To some extent most people are feeling anxious and more aware of their mental health and wellbeing due to the continuing global health emergency.
The loss of life in our small community, the time spent in social isolation, the fear of the unknown that COVID-19 still represents, disruption to normal routines, and the economic damage that the pandemic has caused, are all contributing factors to a more heightened risk of mental health issues.
In response to this, the Isle of Man Government is launching the Are you OK? campaign to encourage people to talk about what’s worrying them and look out for one another, with signposts to self-help resilience advice and organisations available to those who need help.
The campaign will be launched by Chief Minister, Howard Quayle MHK on Monday and will include radio and press adverts, newspaper articles and social media. A dedicated website has also been established with wellbeing resources and signposting.
The Chief Minister, said: ‘After what we’ve been through it’s OK to feel differently, and as we enter a new normal it is more important than ever to look after our physical and mental health. For many, difficult personal circumstances that might normally be manageable, have become more challenging than ever before.
‘We don’t always know what others are going through - so taking the time to genuinely ask the question and listening to them share their story has never been more important. If you are struggling, instead of saying the classic, ‘Fine thanks’, maybe try opening up a bit, you might be surprised.’
Dr Henrietta Ewart, Director of Public Health, said: ‘Often, when things feel too much, talking about it stops it from building into something worse. The moment we realise the power of talking honestly and openly about how we are feeling, our Island community will see its benefits.’
On the landing page there is an Are you OK? poster that can be downloaded, coloured in and displayed in windows at home, shops or offices. People are encouraged to share their photographs/picture on social media, using the #areyouokmann hashtag.