[Press release 29 May 2020]
There’s a second wave pandemic starting and it’s the mental health support need that is desperately growing.
Even pre-COVID-19 there were 27,000+ people across South Kent who were suffering from a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression. In the last 8 weeks, since the lockdown started, one local mental health charity has needed to support more people then they have in the past two years.
South Kent Mind has worked for over 30 years to provide mental health support to the people of the Romney Marsh, Folkestone & Hythe, and Dover districts. They have a Wellbeing team that work to listen and assess people’s individual mental health needs and to co-create a care recovery plan with them to help them regain their confidence and build resilience for the future.
There are already reports of spikes in anxiety attacks, persistent exhausting anxiety, suicidal ideation, and obsessive-compulsive behaviours all caused by the Coronavirus and the knock-on effects of people being in lockdown.
With a 156% increase in caseload, South Kent Mind is developing a MindfulNet project whereby they can provide support remotely to people by telephone or online video calls.
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week and whereas usually, they would usually be running a roadshow across South Kent, Mind and their local delivery partner organisations mounted an online roadshow looking to celebrate all the wonderful mental health projects that are taking place locally to change people’s lives.
There was a great response and local people have recognised the need to do more whether it’s through donations, volunteering, or advocacy.
The pandemic has been traumatic for everyone, especially those directly affected by death whether through family or because you are a health professional. But some traumas take months or years to surface, and some are re-emerging after months or years of treatment or suppression.
South Kent Mind is a local charity affiliated to National Mind – but has to fundraise themselves, so they have been reaching out to local people along with grant funders to raise funds to grow the service and employ more people locally.