Mental Health Awareness Week begins today! The Mental Health Foundation hosts this annual event to allow ‘the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health’.
The theme this year is loneliness. Connection to other people and our communities is so important for good mental health. However, a recent study has found that almost a quarter of adults in Scotland have felt lonely because of coronavirus. And this can have a long term effect on mental health.
There is good news though! During the pandemic and onwards CAPS has been providing independent Collective Advocacy online. People who are involved have found this helpful in creating connections and reducing isolation.
Here’s what Collective Advocacy participants have to say:
‘[I have] more confidence talking about my experience and it is nice meeting new people with similar experiences.’
‘Felt less isolated because of meetings weekly during ‘lockdown’ Formed new ‘virtual’ relationships.’
‘I was worried about losing the ability to communicate due to being isolated for so long and having my professional development stunted, however, CAPS helped me find an avenue to build my confidence with public speaking and grow new business skills which helped when I returned to work.’
Collective Advocacy is a way for people who share similar experiences to get together. They work as a group to challenge power imbalances and influence decisions that affect them. This could include improving mental health services or speaking up in the Scottish Parliament about mental health issues.
Would you like to get involved with Collective Advocacy? Do you live in Lothian? Have a look at the different projects available, sign up or get in touch with Madhu our Peer Volunteer Development Worker on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07929 751 911.