A group of national helplines have launched a campaign encouraging people to seek support for problems that may have been ignored or disregarded during the coronavirus lockdown.
The #readytotalk campaign, supported by GamCare, Samaritans, Refuge and Cruse Bereavement Care, provides listening support as the pandemic lockdown has begun to ease in the UK.
With anxieties surrounding the lockdown and pandemic, many people across the country have faced mental health difficulties, whether previously existing problems exacerbated by the current situation or new arising issues. Due to lockdown, many people have been unable to find the support they require. This campaign, therefore, aims to raise awareness of the support available for those who are #readytotalk.
Anna Hemmings, chief executive of GamCare, a support provider for people with gambling addictions, said: “With lockdown easing, people have the chance to look up and take stock, to deal with the issues that may have been put to one side.
“We know that addictions, and gambling problems specifically, can be aggravated by feelings of isolation and distress that have been so prevalent through lockdown. We want people to know we are here to help and ready to listen whenever they are ready to talk. It is great to have support services and helplines united in their desire to help people across the country, especially during uncertain times.”
Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “We know that human connection is vital for our mental health, and that uncertainty can have an impact on our emotional wellbeing. There are a lot of unknowns right now which is leaving many feeling anxious or worried.
“We encourage anyone who is struggling in these challenging times to talk to someone. Our volunteers are available 24 hours a day to provide emotional support to anyone who needs a listening ear.”
The key helpline numbers, for all four organisations, are:
- National Gambling Helpline– 0808 80 20 133
- Samaritans– 116 123
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline (Refuge) – 0808 2000 247
- Cruse Bereavement Care– 0808 808 1677
Support from other helplines can also be found at helplines.org/helplines