The impact of the COVID pandemic on our mental health and emotional well-being is becoming increasingly evident. Across the lifespan, we are seeing heightened rates of anxiety and low mood amongst the population.
Many people have been living in fear of contracting the virus; and feelings of anxiety surrounding re-engaging with community life are understandable and very normal. For those who have been significantly unwell as a result of contracting COVID themselves or have lost a loved one to the virus, we may see specific trauma responses. Loneliness, social isolation and the lack of freedom and meaningful activity that the lockdowns have caused have posed challenges to our emotional well-being.
Those amongst us who experienced pre-existing mental or physical health difficulties may have found that these have been exacerbated due to the pandemic; with those who have significant vulnerability, multiple disadvantage or living in abusive environments perhaps most at risk.
The pandemic has caused many of us to reflect on our own emotional well-being and what helps us to maintain this. Services have, as a result of the restrictions, had to become more creative and flexible in how they operate and meet the needs of the local population.
There is a recognition that it is now crucial we learn from these experiences and put into place robust support for people as they navigate their own journey to a place of greater well-being. “Resilience” funding has become available through Tees Esk Wear Valley (TEWV) in order to enhance existing VCSE service provision in the Tees Valley to meet this need.
We would therefore like to invite bids for grants which will have a specific focus on recovery from the pandemic, and which are designed to meet the particular needs of the local population; considering any gaps in existing services.