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The Mental Health Emergency is a study published by leading mental health charity Mind in June 2020 which looks specifically at the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and the results are terrifying.
It found that 60% of adults and 58% of young people reported worse mental health.
Young people and those with existing mental health problems were worse affected.
57% of adults and 53% of young people with no prior experience of mental health problems had a lower than average mental health score.
44% young people & 44% of adults have not or rarely felt relaxed during lockdown.
Adults reported concerns about being unable to see friends and family, anxiety about friends/family catching coronavirus, not being able to go out, feeling bored and restless, anxiety about themselves catching coronavirus.
The top five concerns for young people that made their mental health worse were feeling bored/restless, not being able to see friends, not being able to go outside except for essential reasons, feeling lonely and feeling anxious about family or friends getting coronavirus.
The top five positive coping strategies used by adults were connecting with friends or family online, watching TV or films, spending time outside, doing household chores (e.g. cooking and cleaning) & listening to music or the radio.
The top five positive coping strategies used by young people were connecting with friends or family online, watching TV or films, spending time outside, listening to music or the radio and going on social media.
What strikes me about almost all of these things is they are dependant on external gratification and so the chances of disappointment are really high.
When everything around you in life is so uncertain now is the time to start a yoga, meditation & mindfulness practice.
Find something that gives you a sense of inner calm and connection, be your own anchor in a stormy sea.
I teach regular yoga for mental health and mindfulness & meditation classes at Mind In Haringey and have uploaded a special yoga for mental health follow along video on my Youtube Channel which you can see below and you can also find other practices on my channel which may be of help during these turbulant times.
In this class we explore the breath, mindfulness techniques, self massage and of course meditation, you dont need to do any stretches or wear any special clothing and this class is generally done seated although you can lie down if you want.
triyoga have very generously donated some yoga mats and we hope to get some more props soon so that we can have a restorative class in the near future.
If you’d like to attend please contact Mind in Haringey and self refer.
They have lots of other activities there too so check out the timetable, even if you want to just have a cup of tea and a natter you can do that too!
It’s World Mental Health Day 2019 and this years focus is suicide prevention.
20 years ago a close friend of mine committed suicide and this was the driving factor for me sorting myself out. I felt particularly bad over his death as I knew how lonely he felt, how misunderstood and how isolated he felt but because of my own issues I couldn’t bring myself to ask him round or meet up for a coffee. I remember his cremation so clearly, the room was packed with people standing outside and most in tears, some inconsolable. This was the funeral for a guy who was abandoned by his sisters (who had all been fostered to other families), a guy who never knew his dad and his mum who tried to murder him on several occasions was in secure psychiatric care. He grew up in care homes and I won’t mention the horrors he suffered there. This was a guy who grew up alone, a guy who family wise was completely alone and yet there were so many who loved him, so many who cared and were totally devastated by his passing. We have people who are there for us though sometimes not at the right time or in the right way and even if they are maybe we can’t see it.
I was lucky as Rickys passing showed me this and at that point I vowed to sort myself out, I didn’t want my parents or family to feel about me how I was feeling looking at the coffin of my friend.
We live in times where aggressive and inflammatory language is now the norm, people shouting down anyone with a different opinion from theirs and using bullying tactics to put their point across. We live in a world where people use terms like ‘snowflake’ to intimidate people into silence and to not show their feelings or voice dissent.
We need to be nicer to people, just look around at the homeless people, the people on the street who are clearly suffering from mental health problems and have no services to help them due to the vicious and unnecessary government cuts in recent years.
But there is hope, there are good people out there who will help, community groups and charitable organisations who are having to fill in the gaps left by the decimated NHS.
If you or someone you know are suffering from mental health problems please contact your G.P. for advice and the community mental health team but please also get in touch with your local Mind and Rethink, there may be other local charities to you which may provide counselling or even a group where you can meet for a chat.
We have to stick together as a people, the more the uncaring the world becomes the more caring we have to be.
Rest in peace Ricky Lambert and thanks mate. X