The past couple of months have been difficult for us all and I think it’s fair to say that most of us have suffered mentally through not being able to see family and friends and to socialise in the many ways we are used to doing.
For young people and those with pre-existing mental health conditions it has been particularly hard. Research carried out by Young Minds found that 83% of young people have said the coronavirus pandemic has made their mental health worse.
This is really worrying and provides even greater reason for us to mark Mental Health Awareness Week and to talk about mental health and how we can all support one another better.
Throughout this week people are being asked to celebrate acts of kindness in their own lives and communities and to create a few more.
Every day I hear about kind acts taking place across our city – the pandemic has truly brought out the best in many people who are using their time to ensure others are safe and well.
Many of these stories come via our Peterborough COVID-19 Support Hub, run by the city council, which is assisting groups and organisations to help those in need, as well as supporting people directly to access food and medicine and in many other ways.
For example, Peterborough Asylum and Refuge Community Association (PARCA) received a request for emergency food for a family of four recently. Moez Nathu, CEO of PARCA, delivered the emergency food within a couple of hours of the request being made.
The Peterborough Foodbank, which has been doing fantastic work in our city for many years, has recently recruited an additional 80 volunteers to keep up with demand from those who need help accessing food during the pandemic. All these people are giving their time for free to help those most in need.
Just last week an urgent call came into the city council’s hub from a lady who needed medication for her son that evening. The call was received at 5pm and by 5.40pm SERV, a local bikers group, had delivered the medication to the family.
It’s these kinds of examples that make me proud to live and work in Peterborough.
If you need help from the Peterborough Hub, please visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/coordinationhub or call 01733 747474, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Lots of information and advice around mental health is available at www.keep-your-head.com. In response to the pandemic, the Lifeline helpline, a free mental health support service, has increased its hours so people can call 0808 808 2121 and receive help between 9am and 11pm Monday to Friday and 2pm to 11pm on weekends and Bank Holidays. (more…)