9th May 2022
In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, we are delighted to share a Voices Blog by Hilda Beauchamp, Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Lead, Institute of Health Visiting.
The Mental Health Foundation is hosting this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May) when the impact of loneliness will be explored. This follows findings from recent research that showed many people have been increasingly suffering from feelings of isolation and loneliness which has led to harmful consequences. The Better Health Every Mind Matters campaign encourages us all to ‘Lift someone out of loneliness’. Simply reaching out with a text, meeting up for a cuppa or having a walk with someone can make a big difference.
Many new parents experience significant loneliness as they adjust to their new roles, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this, with data from the Royal Foundation highlighting that 63% of parents of young children say they feel lonely, compared to 38% before the pandemic.
Loneliness is both a cause and a contributing factor to depression. People who are lonely are more likely to develop mental ill-health than those with strong social networks.
Health visitors are ideally placed to help families feel less isolated – acting as connectors and facilitators, and signposting to local resources, services and support groups.
We’ve taken a whistle-stop tour of what health visitors are doing up and down the country to lift families out of loneliness – click on the image below to open the pdf.
Further advice, resources and support can be found on the Every Mind Matters loneliness webpage and the HEE e-learning course that encourages us all to address loneliness during our interactions with families and the public: