Veterans’ charity Launchpad has today (Monday, 9 May) unveiled a new campaign which invites partnering organisations to ‘buddy-up’ with residents to support them on their journey to independent living and combat loneliness.
The campaign, which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, will see organisations visit both houses in Liverpool and Newcastle this week to meet staff and residents, have a tour of the buildings, learn more about the services Launchpad provides and find out how they themselves can support veterans.
Loneliness is something we can all experience and it affects millions of people across the UK. It can also have a significant impact on our mental health, with many of us still finding it hard to talk about.
The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, focusses on loneliness. Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week (9-15 May) to raise awareness and importance of supporting people with mental health.
Overcoming loneliness and its impact on mental health cannot be achieved by individuals alone. Long-term loneliness is closely linked to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety and as a nation, we must address loneliness together in our communities and across our whole society and together prevent mental health problems.
Many of Launchpad’s residents have mental health issues, ranging from anxiety to service and non-service-related PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Two full-time specialist case workers, one in each house, help residents with their mental health and provide one-to-one support. Residents are encouraged to talk about problems they are experiencing, and to take part in activities that support and improve their mental health and wellbeing.
The last two years have been particularly hard for residents due to Covid and lockdowns. Communal areas within each house had to close and some of our more vulnerable residents had to shield in their rooms on their own with many feeling isolated and lonely.
David Shaw, CEO and Founder of Launchpad, said:
“Our experienced specialist case workers are trained to support residents to overcome mental health issues We encourage those who need support to engage with the extensive range of agencies that provide help that is relevant to their individual circumstances.
“Some of the residents living at our houses in Liverpool and Newcastle have mental health issues and loneliness can be a major factor in this. We are also mindful that once residents leave, many may struggle with loneliness and recurrent mental health so our dedicated independent living co-ordinator supports residents once they move on.
“To support this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we have launched our ‘buddy-up’ campaign and we’re inviting organisations and partners to ‘buddy-up’ with our residents to combat loneliness and support them on their journey to independent living.”
Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said:
“We hope this year’s theme of loneliness will strike a chord with many of us who felt lonely and struggled throughout the Covid pandemic.
“Millions of us experience loneliness from time to time. We know that some people are at higher risk of experiencing loneliness and the evidence shows the longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems.
“Loneliness deserves more attention and we’re calling on everyone who has struggled as a result of being lonely to share their experiences. We must work together – as individuals, as a society and through government policy – to reduce loneliness and prevent mental health problems by investing in welcoming, social spaces and new community initiatives.”
For more information on the buddy up campaign, please visit our website at https://veteranslaunchpad.org.uk/campaigns/buddyup
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #IveBeenThere and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek