New research by the Surrey Care Trust has revealed how the lockdown has significantly affected people’s mental health in Surrey.
We recently surveyed the beneficiaries of our Mentoring programme and the findings revealed that:
• 76% of respondents reported they are more anxious, in particular those who already had pre-existing physical or mental health struggles (for instance those who suffer from panic attacks) or who rely on regular social interaction (for example at school or whilst playing sports as part of a team).
• Of those, 80% are specifically more anxious about their future; particular concerns relate to the impact on their education, their employment and finances and worries about their physical health or accommodation.
• Over half of those responding to the question reported experiencing a rise in family conflict leading to more anxiety and stress.
• Over 80% of younger mentees (aged 12-22) are feeling more socially isolated.
Many organisations, families and individuals throughout Surrey have had positive support within the first weeks and months of the crises. Nearly half of our mentees surveyed reported that they accessed new support services during the current crisis – using services such as foodbanks or volunteer services (for food shopping, collecting prescriptions etc), while others accessed mental health support, childcare or employment services.
Now, as we aim to tackle the longer term impacts of Covid-19, we are focusing our efforts on those vulnerable young people and troubled families who will be disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We are doing this by proactively planning and rapidly responding, as the situation continues to develop at pace.
Everyone at Surrey Care Trust, our staff, trustees and almost 250 volunteers, are committed to supporting the mental wellbeing of families and children during these extraordinary times and into the future. Our mentors, many of whom are volunteers, have already developed new approaches to their work to address the increasing need and we’re continuing to deliver over 70% of our services.
We are now expanding our research and evaluation across other programmes including our STEPS to 16 Alternative Education programme, our Family Centre in Stanwell and our Swingbridge Community Boat programme and will be sharing further information as it becomes available.