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The importance of checking in on those around us

As we start a New Year and a new lockdown, it is OK to feel differently and it is important to look after our physical and mental wellbeing.

This week, Anita Imberger Senior Health Improvement Officer, talks about the importance of checking in on those around us.

Last year we experienced something most people could never have imagined and for many, difficult personal circumstances that might normally be manageable, became more challenging than before.

Now, in a second lockdown it is even more important to check in with family, friends and neighbours and ask, ‘Are you OK?’ – and speak honestly about how we are feeling.
Some people’s health has suffered or loss of work has brought financial worry. Others may be stuck in a bad relationship or feel they have lost control. A few might even be thinking life is not worth living.

Jane Glover MBE, Chairwoman of Arbory and Rushen Commissioners and Vicki Hewison, who set up Laxey Lifeline, recognised the importance of reaching out in the first lockdown.

Both worked actively in their community on projects that helped with shopping, collection of prescriptions, advice and a listening ear.

Their community action groups came together in the first lockdown to support people of all ages and have sprung back into action.

Mrs Glover, said: ‘It is more important than ever to reach out. Simply being a good neighbour, being vigilant, and making a conscious effort to be aware of others is vital at this difficult time.

‘Many of our volunteers tell us that they got so much satisfaction out of being useful it boosted their own wellbeing. It also important to not be afraid to ask for help.

‘Our Connect scheme has an army of volunteers ready to help people with shopping and errands and simply listen if anyone feels lonely or isolated.’

Vicki Hewison, said: ‘An active, caring community spirit is the key to getting through this and our residents have it in bucket loads.

‘Many people who received support from us during the initial lockdown felt that they shouldn’t have to ask for help and felt frustrated that they had to shield, however by doing this they were keeping themselves safe which reduced the strain on Nobles and ultimately helped us beat the spread of the virus.’

‘Remember, you are not alone. There is support available, through the Government, third sector and your community.’

If you, or someone you know, is struggling – then most Government run services are still available. Don’t hesitate to use them – some might be run differently or no longer face-to-face – but video or phone options are widely available and the support is still there.

Digital wellbeing services can also be accessed through Kooth and Qwell with more details available at: along with loads of other helpful resources.

Lockdown does not mean you should ‘grin and bear it’, and nobody should be suffering due to these measures. But, as before, the most powerful, most meaningful help is from our community. Reach out to someone today and ask, ‘Are you OK?’

For further information about help in:
- Arbory and Rushen, please contact Jane Glover at +44 1624 492010 or
- Garff, please contact Laxey Lifeline on +44 1624 474747, email or Laxey Lifeline on Facebook