Cambridge Labour city councillors have launched a two-week mental health campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues and share experiences and tips. Week one (9 – 15 August) has focused on young people’s mental health. The second week (16 – 23 August) will highlight adult mental health, and also talk about the importance of open spaces for wellbeing.
The initiative is being led by Councillors Alex Collis and Mairéad Healy. Alex commented:
“There are few people who’ve not seen an impact on their mental health over the past eighteen months as they’ve navigated life during a global pandemic. The constant uncertainty, feelings of isolation, stresses of thinking about to protect our most vulnerable family members and neighbours – it’s all taken a toll.
“That means it’s more important than ever before that we talk to each other about our struggles and break down the stigma. The more open we can be, the more people will feel able to seek the help they need. Cambridge Labour’s campaign will hopefully start some of those conversations.”
The first week of the campaign has seen a particular focus on exam results, as it has coincided with the announcement of A-Level and GCSE results. Mairéad commented:
“Exam results time can be an incredibly stressful period for young people, even without the unprecedented additional pressures that our young people have faced these past two academic years, during the pandemic. Missed classes, uncertainty of assessments, isolation from friends and extended families, and the wider impact of the pandemic on families.
“It is just unimaginable really for our young people, having to contend with all of these challenges whilst at the same time having to deal with the pressures of assessments and results.”
Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of the Children and Young People’s Committee on Cambridgeshire County Council – who also works as a child counsellor – shared a video in which she talks about the importance of open conversations about young people’s mental health, and of reducing stigma.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental heath issues, you can access professional support via your GP, who will signpost to the range of services available locally.