Coronavirus lockdown sees concern for mental health in family members rise by 50% compared to usual

Mental Health Awareness Week is about kindness and looking out for each other.

More than half of us feel more concerned about our family’s mental health than usual as a result of the lockdown, it's been revealed.

In a survey for ITV 44% of people say they were also more concerned about their own mental health than normal.

In contrast, almost two thirds say they are talking more often to family and friends on the phone than before.

The poll shows that looking after ourselves has never been more important than now, with the ‘new normal’ changing the way we live and the way we work.

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is kindness and looking out for each other. There is support for people who are finding life a struggle and who need a helping hand. No one should suffer in silence.

Details and phone numbers of organisations and charities who can help are below.

Coronavirus is affecting mental health in general - causing disruption, uncertainty and anxiety.

It is also:

  • Adding to specific triggers (eg food, hygiene)

  • Undermining existing coping strategies

  • Accentuating existing physical health problems

  • Causing social deprivation and acute financial pressure

  • Creating difficulties accessing support

  • Putting people at risk of violence and abuse

Britain Get Talking is an ITV initiative encouraging people to connect.

ITV’s Britain Get Talking encourages people to connect - and we’ve never needed to connect more. The initiative is supported by mental health charities Mind and YoungMinds, and a host of ITV faces.

There are simple steps that can help you look after your own mental health and wellbeing.

Try this interactive quiz for tips and advice, tailored for the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Britain Get Talking campaign is supported by faces including Dermot O'Leary, Julie Etchingham and Iain Stirling.

YouGov has carried out research for ITV which shows that people are more concerned about mental health at this time.

There are some positive things about the lockdown:

(A sample of 1,017 people to the end of April).

It is estimated that Britain Get Talking has encouraged more than six million people to make a call or send a text to make others feel more connected to friends, family and the nation.

YoungMinds carried out a survey of 2,000 people with pre-existing mental health conditions and found 83% of young people felt that lockdown had made their condition worse.

They had worries about their family’s health and their own health, school and university closures, loss of routine and social connections, family finances and worries about losing a job.

Here’s some coping mechanisms that helped:

  • Face-to-face calls with friends: 72% found helpful

  • Watching TV / films: 72% helpful

  • Face-to-face calls with family: 47% found helpful

  • Spending time with family: 48% found helpful

  • Reading / watching the news: 13% helpful