Over the last few years and especially in light of the COVID pandemic, mental health support and awareness has been growing and this year campaigners are focusing specifically on the impact of loneliness on mental health.
One thing COVID made really clear was our reliance on each other and how much we need to see and talk to other people. For some of us lockdown might have been the first time we experienced real loneliness but for others it was a continuation of normal life. This year we want to challenge you to reduce loneliness experienced by those within our community.
The cause and consequences of loneliness can affect everybody differently but it always has a negative effect on our mental health. High levels of loneliness has been linked with various mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, sleep issues, stress and suicidal ideation. The impacts can vary person to person but there’s lots we can do individually and collectively to help fight back.
At Foothold Cymru we have lots of different things going on that you can either become involved in or support which helps address loneliness along with many other issues.
Our Craft and Chat group provides an opportunity to meet with new people, learn new skills or just be able to step back and relax for a few hours. The group runs every Thursday and is full of people from different backgrounds and experiences – if you’d like to get involved then let us know!
Our Back2Basics Garden and Youth Drop-in are excellent places to meet new people and to get connected with others. Whether you want to access support as a young person (14 – 24) or if you want to volunteer (any age) there’s plenty going on to become involved in and it’s a great chance to meet new people and break out of the loneliness cycle.
If you want to reduce your loneliness levels but aren’t quite ready for a group just yet, our 1st Impressions and Feeding Futures team can help you develop and build your confidence on a 1:1 basis initially. Then when you feel ready, you’ll have the skills and confidence to meet others, to enter (or re-enter) the work force or to access volunteering opportunities across the county.
We also have lots of in-house volunteering opportunities in our Burry Port Community Food Store and in our Stebonheath Communtiy Food Store, in our Garden in Llanelli or across some of our other projects. If you want to give back to the community and meet new people along the way then learning about our volunteering opportunities is a great way to start!
There’s always so much going on at Foothold Cymru from car boot sales to bike maintenance sessions; community food hubs and training opportunities to support around life skills or access to our Scrap Store and Tool Shed. For more information about what we’ve got on offer just drop us an email or give us a call! We’re all in this together and the best thing we can do is support each other along the way!
For further tips and advice to fight against loneliness visit MIND’s website which has a lot of excellent suggestions: Tips to manage loneliness - Mind
Here is a film created by Carmarthenshire young people on our 'My Mind' project, on mental health in young people.