Campaign launches to support residents’ mental health this winter

Basildon Council has teamed up with Basildon wellbeing provider Motivated Minds, to support residents who are struggling in the lead up to what quite possibly will be a very different Christmas this year, by asking ‘Are you ok?’

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting all our lives. Things have been changing fast, and many of us are worrying about what it all means for us and for our loved ones. Financial, employment, health and social concerns are seemingly apparent and for residents who may be already living with mental health problems, they are facing extra challenges every day. Basildon Council is reminding residents that if they are not OK, they should not suffer in silence.

Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan commented: “This year has been like no other that we have faced since the War. And it has taken its toll on so many people’s mental health.

“I see from the messages that people are sending me, that lots of people need help and support to keep going during this pandemic. With job losses and uncertainty over people’s livelihoods and homes dominating their thinking, it is important we provide as much support as possible.

We also know that people have connected in new ways during this pandemic. Street Whatsapp Groups have been set up and people have reached out to help neighbours and friends in need to support perfect strangers with accessing food and medicine.

“So this Christmas, although we know it will be different, we want to build on the community spirit that we have built in 2020. We know more people will be lonely and worried than before. So the ‘Are you ok?’ campaign is designed to help people to reach out to each other, whether this be through a friendly phone call or a simple kind gesture of goodwill.

“At a time when giving presents or meeting for a drink might not be possible, we know that we can all give of our time. Make a call, reconnect, make sure those people who might be alone on December 25 are OK. It will make a huge difference.”

And, for those who may benefit from a phone call or letter from a trained volunteer during this time, Motivated Minds are offering a free befriending service to help tackle loneliness and isolation in and around the Basildon Borough.

The campaign kicks off with a free advice webinar, open to all residents to register and discover more about the support available and techniques to manage mental health. Speakers include a guest from Motivated Minds, chair of the Basildon Health and Wellbeing Partnership Councillor Andrew Gordon and Councillor Callaghan.

Mick Ferris

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