This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and, after a year of the Covid pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we take stock of its impact on us all.

14 months of lockdowns and isolation has had a profound impact on the nation’s health and it’s vital we take a moment to understand how this has affected us personally, as well as that of our colleagues and loved ones.

Last week the Office for National Statistics published data revealing that more than 20% of adults have experienced depression in 2021, while 40% of women aged between 16 and 29 were more likely to feel depressed during the second Covid peak than men and other age groups. It’s also impacted children too, with research by mental health charity YoungMinds also finding that more than half of parents and carers are concerned about the long-lasting effects the pandemic is having on their children’s mental wellbeing.

This situation is often even more acute for those who are vulnerable, disabled, or living in challenging circumstances or deprived areas.

We have some fantastic local charities in and around Stockport, including Beacon Counselling in my own constituency, which provides mental health and wellbeing support for adults and children. Earlier this year I was proud to help the Mayor of Stockport in his drive to raise more funds for the charity and help support the brilliant work they do for adults and children in our community.

If you feel you may be struggling, please don’t suffer in silence; reach out for support. You will quickly find that many are in the same position and battling the same challenges and be able to offer advice and a friendly ear.

Throughout this week, I would urge everyone to take a few minutes this week to check in with those around you to see how they’re doing and what you can do to help.

Together, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger.

If you do require any support please contact any of the following: 

Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393

Samaritans: 116 123 

Beacon Counselling: 0161 440 0055 

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