Mental Health Awareness Week: How are you, and more importantly how is your mental health? 

As we all adapt to the new rhythm of life, our mental health may have taken its toll. From anxiety to stress and loneliness, we are all dealing with a concoction of emotions that these unprecedented times have forced upon us and have led to us fearing ‘the unknown’ more than ever. Whether you are a frontline worker or staying at home to also save lives, we are all feeling copious amounts of vulnerability. Since Lockdown and the coronavirus health crisis,  the ‘Zero Suicide Alliance’ has just announced that over half a million users have took to completing their online course. The course aims to help spot the signs that a person may need help. The surge in demand to complete the suicide prevention programme – funded in part by the Department of Health – means the Zero Suicide Alliance has now reached a total of one million participants worldwide since its launch in 2017. Does this mean we are taking our mental health more seriously, now we have had time to analyse our feelings and emotions as the world stands still for the majority of us?

The online training takes around 20 minutes and leads users through the skills needed to help someone who may be considering suicide, tackling stigma and promoting open communication. With the warning that the pandemic is likely to lead to long-term mental health conditions, experts say that the NHS needs to prepare to address this, but also warned of the possible impact of the pandemic on the mental health of front-line and other workers. Health leaders have warned front-line workers tackling coronavirus could be at greater risk of suffering from mental ill health and that the stress and worry of their exposure to the coronavirus is bound to have impacted on them in ways a lot of us will not understand.

NHS Clinical Leaders Network warned: “While preventing the spread of Covid-19 is still a public health priority, we’re saying that this emergency will also leave a mental health legacy in its wake, a legacy that could inflict a damaging toll on NHS and other front-line staff as well as the public at large.” Launching its staff mental health hotline last month, NHS England said more than 1,500 volunteers from charities such as the Samaritans will be on hand to support those who call.

Suicide is a serious public health issue and every single death by suicide devastates families, friends and communities. Be vigilant, spot the signs and be kind, you could be saving someones life.



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