Reach out for support if your mental health is suffering

Commuters, masked during the pandemic. Picture: Eleanor Bentall

Commuters, masked during the pandemic. Picture: Eleanor Bentall - Credit: Archant

Back in March this year, who would have thought our lives today in December would still be dominated by Covid-19.

Tessa Havers-Strong says forum+ is to help people feeling isolated or depressed.

Tessa Havers-Strong says forum+ is to help people feeling isolated or depressed. - Credit: Archant

Who would have thought that social distancing regulations would still be in place to reduce the risk of the vulnerable becoming ill and to prevent our health infrastructure from being overwhelmed? Yet here we are, fully in the grip of a virus which stubbornly refuses to go away.

As the dark nights of the winter months begin to close in, it’s very important to try and stay connected with friends, family and support networks. forum+ recently conducted a survey aiming to explore the varied effects of the social distancing regulations on Camden and Islington LGBTQ+ residents. The results showed that most respondents experienced a deterioration in their mental or physical health over the lockdown, with half reporting deterioration in both. Respondents who considered themselves to have a disability appeared to have been affected emotionally and in general life more than those who don’t. The forum+ survey results reflected those of similar surveys conducted around the same time elsewhere.

forum+ is encouraging LGBTQ people of all ages and identities to reach out for support if they are feeling isolated, or their mental health is taking a downturn. Our work to reduce social isolation and loneliness in the local LGBTQ community continues with online events such as our monthly public meeting, the monthly Incite poetry evening, the International Film Club and more. We are gearing up for Camden and Islington LGBT History Month February 2021, the theme for which is “Body, Mind, Spirit”. Restrictions due to Covid-19 will probably still be in place and therefore in person events are unlikely. However, we intend to bring a fabulous programme of online local events and activities across Camden and Islington.

To find out more about our activities, people can subscribe to the forum+ newsletter at bit.ly/33nCswz

If you are a victim of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic harassment or hate crime or have any other enquiries you can contact forum+ on the mainline telephone number, between 10.00am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday: 020 7388 5720 or email info@forumplus.org.uk. For updated information please check forum+ social media and website: Twitter: @forumplus, Facebook: forumplus.org.uk

• Tessa Havers-Strong represents forum+ (formerly Camden Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Forum).


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