With this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week focusing on kindness, the team at Anxiety UK thought it would be appropriate to share some kindness of our own. These last couple of months have brought about big changes for everyone in the world – including for the small staff team here at Anxiety UK. Since March, we, like many, have been working from home to ensure that Anxiety UK is able to continue to deliver support and assistance to those who need it most in these critical times. As you might imagine, anxiety levels have risen in general in society and now more than ever, people need our support.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we put out a call to the general public for volunteers to help with taking calls on our national helpline. This request was made in response to witnessing a steep rise in call volume and experiencing unprecedented demand for the helpline; to date the highest number of calls that we have seen has equated to a 429% rise increase compared to average (non-pandemic), call volumes. It’s fair to say that we were absolutely overwhelmed by the response that we received from the general public as well as from our Approved Therapist team of volunteers – many of whom also put their names forward to help with this service. Quite honestly, we were truly heartened by the level of support that we received and the overall spirit that people have displayed in responding not only to this call out for help, but others including requests for help with digital media projects and other communications related projects. In having this immediate assistance available, we have been able to extend the hours of our national helpline and associated support services (email, text and instant messaging services) by over 100% so that those that need our support can reach us much more easily.
Indeed, the kindness of our volunteers has not gone unnoticed and, the staff team here at Anxiety UK really do want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in to support us with our work. We truly could not have delivered the responsive, nationally recognised, expanded service that we have been able to provide on the helpline, without you. Each and every one of you is a hero. And, if you are reading this article and would like to volunteer on the helpline, don’t worry it’s not too late as it’s likely that we are going to need sustained support as the pandemic and its impact, continue into the summer and beyond. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
We’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone who has sent in kind words of praise and lovely positive and uplifting feedback via email and the helpline. This really has meant a lot to us here at the Anxiety UK staff team. We’d also like to thank those members of the general public and indeed the many companies who have recognised the work that we are doing in meeting the ‘anxiety need’ that has arisen from the pandemic and who have responded by making a donation or by committing to undertaking a fundraising activity or event, to support Anxiety UK during these times. It’s fair to say that we’ve had a great response too from our digital community of followers to date and we’re excited about continuing to work with our fab fundraisers and supporters in the future. If you would like to get involved with fundraising you can find our online fundraising guide here – https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/online-fundraising-ideas/.
And to close, we sincerely hope that during what remains of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, all of our followers and supporters take a moment to stop and be kind to themselves and to have an opportunity to show some self-care. If however you, like so many people find this difficult s to do, don’t worry – we have a solution! Our new Compassion Focused Therapy service is the first of its kind to offer access to this super form of therapy on a national basis and which give you the opportunity to see one of our CFT trained and qualified practitioners – further info here: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/get-help/compassion-focused-therapy/
To end, take care, be kind to yourself and to others, and enjoy the rest of what Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 has to offer.
The Anxiety UK Team.