New research from the mental health charity Mind and the supermarket the Co-op has revealed the depth of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – 10.6 million Brits, just under a fifth of the population, currently describe their current mental health as poor.
Particularly young people (16–24-year-olds) were found to be disproportionately affected, with three in ten describing their current mental wellbeing as poor.
Additionally, over a third of people (37%) agreed that they didn't have the support or tools to deal with life's 'ups and downs', such as stress, pressure, or challenging circumstances. And the vast majority (81%) supported greater community mental health services, including open spaces to talk and engage in activities.
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‘Community mental health services are more essential than ever’
Reflecting on the findings of the report, Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value at the Co-op, said the results “confirm that communities have a key role to play in providing good mental wellbeing.”
She continued that the importance of community resilience comes from creating “networks of people and hubs, which in turn creates the conditions where both individuals and communities can prosper.”
Consequently, the Co-op and Mind are fundraising £8m to introduce 50 new community mental wellbeing services across the UK, which they project will help at least 10,000 people. The services will focus on the role of the community in supporting mental health and building resilience by assisting people in making new social connections and learning coping skills.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: "We're thrilled that our partnership with Co-op will deliver new mental health services to respond to the growing need for mental health support in communities, but we can't do this alone. As we learn to live with the pandemic and its aftermath, the value of our communities in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the whole country needs to be recognised."