Ogmore MP Chris Elmore is urging local residents to “reach out” for support if their mental health or wellbeing is suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week, which annually seeks to raise awareness of the issues facing people with mental health issues and signpost support to those who are struggling. The theme of this year’s awareness week is kindness, with people across the UK being encouraged to become more aware of the need to be kind – even to those we do not directly know.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“It’s always important to look after your mental health and wellbeing but this awful pandemic has really underscored just how crucial it is that we look out for others who may be struggling.
“At the start of the lockdown, I warned of the very real risks increased screen time and social isolation can have on mental health and these are issues I remain deeply concerned about as the public health restrictions persist.
“I’m really pleased that the Welsh Labour Government has announced new funding for mental health support for young people in particular. Providing more resources to support services now and in the near-future is going to be crucial if we are to minimise the long-term toll this virus could have on our collective mental health.
Chris currently chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media which frequently explores the impact technology can have on the mental health and wellbeing of young people. The group have been successful in implementing changes to the UK Government’s strategy on online harms, which are widely recognised as a significant issue across the country.
Earlier this week, the Welsh Labour Government announced £3.75 million of funding for mental health in schools, which will include new support for children under the age of 11. Announcing the funding, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Health and Social Care said that the additional resources were triggered by the need to “be prepared for an impact [of COVID-19] on children’s emotional wellbeing”.
“The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. I can’t think of a more apt theme for the times we are currently living through. From the rainbows in families’ windows, to the wave of community action we’ve seen to support others, this crisis has brought out the very best in our local communities. And I have no doubt these acts of kindness will continue long into the future.”