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Mental Health Awareness Week 18-24 May: It’s okay, not to be okay: help is just a call away

May 17, 2020 10:37 AM

Mental Health Awareness Week

As lockdown continues, and our daily activities remain very restricted, we are all having to live with the uncertainty of when and how we can return to something resembling "normal". We all prefer certainty, the ability to plan, to look forward, to feel in control. At best life under lockdown is unsettling; at worst it is very difficult to bear. As the expert scientists give advice and those in government weigh up what to do for the best, the rest of us are meeting the challenges of getting through each day. There is wide acknowledgement of the toll lockdown is taking on the nation's mental health. Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 18-24 May, is well timed.

For decades there has been a lack of investment in and support for mental health services, always the poor relation in looking after the national's health. The Liberal Democrats have long since been pressing for an integrated service, with cross-party support, in which those with mental health issues are given equal treatment to those with physical illnesses. During the coalition Norman Lamb MP put this high on the public agenda, but sadly the significant progress made was not sustained. The Conservatives would not prioritise it. It has taken the Covid-19 pandemic to make this a key topic of public debate.

Now we are all in it together, and we are talking about it. Talking about it is, in itself, a great step forward, as people acknowledge, often for the first time, that anxiety or depression or other mental health issues are very commonplace. And it's okay to say that you are not okay.

There is help available for those who need it, including from Buckinghamshire Mind, the local branch of the national charity providing a range of services for those who need it. Their website offers a variety of advice, at https://www.bucksmind.org.uk/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

They are happy for us to share the following information. Although face to face meetings are not currently possible, their other support services continue to be available and they are keen to help. If you need help or directing to finding help, you can call them on 01494 463364, or email them at info@bucksmind.org.uk.

Mind's key theme and message throughout the Covid-19 pandemic is ensuring our community knows that we are still here for them.

Key areas to note:

https://www.bucksmind.org.uk/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

https://www.bucksmind.org.uk/services/safe-haven/

Mind's Safe Haven support line can be contacted for a 30 minute 1:1 conversation with a member of staff, by calling 01296 453017 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 6 pm to 11 pm. Sometimes a time slot is allocated and a member of staff will call back. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday the number to call is 01494 218098 from 6 pm to 11 pm.

Many members of the Chiltern Liberal Democrats party are supporting the local community in a variety of ways during these difficult times. Do not hesitate to contact us if you think we may be able to give you support too. Email admin@chilternlibdems.org.uk