World Mental Health Day

With so much uncertainty in the world this year, looking after our mental health has never been more important.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘mental health for all’.

Mental Health Awareness WeekAccording to Mind, the mental health charity, one in four people experience mental health issues each year. Recent research conducted by the charity has put that into stark relief, showing that more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) have said their mental health has got worse during lockdown.

“The world is experiencing the unprecedented impact of the current global health emergency due to COVID-19 that has also impacted on the mental health of millions of people. We know that the levels of anxiety, fear, isolation, social distancing and restrictions, uncertainty and emotional distress experienced have become widespread as the world struggles to bring the virus under control and to find solutions.”
Dr Ingrid Daniels, President of the World Federation for Mental Health

Over two-thirds of the families that we help at the Family Holiday Association are affected by mental health issues, and our referrers have told us that family circumstances have deteriorated since March. Just like with our physical health, everybody has mental health and needs to take care of it.

We know that a break and change of scenery can make a big difference

Our report on The long term impact of a break for struggling families from earlier this year, found that 83% of families said that their mental health was better after the break.

The break away from home provides parents in particular with a break from the stresses and strains of daily life and a new perspective on how to cope better once they get back home. Many reported that improved parental mental health impacted positively on their children who saw their parents being less anxious and stressed and able to do more with them.

The chance to spend time together as a family on the break helped strengthen families when they came back home. Some were more able to access support for their mental health issues, with others being better able to look to the future.

“We are still a family and we have managed better as a result of the holiday.”

“It helped to lift our spirits and made us reconnect with one another.”

Children playing in the shoreline of a pebble beach

World Mental Health Day was setup by the the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992 to promote mental health advocacy and educate the public on relevant issues.

There is lots of practical advice available to help you take care of your mental health during the current crisis:

Mental Health Foundation – How to look after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Mind – Coronavirus and your mental health

NHS Every Mind Matters – Looking after your mental health

Public Health England – Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please remember to follow the current government advice and continue to observe social distancing.

Many of the families we help have found that their circumstances have deteriorated during lockdown. As we look forward to 2021 we know that we will be needed more than ever. Your support now will help us be ready.

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