We can all feel lonely from time to time, but long periods of loneliness can have a negative impact on our mental health. Living through various lockdowns throughout the pandemic over the past two years has meant that many of us have spent a long period of time alone or feeling lonely. Looking after our mental health is important. That’s why we are on a mission, this Mental Health Awareness Week (9th – 15th May) to help connect people once again and raise awareness of the positive impact connecting with others can have on our mental health.
Firstly, we are delighted that with the easing of covid restrictions, our teams are bringing back our popular in person events for residents. Our friendly teams are re-introducing bingo and coffee mornings and are on hand to help you transition back to these events and meet new people or re-connect following the pandemic.
You may not yet feel ready to meet in larger groups and we understand that. It’s important that we all take things at our own pace when we are ready. That’s why we have put together some tips on other ways you can connect with people.
- Use technology to keep in touch with your friends and family or attend groups. There are still many groups that are available online. Devon Recovery Learning Community offer free, open access courses both online and in person to promote mental health and wellbeing
- Use social media to find friendly local community groups that meet your interests such as open water swimming, walking or board games groups (to name a few) across North Devon
- Take a walk or other exercise with a friend or family member. Being outside in nature and getting some exercise can really help our mental and physical health.
- Volunteering is a great way to meet new people whilst helping others. Find out more about getting involved at NDH.
- Talk. Bottling up our feelings is not good for us and often when we open up to others about how we are feeling we find they open up too. If you don’t want to talk to a friend or family member, consider a free therapy or a peer support service like https://sidebyside.mind.org.uk/ or https://www.talkworks.dpt.nhs.uk/ or talk to us.
We know that everybody has times when they are struggling with their mental health and can need a helping hand to get them through these difficult times. Our newest team here at North Devon Homes is trained and dedicated to help you through these times. This includes help with mental wellbeing, trauma, addiction, high rent arrears as well as Independent Living Support; we are here to support you to live well and sustain your tenancies. We would encourage any customer who is struggling with any of these issues to please get in touch.
As we are raising the awareness of how connection helps our mental health, it’s important that we are looking after ourselves too. That’s why we have appointed Mental Health First Aiders for our staff. We recognise that it’s vital we give ourselves the same kindness, compassion and care that we give to you, like the saying goes ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’. We know the better we look after ourselves, the more we are able help you.
Being connected is so important so we are pleased that we can get back into our communities, re-connect with you and have more in person events. Connections to others bring us happiness, support and a sense of purpose that is important to our mental and physical health.
All residents are welcome at our events, which take on the following days:
- 2nd Monday of every month: 10.30-11.30am Coffee morning at Mariners Close, Braunton for Braunton & Wrafton residents
- 3rd Wednesday of every month: 2.30-3.30pm Coffee afternoon at Sellick Court, South Molton
- 1st Thursday of every month: 10.30-11.30am Coffee morning at Magdalene Lawn, Barnstaple
- 3rd Thursday of every month: 10.30-11.30am Coffee morning The Candar, Ilfracombe
- 3rd Friday of every month: 2-3pm Bingo at Medard, Barnstaple
Please remember we are just a phone call away. To get in contact for information on how we can help support you, please contact 01271 312500 or email [email protected]