The hospice helpline, staffed by an experienced counsellor and an art therapist, is open to anyone who is struggling with their mental health due to the lockdown, bereavement, health concerns, anxiety about the future and financial worries.
“We know that many people are finding it a struggle to manage during such a difficult period,” said John Taylor Hospice Counsellor Christina Stephenson. “People in our local community may be experiencing loneliness, isolation, or coming to terms with the loss of someone they love. And most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic, with many children and young people reporting an increase in anxiety, stress and feelings of sadness.”
New survey data from Public Health England (PHE)* found that two-thirds of parents say their children’s behaviour has changed since the start of the pandemic (69%) and when asked their top three worries around COVID-19, over half (52%) said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries.
Nearly a quarter of parents surveyed said that not knowing what action to take has prevented them supporting their children’s mental wellbeing (22%), and more than a third (38%) wanted more advice on how to support their mental wellbeing when returning to school.
“We want patients, families, carers and parents to know that we’re there to support them and we’d urge them to seek help if they need it,” added Chris. “We are passionate about empowering others and will provide a safe, caring and confidential space to talk. Please do not feel you have to cope alone.”
The telephone helpline is available weekdays between 9am and 8pm and is open to patients and families who are currently, or have previously, received care and support from John Taylor Hospice. The helpline numbers are 07854 012241 and 07854 011110, and if the team is unable to answer your call straight away, please leave a message and they will get back to you as soon as they can.
If you need immediate help and support during a mental health crisis please visit the NHS website for further information.
*Survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Public Health England.