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March 22, 2021 | Laura Murphy

Maintaining your mental health

It's been well recognised that the lockdown is causing enormous strain to everyone and impacting on people's mental health. What are we doing about it at WayfinderWoman?

It’s no surprise to see studies about the increasing demands on mental health services as a result of the lockdown.  It’s impacting on everyone and women more than men as women are taking on a greater share of the burden of home care, child care, adult care as well as trying to work.  Or women have taken the greater share of redeployment, furlough or redundancy.

We realised many months ago that this would be the case and so we contacted our grant funders asking if we could repurpose the grants they’d given us to provide more support to women’s emotional and mental wellbeing.  Our workshops were changed to do that and six of our volunteers undertook accredited mental health first aid training, run by the brilliant Adrian Thomas from RYP WellBeing so that they could better support the women who came to us.

We also instituted a range of training for all our volunteers so they knew the difference between coaching, mentoring and counselling.  We are continuing to run other workshops for them so that they can more effectively help any women who come for advice and support.  And perhaps two of our most powerful initiatives was to have an online chat facility available during our normal opening hours so that women could get 1-2-1  instant support virtually and our online weekly coffee mornings where women can chat, shout, moan or celebrate with each other knowing that they all would be supported.

For ourselves we have been having regular check-ins with each other via our whatsapp groups and phone calls.  We are celebrating birthdays remotely, sharing stories about the small achievements in our lives, sharing when we’re feeling down or feeling good.  We’re keeping the connections going.

For you then, keep your connections alive.  Share the ups and downs with friends and family – or us.  Get in touch if you need any help or support.  Sign up for our newsletter and workshops and even think about joining us as a volunteer and be welcomed into our wonderful mutually supportive community.

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