A couple of weeks ago, we wrote this article on the many ways we can seek to nurture our mental wellbeing at this difficult time. There is so much contributing to a decline in our collective mental health in this pandemic – of course, there is the virus itself and the impact on so many thousands of peoples’ health and the worry, anxiety and grief encased within that. However, there are also imperceptible threats to our happiness, such as an ever-present news cycle, focused almost exclusively on bad news.

With this in mind, we will not only be providing information as to how you can support your mental health at this time, as it becomes available (from sources qualified to advise on these issues) – but we are also trying to filter out some of the good news stories relevant to our sector right now. They might not be making mainstream news, but they’re out there and we want you to hear them.

This week in mental health

Let’s talk loneliness. That’s the message from Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden this week who’s encouraging people to get talking openly about loneliness – an issue which is unsurprisingly magnified at this time.

Loneliness is set to become a priority category for the £750 million charity funding package. A network of high-profile charities, including Age UK will form a ‘Tackling Loneliness Network’, formed by Government to help connect those groups at the highest risk of isolation.

The aim of the campaign is to ensure that this period of social distancing does not need to increased loneliness – a difficult undertaking but one that the government and the charities involved seem to exceed in.

Advice on the Let’s Talk Loneliness website included:

Keep in touch with friends, family and neighbours

Suggest making a call a regular part of your week and always plan the next one. Alternatively, an email of text can start up a conversation – might now even be a good time to get back in touch with people who’ve lost touch with over time.

Look for clubs and groups online

Lots of clubs, from choirs to book clubs have been offering virtual alternatives to their regular meetings, allowing people to maintain or pick up new hobbies. Being part of a group who already have a shared interest with you is a great way to make connections, even if you’re not in the same room.

Find a support group that suits you

If you don’t have friends or family you can talk to, or you need to talk to someone impartial about your feelings, there are some organisations listed below

Business concerns

For any concerns relating to your business, whether it be financial support or adapting your business model, please see the NCASS Coronavirus Hub, or give us a call on 0300 124 6866.

Every Mind Matters

0300 123 3393
Mind’s helplines provide information and support by phone and email.

Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself.

Age UK
0800 169 65 65
Advice and information for older people.

Carers UK
0808 808 7777
Independent information and support for carers.

0300 100 1234
Counselling for adults with relationship difficulties.

24-hour support for anyone in distress or despair.

The Silver Line Helpline
0800 4 70 80 90 (freephone)
Provides support, information, advice and friendship to older people (over the age of 55) who may feel lonely or isolated. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Online community for parents

Online community for grandparents