How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected our mental health and wellbeing in Jersey?
At the time of writing it is not yet known the real impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but from listening to peoples stories we know that in one way or another there will be a long tailback of change and loss for many people. For some people, lockdown was a time to find new interests and improve relationships but for others, change and uncertainty had a negative impact on their mental health.
To understand people's experiences during these uncertain times we conducted a piece of research exploring Islanders' experiences of mental health during lockdown. We wanted to hear stories from people at all ages and stages of life (our youngest respondent was eight and our eldest was 88) and from those with pre-existing mental health problems and those without. We hoped that we might learn from each other's stories as well as connect on a human level to other's experiences.
Stories have confirmed our belief at Mind Jersey that there is no health without mental health. But this crisis has also reminded us that health is dependent on emotional and financial safety nets. Prioritising mental health across all ages and stages of family life has always been important but going forward it must take centre stage in our Island wide recovery plan. Additionally, we all must do more to ensure Islanders are aware of what mental health services are available and how to access them.