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3 November 2020
Kate Brackley works at Bild and has been writing a series of blog posts for us to share her experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week she is looking at how the mental health of people may be affected during the pandemic.
Many people in society suffer from mental health issues, especially people with learning disabilities.
This can be a sensitive subject for many people with disabilities and they don’t like to disclose anything about their own mental health, the impact and the issues that affect them.
From my own experience I have suffered with mental health in the past, this is quite personal to me but what I can say is that it got really bad as I was feeling like I was living in a dark space and I felt trapped and that I could not cope. Things got on top of me every single day.
My family, support worker and employer were very worried about me and I had to take five months off work.
As someone who has experienced mental health problems, I know how sensitive the subject is and how important it is to get help and support.
Other people have different stories that need to be heard but this is sadly not the case for many people as they feel that they want to keep their stories hidden. Although they might be suffering during this worrying time there are people who can help and will listen to you.
Since the coronavirus outbreak the impact and the issues around mental health have increased for people with disabilities as this is a time of anxiety, stress and confusion.
During the lockdown people with disabilities may have been isolating or shielding and are worried about their mental health. They want to live their lives and the feeling of being “locked up” in their own homes is damaging to themselves as they cannot see anybody apart from their support worker or family member and this is affecting them so much.
The restrictions around this is damaging as many activities that I and other people with disabilities enjoy doing have stopped because of the virus. Some people can become withdrawn if they are looking at the same four walls every day.
Watching the news can scare people as looking at the different aspects relating to coronavirus is quite confusing and not easy to understand, but they still want to hear about what is relevant to them and how they can live their lives.
Some of the restrictions about social distancing and keeping a certain distance apart from each other can be confusing and people may not understand how to do this safely to protect themselves and other people around them.
Wearing a face covering, for example, a face mask can be very difficult for people with disabilities and may make them more anxious.
Stress is a big part of mental health and it is important that people are listened to and have the support they need. I hope that by reading my blog and sharing my experience this will help others.