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Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

11 May 2022

One in four adults feel lonely some or all the time. There’s no single cause and there’s no one solution as we are all different.

Whilst anyone can experience loneliness, there are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of severe and long-lasting loneliness which can severely affect someone’s mental health. These can include but are not limited to:

• Being widowed
• Being single
• Being unemployed
• Living alone
• Having a long-term health condition or disability
• Being between 16-24 years old
• Being a carer
• Being from an ethnic minority community
• Being LGBTQ+
 
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 9th-15th May and will focus on how we can take positive action to help ourselves and to support each other.
 
Research from MentalHealth.Org shows that pre-pandemic, 5% of adults in Great Britain say that they have often or always felt lonely.
 
By February 2021 this had rapidly increased to 7.2% which equates to 3.7 million adults.
You can help others who are feeling lonely by:
 
• Not being judgemental – if someone is feeling lonely, stating that this is a result of their poor mental health is not helpful.
 
Feeling lonely is a very normal feeling, that everyone will experience in their lifetime. Having open and genuine conversations around mental health and loneliness will help to reduce the stigma.
 
Remember! It really is okay to not be okay, and to ask for help and support is a sign of strength, not of weakness.
 
• Invite them to attend games or groups with you. Sometimes stepping into public places can feel very overwhelming. Let them know that you are there to support them, and that if they are feeling uncomfortable, that they can leave at any time.
 
• Simply listen. Having your feelings validated and feeling heard is incredibly powerful. Take a compassionate and understanding approach, and not ignoring or minimising how someone is feeling, will help them to feel understood and heard.
 
Please remember that it is not about having all of the answers, but how you can work on decreasing the loneliness together, and considering who else can help, such as organisations like the Samaritans, The Mix, Shout, Mind, My Discombobulated Brain and of course the GP if needed.
 
Newport County AFC are proud that as Exiles Here To Listen, we also have several qualified Mental Health First Aiders within the Club who can be available to help and support you.
 
These being Stacey Larcombe (Tickets), Donna Linton (Supporter Liaison Officer) Kelly Anderson (Head of Safeguarding), Gareth Evans (Head of Academy Operations), Bobby McKenzie-Black (Academy YDP Lead) and Ryan Morley (Academy FDP Lead).
 
We know that dealing with loneliness can be difficult, and even in a crowd you can feel overwhelmed and as though you are on your own, but there are some positive steps that you can take, to help to support someone who is feeling lonely, and this week’s #WellbeingWednesday can help you with some positive steps to be able to reconnect and get some help and support.
 
If you are struggling with your mental health or wellbeing currently, please do reach out for help or support. If you are thinking about taking your own life or harming yourself, please go straight to A&E or call 999.
 
We all have mental health; you are not on your own.
 
#ExilesHereToListen
 
Shout
 
Text: SHOUT to 82528
 
Trained counsellors are there to support you 24/7 to listen and support you to get to a calmer and safe place. Shout is a free, confidential anonymous service for anyone in the UK. It will not appear on your phone bill.
 
The Samaritans
 
Whatever you are going through, a Samaritan will face it with you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
 
Call: 116 123
Email: jo@samaritans.org
 
The Mix
 
For ages 13-25
 
The Mix are a free and confidential multi-channel service. They offer informative articles and video content via their website. You can contact by phone or email, and access peer to peer support and counselling services.
 
Text: THE MIX to 82528
Call: freephone 0808 808 4994 – available 7 days a week from 4pm – 11pm
 
Mind
 
Mind provide a range of training, wellbeing courses and groups to be able to connect with others, and learn practical strategies to help to support your overall wellbeing.
 
You can also contact them directly for support Monday to Friday 9am-6pm.
 
Call: 0300 123 339
Text: 86463

 

Wellbeing Wednesday

 

Wednesday

Do something enjoyable that will keep you busy – this could include something like a spot of gardening, going to the gym, or even cleaning out your kitchen cupboards. It could even be sorting through this season’s memorabilia ready for the next.

Thursday

Try to do things that occupy your mind – for example, listening to our official podcast ‘Look Back In Amber’ from Newport City Radio, or a podcast about fitness, or from your favourite comedian. Listening to a familiar voice can be soothing and help to reduce the impact of loneliness.

Friday

Think about doing a physical activity – this could be going for a gentle stroll in the sunshine during your lunch break, or simply put your favourite music on at home and having a dance around your living room.

Saturday

Try to engage with the people that you meet today – it could be a simple hello as you pass your neighbour in the street or try to engage with the cashier at the till as you pay for your groceries. This can not only give you a bit of a lift, but also the person that you engage with. You never know what someone else is going through, so this could also have a positive impact on their day too.

Sunday

Spend some time with your pets – If you are lucky enough to have a pet, spending time with them can be a great way of managing loneliness. Not only do they give us unconditional love, but they also bring structure and routine to our lives. You may even meet new people to chat to when you are out walking your dog!

Monday

Find people who get you – It can be hard to connect with others when you are feeling lonely, but there are great ways to connect with people who been through similar experiences and share common interests. Perhaps you would like to consider volunteering in an area that you are passionate about? Perhaps with a particular charity or even at Newport County AFC. Our volunteers are incredible, and you will be well supported within your role. If you would like to volunteer next season, please register your interest with Joe Crocker at joec@ncafctrust.org

Tuesday

Use social media in a positive way – Social media can be really helpful for connecting with the outside world, however, please consider following some of the charities that can help and support you, such as Mind, My Discombobulated Brain, The Samaritans, The Mix and Shout.

They all often share top tips and guidance that can support with mental health and wellbeing. Even if you are not in a place where you need them right now, you may be able to positively help others who need that support.

As always, please take all appropriate measures to keep yourselves safe online.

 


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