Mates in Minds calls for more funding
Urgent funding needed for mental health charities supporting UK workers through second lockdown
AS the UK faces a second lockdown, Mates in Mind is calling on the Government to back more funding for mental health charities that are supporting UK workers and have already seen a significant increase in demand over the past six months.
The recently released report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed rates of depression had doubled during the pandemic, with almost one in five adults (19.2%) experiencing some form of depression during June – up from around one in 10 (9.7%) last year.
London Ambulance recently shared on its social channels that the number of suicide and attempted suicide incidents is increasing, with crews now attending an average of 37 suicides or attempted suicides per day, compared with 22 in 2019 and 17 five years ago.
James Rudoni (pictured), managing director of Mates in Mind, said: ‘This pandemic, and the subsequent lockdowns, has brought disruption to our way of life and to business on a scale previously unknown in peacetime, fear for our physical and mental well-being and the health of those around us, grief to those who have lost loved ones, and economic uncertainty for many.
‘Unfortunately, alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, there is likely to be a ‘mental health pandemic’ that, if left unaddressed, will have a long-term mental-health impact and will be much more far-reaching and difficult to recover from. We are working with workplaces across the UK to immediately review their mental health plans, ensure they have proactive strategies in place to support their people, and that they know how, where and when to access crisis support.’
With this second lockdown coming at a time when the days are getting shorter, colder and darker, the toll on workplace mental health is expected to worsen.
‘While the Government’s ‘winter plan’ for mental health and well-being is a welcome initiative, people need support now. Smaller charities supporting workplace mental health and well-being are expecting to see the increase in demand continue as the second lockdown progresses, with isolation and uncertainty compounding an already complex year,’ said Mr Rudoni.
‘It is crucial that organizations provide extra mental health support for their teams during this time and keep lines of communication open. Being able to spot the signs that someone might be struggling and having the skills to open up a conversation about mental health is an invaluable skill that managers can develop, which is why Mates in Mind offers a number of online training courses and e-learning options to support these vital conversations.’