The Office for National Statistics finds that more than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life.
According to their findings, the three most common issues affecting mental health include:
- Feeling worried about the future (63%)
- Feeling stressed and/or anxious (56%)
- Feeling bored (49%)
The Health Foundation claims that although the current mental health crisis is not surprising, it is deeply concerning. An IFS analysis of longitudinal data from the Understanding Society study shows that “taking into account pre-pandemic trajectories, mental health has worsened substantially (by 8.1% on average) as a result of the pandemic.”
Moreover, the distribution of problems related to mental health are also worth considering, with some groups in society having been more deeply affected than others. Groups such as young adults and women have shown a significant increase in issues such as depression, anxiety, body dysmorphic disorder and domestic violence. This inequality is set to rise if appropriate measures are not taken.
A UCL COVID-19 social study of 90,000 UK adults, monitoring mental health symptoms throughout lockdown, reports that poor mental health has remained the highest amongst those with lower household income, people who have a pre-existing diagnosed mental illness, people living with children, and people living in urban areas.
To help combat the current mental health crisis, we at FURITY are sharing what we believe is the most important step for helping people who suffer from poor mental health.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO IS IMFORM YOURSELF!
The most important thing you can do as someone who is suffering from a mental problem, or as someone who knows of someone else with a mental health problem, is to inform yourself about mental health.
This may seem simple, but according to Mind.org, a large number of people have a poor understanding of mental health and the different types of problems that are related to mental health. The issue is complex and extremely nuanced. No one mental health problem is the same, each person has different experiences which create highly personalised and unique diagnoses.
Although we may come close to grasping an understanding by informing ourselves in a literal sense, mental health is a fickle thing, it fluctuates and can disguise itself in almost all aspects of everyday life. Because of this, we must inform ourselves in ways that go beyond textbook definitions.
By familiarising ourselves with the unique symptoms, attitudes, organisations and support which are relevant to a particular case of mental health, we become better equipped at helping those that suffer from poor mental health.
The NHS finds that people who are informed about mental health are better at providing the right kind of support, listening to others, expressing their concern, reassuring others, being patient, and offering practical help.
To help kick-start your journey to inform yourself about mental health, here are some organisations which are leading efforts to make a change.
“Wish is a national, user-led charity working with women with mental health needs in prison, hospital and the community. We provide independent advocacy, emotional support and practical guidance at all stages of a woman’s journey through the mental health and criminal justice systems.”
To find out more, click here: https://www.womenatwish.org.uk/
“We are leading the movement to make sure every young person gets the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.”
To find out more, click here: https://youngminds.org.uk/
“The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide. Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives. And 75% of all UK suicides are male. CALM exists to change this.”
To find out more, click here: https://www.thecalmzone.net/
- MIND OUT
“We work to improve the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ communities and to make mental health a community concern.”
To find out more, click here: https://mindout.org.uk/
- MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
“Prevention is at the heart of what we do. Our knowledge, informed by rigorous research and practical based study, has been pioneering change for more than 70 years and we aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo or tackle difficult or under researched mental health issues.”
To find out more, click here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
Written by: Zahira Rafiq
Edited by: Zahira Rafiq
Art by: Mike McQuade