Rethink Mental Illness welcomes government advice to support the nation’s mental health
29 March 2020
Rethink Mental Illness welcomes government advice to support the nation’s mental health during the coronavirus outbreak and calls for the mental health sector to mobilise to tackle growing crisis
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Public Health England has issued guidance on looking after your mental health, with £5 million provided to charities to expand the support they deliver. Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness says:
“The Covid-19 pandemic poses a threat to both our physical and mental health. The nation is experiencing growing levels of anxiety and it will be some time before we know the full impact of social isolation and distancing on people’s mental health. The things that we know are good for your mental health, like getting outside, exercise and staying connected have become harder to sustain. For those already living with mental illness, the pandemic is shutting down traditional sources of care. Where this is temporarily not deliverable face to face, it must be replaced quickly with comprehensive remote support.
This is a challenge for the whole mental health sector. Capacity within the NHS is stretched, and the income of the charity sector is severely diminished in the short-term. So, we welcome this first tranche of much needed additional investment for mental health charities. Rethink Mental Illness has been supporting people severely affected by mental illness and their carers for nearly 50 years. We know what it feels like to be isolated and alone and are mobilising to increase remote support. Our helpline services are seeing a surge in demand from people who are traditionally supported by Community Mental Health Teams and at present can’t access face to face support. Many of our beneficiaries are heavily reliant on the support of peer groups and voluntary sector organisations such as ours, to prevent crisis and to support wellbeing and recovery.
It is difficult at the moment to see positives when there is so much uncertainty, but we hope that we will emerge from this crisis with a better understanding of the importance of good mental health. This is a time for all of us to work together to provide the support and care that people need.”
For more information and advice about the current Covid-19 outbreak, please visit our dedicated support hub at: www.rethink.org/cv19