Worried, anxious and lonely people who are struggling with the pressures of lockdown are being helped by voluntary organisations linked to the Glasgow Help Hub.
COPE Scotland in Drumchapel is one of 300 voluntary sector organisations linked to the hub which is assisting people with a wide range of issues during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Founded in 1991, COPE provides support to people aged 16 and over, who are experiencing mental or emotional distress in west Glasgow. Its work includes listening services, one-to-one sessions, a daily email with wellbeing tips and offering online advice.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, COPE Scotland is supporting the hub and doing all it can to be there for people.
Speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week, Hilda Campbell, COPE’s Chief Executive, said uncertainty about the future is worrying many callers.
The former mental health nurse said: “We are speaking to people with worries about work, family, money and access to food, loneliness and anxiety due to social isolation, relationship issues and uncertainty about the future.
“We are in uncertain times, with an uncertain future which in itself is anxiety provoking, helping people find ways to navigate through this and suffer less is what inspires all we do.”
People who have lost loved ones to Covid19, are also contacting the helpline as they struggle with grief and being unable to hug and physically comfort other relatives and friends due to social distancing rules.
Hilda explained: “While COPE Scotland has always supported people where grief was an issue, we find, we are offering more ‘compassionate listening’ as lockdown and social isolation has made the grieving process even more challenging for people. The support network which may be there normally, isn’t the same and the whole experiencing of someone dying and organising a funeral is changed for now. In addition to the direct support we also offered a piece on loss and grief and other issues which may be of interest to people on our website.”
She added: “Covid19 has created an emotional rollercoaster, but people’s resilience and the way communities have come together to help each other has been inspiring. All of our circumstances may be different, but we can get through this by being kind to each other and ourselves. And of course, we need to recognise that at times we all need someone to listen, help and check in to see if we are okay.”
Ian Bruce, Chief Executive of Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS), said: “The hub helpline has received more than 1230 calls since it launched on March 30th. The calls have been about a wide range of issues such as financial advice, help with shopping and collecting prescriptions. Depending on the type of issue people need help with, we have 300 organisations which we can signpost people to and also a bank of volunteers who are offering their time and skills.
“GCVS, Volunteer Glasgow and the city’s public services have been working in partnership to support people at this difficult time. We are working to offer a text service for those whose first language isn’t English. We can currently offer support in Polish and Cantonese, but with help from our volunteers and partners we’ll soon be able to offer many more.”
Glasgow residents who need support while self-isolating or in lockdown can phone 0141 345 0543 for help or email email@example.com
People can also visit the website at www.glasgowhelps.org
- Anyone who is feeling so overwhelmed that they are having thoughts of suicide, should seek help, from your GP, the Samaritans (call free on 116 123 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org) or Breathing Space (call free on 0800 83 85 87).
If you are having serious thoughts about suicide, and have a plan and the means to carry it out: call 999 immediately.