Supporting mental health during COVID-19 - The Health Lottery
A third of all projects funded through The Health Lottery directly address mental health, via local health and wellness charities. We believe this is more important than ever, as Great Britain handles the COVID-19 global health pandemic.
Many participants in these projects report reduced isolation and stress, and increased confidence and aspirations. This has a positive impact on mental health and people’s own sense of self-worth. We are dedicated to fighting health inequality, and we know that mental ill health is a growing issue in areas of wider disadvantage.
During lockdown, many of these projects have moved their sessions online. This ensures they can continue to be a lifeline for local communities during this difficult time. Projects such as Headspace Bolton, Havering Mind, and the Coffee Cup Choir in Plymouth have received glowing feedback for their work.
Headspace Bolton chose to move their usual stand-up comedy sessions online, including podcasts and scriptwriting. This has allowed vulnerable participants to maintain contact during lockdown. According to project co-ordinator Ginny Allende-Cullen, one man who wasn't able to join the group previously due to pneumonia can now join in online. The same is true of another member who can now return to sessions while self-isolating.
Havering Mind are now holding, among other online communications, Facebook discos! Music and dancing are proven to be extremely beneficial to a person’s mental health and wellbeing. The project is therefore encouraging people to sing or dance as a weekly positive boost.
The Coffee Cup Choir is a professional disability-led company run by disabled practitioners in Plymouth. They are also making their project more accessible during lockdown. Daisy, the group’s vocal coach, is holding online webinars with vocal warmups and live sessions. The group’s other leader Jake, a beatboxer & musician, is showcasing online performances and tutorials – including short and sharp beat boxing videos.
We’re delighted to see these health projects providing vital support in the face of coronavirus adversity. Thanks to their work, members remain connected and supported. We’ll keep our charity lottery games running throughout the coronavirus crisis, so as to continue raising those vital funds. As ever, we are grateful to our players for their loyal support. Our best wishes to all our players and good causes at this time.