There is a lot of talk about the effects that technology has on our mental health in this new digital age. It is generally agreed that being plugged into our jobs and constantly reading social media, news stories and influencer content is not healthy, and most people seem to be guilty of one or all of these. Although technology does make us feel more connected in some ways, it can also be a divide between people, and truly meaningful interactions.
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been deeply felt by everyone in the country in one way or another. The full impact on mental health and wellbeing has yet to be revealed but it is generally accepted that many people are suffering from the isolation even now, having been separated from friends and family for long periods of time. Many of us also lost people to Covid-19 and having to come to terms with loss is difficult and can feel very lonely.
However, being connected to the internet has made it much easier for us to stay in touch with friends and family. There are plenty of places to find help and support online, and new apps that help us with our health both mental and physical. If the pandemic had happened in an earlier decade, perhaps the impact would have been worse. Video calls may have saved relationships, healthy minds and even lives.
This week is Mental Health Awareness week, and the focus of this year’s message is all about loneliness. Everyone’s mental health suffers from the effects of loneliness, whether they are truly alone or surrounded by others. It is possible to feel very alone even when surrounded by people, the feeling of isolation is not linked to the physical presence of other people. This misunderstanding is very common and can be very dangerous.
The Royal couple Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge, made this the focus of their radio message to the nation while speaking for Mental Health Awareness Week. It was the fifth year they have spoken on the radio for one minute on the subject, and the first year that they did it without any other speakers. The message was played to 20 million people across 500 radio stations.
The future King apologised to listeners for "interrupting every radio station in the country."
"But if we interrupt the lives of those who are feeling alone," Catherine said. "We can help lift them out of loneliness."
If you want to know more about Mental Health Awareness Week you can find information on Mental Health UK's website:
If you need advice on mental health and wellbeing issues, the best place to start is the NHS website: