For many of us the coronavirus outbreak means that we are spending more time indoors and away from our loved ones and this can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. 

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week runs from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 May and is more important than ever.  The national campaign is led by the Mental Health Foundation and the theme this year is ‘kindness’ which is particularly poignant during a time where people are feeling disconnected from their friends and family and may be experiencing loneliness.

Herefordshire Council is encouraging residents to follow five simple steps to help combat anxiety and loneliness and improve people’s mental health and wellbeing.

  • Be active – Go for walk, cycle, spend time in the garden or participate in an online activity
  • Keep learning – Cook a new recipe or sign up to access Herefordshire’s online library services, for details visit
  • Connect – Speak to a family member on the phone or via video link
  • Take notice – Take some time to yourself and be aware of the world around you
  • Give – Help others, smile, say hello
  • All whilst adhering to the latest government advice regarding social distancing, details of which can be found online

Karen Wright, Director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said:

“We are all currently experiencing the life changing effects of the coronavirus outbreak and we recognise that the impact of this strange situation can have a prolonged effect on a person’s mental wellbeing.

“Now more than ever it is important to care for your mental health.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts and feelings please remember that there is wide range of free support and advice available online and by telephone.  Details of local and national support is available on the Wish website”

Councillor Pauline Crockett, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added:

“One in four of us will suffer from poor mental health at some point in our lives and it’s important to remember that it’s ok not to feel ok and you are not alone when you feel like this.  It’s crucial that you take the first step towards seeking help by reaching out to friends, family or an organisation that can offer professional support and advice.”