No one expects to live through a global pandemic. We all thought they were the kind of events you read about in history class. With all the focus on preventing the transmission of a deadly disease, it is no surprise that the well-being of everyone in our country has been negatively impacted. Human beings need each other to survive.
In the blink of an eye, we were all told to shelter in place and stay 6 feet away from anyone with who we did not live with. In some cases, families were torn apart to try to protect clinically vulnerable people.
Even if you were lucky enough to escape the more deadly effects of COVID-19, your overall wellbeing will have been negatively impacted. We are shining a spotlight on how COVID-19 has impacted our wellbeing and that of the nation.
Wellbeing and the pandemic
Research by Mind has shown that women, those with disabilities, people living in social housing, and frontline workers were more likely to report a decline in their mental health. Almost every aspect of the pandemic has a negative impact on our wellbeing – even things you would not expect.
The World Health Organisation quickly changed the term of “social distancing” to “physical distancing” to show that people can still socially content. In the UK, happiness and life satisfaction has seen one of their sharpest declines in living memory, along with mental and physical health.
Loneliness has been a key factor in declining mental health, with 18–24-year-olds most likely to see a negative impact. As a result of mental health issues, over half of adults are either over or under eating. 1/3 of young people with pre-existing mental health issues are self-harming, while another 1/3 are using alcohol or illegal drugs.
The issues around wellbeing and mental health have been made worse by difficulties accessing help and support. Mind found that ¼ of adults and young people who tried getting support was unable to, primarily due to the switch to virtual appointments. 1 in 4 young adults and 1 in 3 adults did not seek support for mental health issues as they felt they were not entitled to it.
There is no denying that we will be feeling the effects of the pandemic on our well-being in the time to come.
Support for mental health and wellbeing
Doctor A Cosmetics is an inclusive skincare brand on a mission to create a better world. As an eco-friendly, clean, give back, skincare brand, our social conscious drives everything we do, from encouraging diversity within the beauty industry to supporting social campaigns through our charity partners. We work with our sister organisation, Anika Food Charity, to promote mental health campaigns and help those most in need.
If you are struggling with your well-being, know that there is help out there for you. You can contact the NHS urgent mental health helplines in England to speak to a medical professional. The helpline offers 24-hour advice and support for you or if you’re concerned about a loved one.
You can contact Samaritans on 116 123 within the UK and Ireland, with the helpline available 24/7. If you can’t talk, text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258. You will never be wasting anyone’s time. They are there to help you. Together, we will get through this pandemic.
Helplines to contact:
Samaritans are available twenty fours hours a day, all year round. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Samaritans Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day).
If you're experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
Papyrus HOPELINE UK
If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email email@example.com or text 07786 209 697.
If you are a student, you can look on the Nightline website to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.
If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day), email firstname.lastname@example.org or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
If you live in Wales, you can call the Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L.) on 0800 132 737 (open 24/7) or you can text 'help' followed by a question to 81066.