The Covid Wellbeing NI support hub, a mental health resource led by Northern Ireland’s leading mental health charities, has been accessed by over 52,000 people.
Launched in June 2020 by the Department of Communities – in partnership with the Department of Health, the Public Health Agency and 16 mental health charities – the online resource has provided advice to people through the pandemic and encourages them to take control of their mental health and wellbeing.
The hub pulls together expertise from a consortium of mental health charities across Northern Ireland, with self-help toolkits, access to support and advice on a range of subjects, and information on mental health issues for anyone who may be struggling.
Stress management was shown to be the most visited section of the website, whilst other popular advice pages include anxiety, addiction and managing the workplace during the pandemic.
The Covid Wellbeing hub encourages people to:
Acknowledge how they are feeling and coping at this time;
Take positive action to look after their mental health;
Reach out for help and support;
Follow the 5 Steps to Wellbeing.
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA said:
“A year ago I said I was pleased to fund the development of the Covid Wellbeing hub. I could never have anticipated that we would still be in a position a year later when it was still a very much needed resource, from which further initiatives and support have been developed – for example our practical support through Warm, Well and Connected, which supported people over the winter months. For me, this has always been about how we achieve the required reach into our communities and we could not have done it without these partners. I am proud to have been involved and to remain involved as we move into recovery when wellbeing will continue to be a very clear focus for us all.”
Kerry Anthony, Chief Executive of Inspire Wellbeing, which is leading the 16 mental health charities, said:
“Increased stress, worry or anxiety are normal reactions to what we have been going through over this last year and it’s important to know there is information and support available.
"We all need help from time to time and when it comes to our mental wellbeing there is no shame in asking for information or support. The volume of unique visitors to the COVID Wellbeing NI hub shows people across Northern Ireland are paying attention to their mental and emotional wellbeing and have taken action to look after themselves and the people they care about.
“As we move out of this stage of the pandemic, new worries and anxieties will come to the fore for many. I strongly urge anyone struggling with their mental wellbeing to use the Covid Wellbeing hub or reach out for support. No one needs to face these challenges alone.”
Fiona Teague, Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing lead at the Public Health Agency, said:
“The Covid Wellbeing NI hub has proved to be an invaluable resource tool for people to help gain easy access to information and support to improve their wellbeing. PHA was delighted to be able to host the hub on the Minding Your Head website, enhancing awareness of services and supports already available. The hub offered a unique opportunity for organisations working in the area of mental and emotional wellbeing to come together to promote this vital resource. We hope this united approach will continue so we can work together to help minimise the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.”
To access the Covid Wellbeing NI hub, go to https://covidwellbeingni.info/