On World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September), public and voluntary sector partners are reminding residents of where they can go to get support with their mental health and money worries.
Coronavirus has changed life for everyone. For some people, these changes can be difficult to cope with and can have a significant impact on mental health. Financial difficulty, health concerns and ongoing uncertainty can lead to feeling more stressed, worried or low.
Public Health Dorset and Dorset HealthCare are launching a new campaign to promote the places Dorset residents can go to get support if they are struggling with their mental health, with a focus on the impact of financial problems on mental health.
Mental health and money problems are often intricately linked. According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, half of people in problem debt also have a mental health problem and people in problem debt are three times as likely to have thought about suicide in the past year.
Those who are concerned about their financial situation and aren’t sure where to start can find advice and guidance on citizensadvice.org.uk and find their local branch for more support.
Dorset HealthCare operates Connection, a 24/7 mental health helpline which is open to Dorset residents and visitors of all ages who need urgent mental health support. Connection can also provide advice to anyone concerned about someone else. They can be reached directly on 0300 123 5440 or via NHS 111. Find out more on the Connection website.
Cassie Burtenshaw, Dorset HealthCare’s Connection Team Leader, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a challenging time and people’s mental health will be affected in various ways. Many of us will be feeling lonely, isolated, stressed and anxious and if you are struggling we are here for you – do not suffer alone. Our Connection helpline is open 24/7 for all ages and can provide support if you are struggling to cope or in a mental health crisis. The first step is the hardest but be kind to yourself. Overcoming your fear can lead to receiving the support you need.”
Anyone can contact Samaritans for free on 116 123 or via email at email@example.com. Alternatively visit samaritans.org for information and resources on looking after yourself during this challenging time.
Mark Wildey, Samaritans of Bournemouth Branch Director said: “We know that the pandemic is impacting people in a variety of ways. For some, it has exacerbated existing problems, while for others it has created new pressures. We’d like to remind people that no matter what you are facing, you are not alone – our volunteers are here 24/7, 365 days a year to offer confidential, non-judgemental support.”
Anyone wanting to take steps to look after their own mental health and wellbeing can find lots of advice and guidance on the Every Mind Matters website.
Councillor Laura Miller, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said:
“We want to remind Dorset residents that whatever their situation, support is available, and they do not have to face things alone. I would encourage anyone who is struggling to speak to someone about what they are going through, whether that is a friend or family member, or a mental health service like Connection.”
Councillor Lesley Dedman, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health, said:
“We know that the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on our communities. We want to assure everyone that whatever you are going through, there is support available. Seeking support early, whether that’s for your financial situation or advice about mental health, can help prevent problems from getting worse.”