By default, I have a very positive outlook on life. I am definitely one of its eternal optimists – albeit in a ‘well it could always be worse’ stoic way. I put it down to my northern roots. But I think it’s fair to say that the last 8 months have left few of us unfazed and my default position has definitely been tested.
Whilst the government attempts to keep the economy on life support and the NHS rallies to take care of the physical health risk, something else is bothering me much more. Who is looking after our mental health?
Being freelance, self-employed or running your own business is challenging enough at the best of times. We’re a tough breed – used to being self-reliant, resilient and operating without a safety net. But when nothing feels familiar, and you’re uncertain how long it might stay like that, or indeed if it will ever go back to the old normal, it can be hard to find something stable to anchor you down. And that’s before you add in all the other life pressures that have been amplified by the COVID situation.
All around us now, I see people beginning to show the signs of mental health challenges. I count myself in that number. All I would say is, don’t hold it in. Even if you don’t quite know how to articulate it yet, now would be a good time to start talking. What your mental health needs right now is some good unashamed conversation.
– Gavin, Founder & CEO of Coherent
Here at Coherent, we want to support all of our operators, hosts, and followers in any way we can. And when we do not know the precise thing to say, we will always try our best to find the answer.
Below we have pulled together a few resources that we hope will lead you to find the support you need if you too are finding yourself struggling with your mental health:
- Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health, while offering an array of supportive services. Mind cover various topics through their Tips for Everyday Living Blog including, Sleep problems, Stress, Loneliness, and Wellbeing. They have also put together an informative section on Coronavirus and your rights with mental health, if you would like to learn more about this.
- The Mental Health Foundation holds prevention at the heart of everything they do. Their knowledge, informed by rigorous research and practical based study, has been pioneering change for more than 70 years. MHF often provides various articles to support you with your mental health, including Facing a Winter During the Coronavirus Pandemic. They also provide support through videos and podcasts too.
- Leapers is an organisation that supports the mental health of freelancers and the self-employed. They have created a free guide on how best to look after your mental health during this time. Check it out here – Working well from home under self-quarantine for Coronavirus. Leapers hosts a support community via Slack that is free to join. Their community is non-judgemental, open and supportive, which can be just what you need when you’re either starting out as a freelancer, or established but fed up of working on your own.
- Samaritans offer listening and support to people and communities in times of need. They are here, day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure. They also have an excellent article, If You’re Worried About Your Mental Health During Lockdown, which is updated regularly with helpful tips, advice and resources.
- If you are looking for information on child and adolescent mental health, Young Minds can help. Their mission is to make sure all young people can get the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what. The Young Minds resources library is full of useful toolkits, publications, reports and policy information about children and young people’s mental health. Whether you are a parent worried about their child or a young person looking for support, Young Minds are there to help.
Take care, talk it out, and be safe.
– Team Coherent