Living in 2020: We had ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ where is our ‘Free Therapy to Stay Alive’ or ‘Fund Mental Health Services to Save Lives’ slogans?
I have felt a lot of emotions since PM Boris Johnson called a press conference to announce the new tier 4 system and the new rules around gatherings at Christmas. Fury, frustration, fear and now sadness.
For us up north this is heart breaking, for those down south in Tier 4….devastating.
Where is the mental health support? Where is our mental health slogan? Lost somewhere in the middle of this government trying to pull itself together. Our NHS is struggling trying to carry on supporting; our key workers exhausted, our counselling and therapy services on its knees… but yet no mention of mental health support in the PM’s speech.
9 months of this…..whatever this is. Studies modelling the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates predicted an increase from 1% to 145%, again based on assumptions but something worth noting in the house of commons.
Those of us in Tiers 1-3 had the 5 day ‘holiday’ break rules – originally meaning some form of normality could return over the winter break – taken away as if the agreement never existed. Boris said cancelling Christmas would be ‘inhumane’, so how are we supposed to react when the same man then takes the carrot away he has been dangling right in front of us?
I won’t lie to you, a few days ago I was furious with the south. My attitude “Welcome to the club” probably wasn’t helpful when it was announced some of the South, along with London, would be joining us in Tier 3.. but it was my natural reaction. Up here in Manchester we had our brief time out of lockdown/restrictions over some of the summer and we had pretty much been locked down and in since last March. This Christmas break was our hope, our chance to have a grasp of normality – not a usual winter break – but better than what we had been going through.
I recently sat through a funeral where a son couldn’t even hug his grieving mother…. And now we can’t even celebrate Christmas together?
Where do we go from here? Here at ECBC we try to provide advice and guidance – but I honestly don’t know what to say.
I’m fed up of mental health taking the sidelines. I’m just simply fed up.
I’m bloody terrified what this means for our countries’ mental health, for those feeling isolated and alone… but I’m also terrified what this could result in with trying to put a stop to this horrible pandemic. We all know there will be people who will ignore this new guidance, and I don’t half blame them, but does that mean that numbers will climb? Will people finally have enough and stop wearing masks?
When will I finally feel safe again walking down the street?
I just want to be able to hug my mum.
If you too are feeling this way please do remember there is support available:
Samaritans 116 123
CALM 0800 58 58 58
YoungMinds 0800 018 2138
Child Line 0800 1111
No Panic 0844 967 4848
SANE 0300 304 7000
Get Connected 0808 808 4994
I wish I had some form of answer, I really do.
For now just take care of yourself, use the services we have and the amazing charities that are out there.
You are not alone, even though it may feel like it.
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