A Public Health England (PHE) survey has found that half of adults in the Midlands and East of England are more worried now than during the lockdown in March 2020.
The survey found that over half felt their mental health and wellbeing had been impacted negatively by the pandemic.
Of those asked significant proportions of the population said they had been experiencing more low moods (50%), anxiety (49%), stress (47%) and sleep problems (39%) during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The most common reasons for a decline in people’s mental health and wellbeing within the region were:
- 52% missing family and friends; and loneliness 29%
- 50% uncertainty about the future; with financial and employment worries 26%
- 50% worried about family’s safety and health
Although the survey also discovered that two-thirds of people say they feel hopeful for the future whilst 75% reported that they are planning to do something to help their mental wellbeing.
To support people further during this time, PHE have launched a nationwide ‘Better Health – Every Mind Matters’ campaign to support people to take action to look after their mental health and wellbeing and help support others such as family and friends.
The campaign encourages people to get a free NHS-approved Mind Plan from the ‘Every Mind Matters’ website.
By answering five questions, adults will get a personalised action plan with practical tips to help them deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control.
It has so far been supported by a coalition of leading mental health charities, including Mind, Samaritans, Young Minds and Rethink.
Seán Meehan, Health and Wellbeing Programme Lead at PHE Midlands said: “Given the added pressures caused by the pandemic, it’s imperative that we focus on our mental health and make changes to ensure we are taking care of ourselves.
“All of us have been affected in some way by Covid-19 and the stress and worry that comes with not knowing what the next 12 months hold creates so much uncertainty.
“In order to help you make positive changes, the Every Mind Matters website provides some helpful resources that can help you cope with change, worry and loneliness.
“It’s encouraging that people in the East Midlands are planning to take steps to look after their mental health.”
If you or a loved one face a mental health crisis, you can find your local NHS 24/7 helpline here.