiety or depression * . Or that 1 in 5 consider taking their own life at some point * . Did you also know that in the UK alone about 1.3 million people were in contact with the NHS and the majority of these cases (966,998* to be exact) were individuals who had mental health issues. These were just figures from 2020-2021.
Mental health has always been a topic that many individuals try and skirt around. It’s not always the most comfortable conversation to have but is definitely the most important one. With problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia, people who suffer from these conditions face a number of obstacles on a day-to-day basis. From just waking up and carrying on with the day to going to sleep whilst trying to ignore the fact that their mind is processing hundreds of thoughts per second. Not to mention coping through something as triggering as the Coronavirus pandemic where anything from small social interactions were ruled as fine-worthy.
With nearly the whole world being advised to remain indoors and isolated, the prospect of not connecting or physically being around another human could not only be a daunting thought, but also an upsetting one for anyone and their mental health.
There is no ‘right way’ to feel about lockdown,
it is something that will affect everyone differently – BBC News, 2020
Although many individuals can acknowledge those who suffer from mental health problems they may not necessarily know the proactive steps needed to be done for those in order to give them a sense of normality or help. Here is a 5 step guide (in no particular order) that everyone can consider and do when dealing with someone who has a mental health illness;
- Step 1: Stay in touch – People with depression and anxiety – whether it’s with friends, family or even someone you see struggling, prefer lonely settings. Although they may not show it, they are going through a range of emotions from overthinking to stressing about the smallest of details. So give them a call, send them a message on social media or arrange a facetime catch up. Just let them know you’re here.
- Step 2: Help keep a daily routine – Sticking to a routine is an imperative aspect for anyone who is silently suffering from this illness. Helping someone plan out their day and noting things down in advance can really help them focus their attention and give them something to look forward to.
- Step 3: Personal Environment – Help them create a space that they can feel comfortable in and enjoy. They won’t always ask for help so if you notice them struggling to keep things in order, offer them assistance.
- Step 4: Encourage taking a break from Social Media – Social media can be equally as toxic as it can be good. Inspire the individual to take a break from online updates and to go outside and breathe some fresh air.
Sometimes it can be difficult to motivate someone who suffers from depression to even get out of bed. If that’s ever the case then try;
- Step 5: Share something you enjoy – Encourage the individual to try a new hobby or skill. Maybe reading a book & starting a club, or even watching a new series together. Make them feel included. Anything like this can distract them from the small details that play around in their head and transport their mind elsewhere.
The main take from this post is to stay informed and alert. Keep the discussion going and follow and share reliable information as you never know how it could help someone, especially during this difficult time.
One of the great things about a company like YouCard is that they are aware of the daily struggles people with mental health challenges face. From the Director to the employees, most who work for the company or are familiar with them understand that this topic is not something to be taken lightly and needs constant awareness around. YouCard pride itself in donating a portion of their yearly profits to local charities aiding in the cause against mental health illnesses. Not only is it the right thing to do, but this impactful statement shows how much they care.
This is a genuine business that is not looking to “throw money” and donations at causes so consumers can think they’re charitable. No. We are real, authentic people who are passionate about looking to change lives and help them become better – even if it’s in the smallest of ways. They persist on with the fight for awareness around this cause and don’t plan on forgetting about it.
It’s crucial that we all support each other like this as mental health illnesses can last days, weeks, months and even years.
If this problem isn’t constricted by time then why should the conversation stop too.
-  & : Mental Health Foundation, 2016, ‘Fundamental Facts about mental health 2016’. Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/fundamental-facts-about-mental-health-2016 (Accessed on 18th March 2021).
- NHS Digital, March 2021, ‘Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics – Performance December 2020, Provisional January 2021’. Available at: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-services-monthly-statistics/performance-december-2020-provisional-january-2021 (Accessed on 18th March 2021)
- BBC News, 2020, ‘Newsround – Coronavirus: How has lockdown been making you feel?’. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52823401 (Accessed on 18th March 2021)