Listening to the Wider Conversation on Mental Health

I’ve felt intense confusion on trying to social distance is public and judging if people are angry at me.

My 8 year old has really struggled. Nightmares are frequent. We were all unwell with a virus and he was terrified that we were all going to die. Some days are full of his angry tantrums or sobbing. It’s been incredibly difficult to support him to process everything. Heartbreaking.

I’m ok indoors but the thought of going outside makes me extremely anxious and angry and stressed. I also cry for no reason.

Yes I have become aware in others emotional and psychological distress. My neighbour can’t see her grand and great grand kids. My friend is isolated from her daughter. When people don’t stay away from others, I can see the anxiety. My friend is disabled and trying to decorate and sort out her house. She can’t have anyone to help her. So she gets overwhelmed and despondent. Her daughter is having a lot of mental and physical problems and due to travel restrictions she can’t see her. People have told me they are frightened. I think the ones who watch the news constantly are getting very stressed.

Anxiety, increased fear of death of self and family. Fear over elderly father who lives nearly 200 miles away. Crying a lot more, hard to stop self crying. Irritability and boredom, lack of motivation.

My friend who is a NHS worker was very distressed at the beginning worry about family contracting the virus. My Dad who lives alone in small bedsit has been struggling, suddenly unable to do the things he used to, large parts of the days with no company.

I have felt sad and scared that the ‘normal’ way of life may never be the same again – this is what we are told on the news most days. I liked my old life.

All this calls for a community response around mental health and wellbeing, on a similar scale to the army of volunteers, businesses and organisations mobilised to provide practical support to those shielding or in self isolation, and the most vulnerable in our communities. There are local and national sources of support (see our Resources link below). Above all though we need to build a greater acceptance and understanding in the wider community around how to help and support others in emotional distress. 

Huge thanks to all those who participated in our anonymous survey. Your words are powerful and will help others to understand they are not alone. Your ideas and reflections will help to shape how community support can be developed over the coming weeks and months.

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