Mental Health Awareness Week comes as charities across the country continue to raise concerns over the mental health of people across the nation, including Wellspring Therapy and training, which is based in Starbeck and provides counselling and support to children, young people and adults in distress - including at schools across the Harrogate district.
It has launched an urgent appeal, encouraging people to carry out a 24-hour lockdown fundraiser, after it experienced a spike in demand during a time when the charity’s income has been “hugely affected”, with countless fundraising opportunities cancelled, including a group mountain trek in Africa, which would have raised £20,000.
Wellspring’s executive director Emily Fullarton said: “We were already annually supporting over 700 children, young people and adults, suffering from emotional distress. Sadly many more local people will suffer from poor mental health, as an outcome of the difficulties they face in this time of lockdown.
“These worries include loss of loved ones, anxiety, damaging home life situations, financial challenges, uncertainty and depression. We need help now, more than ever, to provide life-saving support.”
William and Kate spoke on a minute-long radio broadcast alongside a host of stars, including England captain Harry Kane and actor David Tennant, to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.
During the broadcast the duke said: “We’re all connected, and sometimes just talking about how you’re feeling can make a big difference.
“So right now, let’s join together across the UK and reach out to someone.”
While Kate echoed his words saying: “If you’re struggling, it’s important to talk about it. Or if someone you know is acting differently, it’s OK to ask how they are. Use this moment to send a message.”
Meanwhile, celebrities including Ant and Dec, David Walliams, Phillip Schofield and Laura Whitmore have appeared in a video urging people to reach out to others during the pandemic.
Love Island host Whitmore said: “Keeping in touch has never mattered more.”
At Wellspring, the charity has launched a One-Day Lockdown Challenge, encourgaing a raft of fundraising ideas, hoping that people will be inspired by Col Tom Moore's multi-million ppund
NHS fundraiser by doing something like staying awake for 24 hours, giving up something for 24 hours, completing an exercise challenge or getting creative.
Ms Fullarton added: “It only takes a few mins to set up a Facebook Fundraiser or Virgin Money Giving page.
“If you simply want to support others, follow us on Facebook to hear all about people taking on the lockdown challenge and support them through the donate button, or click to a blog on
our website www.wellspringtherapy.co.uk.
“Meanwhile, if you want to keep it simple, and donate to our general COVID-19 fund, please text WSHOPE to 70085 to donate £5.
“If you can help, thank you so much for helping us to support those struggling in our community. Together we can bring hope and healing to many.”
In Leeds, the city council and the local NHS have sent out a message to young people that “support is still here”, encouraging children to access help via the MindMate website.
Coun Fiona Venner, Leeds executive board member for children and families said: “We know that a lot of children and young people will be feeling really anxious with everything that’s going on with the coronavirus outbreak. Some may find it easier to talk to their family or friends, others may find it easier to access some support to help with their mental wellbeing.”