JANUARY might be deemed as the most depressing month of the year – and that’s without lockdown restrictions – but residents in Carmarthenshire are staying positive by keeping in touch with friends and family to help improve their mental health.
According to a recent YouGov survey a third of those living in mid and west Wales said keeping in touch with friends and family has helped sustain or improve their mental health since the start of the pandemic.
It comes as the Welsh Government is encouraging people to ‘help us, help you’ by practicing self-care and adopting small changes to help improve mental well-being, particularly at this time when levels of anxiety are higher than usual.
Alun Thomas, Chief Executive of Welsh mental health charity Hafal, said: “Hafal’s advice is to stay connected to others as much as you can, within the guidelines, look after your physical health and reach out and support others who you think may be in need. To overcome feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety it’s important to make use of our own support systems, whether that be our friends, families, schools, employers, etc.
“People who already receive assistance from mental health services should seek the support they know they can call on during these times. It is essential that they maintain contact with services, have an up-to-date care plan and access to the medication they need.
“At Hafal we continue to provide vital support every day to thousands of people with a mental illness across Wales. With the help of Welsh Government funding we are also delivering our Promise that no one in Wales affected by a mental illness need be alone; this is achieved by providing a range of flexible support either in person, on the phone, by email or via our online community Clic.”
With more than £700m invested annually, The Welsh Government spends more on mental health than on any other aspect of the NHS.
If you are concerned about your mental health and would like confidential help and advice then you can call the mental health listening and emotional support line which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 132 737. Alternatively, you can text ‘help’ to 81066 or visit: callhelpline.org.uk/