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World Mental Health Day 2021—What’s your part to play?

Did you know that this summer only 62% of adults felt they were able to cope well with the stress of the pandemic? For people with pre-existing mental health conditions, this numbers falls to only a third. More worryingly, Mind reports that 68% of young people have said that their mental health got worse during lockdown.

This Sunday is World Mental Health Day—and with the full impact of the pandemic on mental health just beginning to become clear, it’s the perfect time to be thinking about our mental health and resilience. With this in mind, we’re excited to let you know about three resources that may be of interest to you.

The Friendly Places Pledge

The Friendly Places Pledge is designed as a commitment to action on the part of faith communities, faith-based organisations and places of worship. It recognises the power of small interventions that make a big difference in helping people feel welcomed and included, particularly bearing in mind those with mental health difficulties. If you haven’t already, now might be a good time to sign up.

People have used the Pledge in a variety of ways—one large faith-based community centre decided to train up their security team to help provide welcome and signposting. Another faith community committed to always leaving a reserved row of seats at the back of large gatherings to help those who arrive late, or who might need to step out mid-event.

We’ve now updated our Friendly Places training package for a post-COVID world, offering practical suggestions for designing welcoming digital, as well as face-to-face, gatherings. We’re putting in some dates for training days in December, so if this is of interest to you, do get in touch.

Every Mind Matters

The NHS-endorsed Every Mind Matters resource is an excellent one-stop shop for all issues related to COVID-19 and mental health, with top tips on looking after your mental health, particularly in the context of the shifting world of a pandemic.

The Every Mind Matters Mind Plan involves a short wellbeing quiz that generates tailored ideas to help you look after your wellbeing, and seek further help if necessary. If you’re a faith-based organisation interested in supporting the wellbeing of your community, why not add this resource to your inventory of tools to help?

Building Resilient Faith Communities

[If you missed this event, you can watch the full recording on YouTube here.]

This evening—Thursday 7th October—FaithAction will be supporting an event in partnership with  Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham exploring Building Resilient Faith Communities. Hosted by rapper and mental health advocate Nick Brewer, it looks to be a lively discussion around what faith groups are experiencing post-pandemic, and what statutory support is available to them. Wherever you are in the UK, we’re sure you’ll find helpful insights and thought-provoking content. The event will start at 5:30pm and will be held via Zoom.

Find out more about the event and register your place for free!

We hope this is of use to you. And as always, we’d love to hear from you, so do get in touch to let us know what you’ll be doing this #worldmentalhealthday.

About Jeremy Simmons

Policy and Programme Officer

Jeremy, as Policy and Programme Officer, aims to raise the voice of faith in policy making and gather evidence of local faith-based solutions. He also assists with FaithAction’s work for the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and NHS England, as well as the APPG for Faith and Society.

Jeremy has a background in Theology, as well as Art History, and maintains an interest in art practice and the intersections between faith and culture – as well as good coffee.