The theme of this year’s Mental Health Foundation campaign, taking place between 9 and 15 May, is loneliness and John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "Loneliness is affecting more and more people and has had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Reducing loneliness is a major step towards creating a mentally healthy society and so, ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, we are highlighting the impact loneliness can have on our mental wellbeing, and the practical steps we can take to address it.
"If you are feeling lonely, think about making time, talk to friends and family – a quick ‘check in’ or chat can make a big difference. If you know someone who may be feeling lonely, please make an extra effort to connect with them.
"Doing more things you enjoy can stop you from focusing on feelings of loneliness and is good for your wellbeing. And why not consider joining a group with a shared interest to make new connections and meet other people?
"There are also plenty of local services providing help to people who may be lonely, so please reach out to them if you, or someone you know, needs support."
Wolverhampton Community Support Service offers information and advice to people aged 18 or over to improve their independence and wellbeing and connect them with activities in their local area. Contact the service on 01902 553445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compton Care's Telephone Befriending Service – 01902 774570 – provides a regular friendly phone call to individuals who require additional support to help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
People aged 13 or over experiencing loneliness can ask their GP to refer them to the Social Prescribing Service which will link them with support in their local communities. Please call 01902 328987 or email email@example.com.
Black Country Healthcare's Lets Talk Service is for anyone aged 18 or above who is feeling lonely. The service can help with finding activities, building confidence and supporting those who just simply need a chat. To access the service email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07557 178803 or 07423 687464.
The Beacon Centre offers a befriending service for people with visual impairment in Wolverhampton who may be feeling lonely. Volunteer befrienders, some of whom are visually impaired themselves, work to reduce loneliness and isolation, help support people to access services, or simply provide welcome company. Email email@example.com or call 01902 880111.
For those who are deaf or hard of hearing and lonely, support is available from the Zebra Access’ Wellbeing Service. To contact the service please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07861 677816.
Find more advice and support around loneliness online by searching for EveryMindMatters/Loneliness.
Anyone who is concerned about their mental wellbeing or that of a loved one can get help and support from the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's mental health helpline, which provides advice, support and signposting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to people of all ages. Call 0800 008 6516.
For more details visit Mental Health Awareness.