World Mental Health Day 2020

Today is World Mental Health Day, and this year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘mental health for all’.

Mental health problems can affect anyone, on any day of the year, but today is a good opportunity to look after your own wellbeing, reach out to your loved ones, talk about how you are feeling and show your support for better mental health.

As we continue to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, months of lockdown, restrictions and changes have had a huge impact on most people’s mental wellbeing. Some people have suffered bereavements, and coronavirus has affected many people’s employment and financial security.

With everything going on, this year’s World Mental Health Day is an important reminder to seek help if you need it. The mental health charity Mind have a useful page on coronavirus and your mental health, and general resources for if you are seeking information or support. They’re encouraging people to ‘do one thing’ for better mental health on World Mental Health Day. Time to Change also have lots of suggestions for ways you can take part and show support.

But mental health doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and we know that the material conditions of a person’s life are key in determining wellbeing. Issues with housing, financial security, work, debt and physical health can all make a person more likely to experience mental ill health. Another key contributing factor to someone’s experience of mental illness is whether they can access appropriate services at the time they need them. Under this Government, and particularly during the coronavirus crisis, there need to be improvements across the board to support better mental health.

That’s why, as well as my work Chairing the APPG on Mental Health and as an Advisory Board Member of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, I’ve been urging the Government to provide better to support to those who’ve been hardest hit by the pandemic, and to adequately fund key services. We must keep speaking up for renters, those who’ve been unable to return to work, those affected by local lockdowns, and those who’ve been excluded from the Chancellor’s existing support schemes.

Because to promote good mental health, we really need to ensure everyone has a good place to live, a secure source of income, regular contact with loved ones, and access to the services they need.

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