We are living in strange and difficult times, with the partial lockdown of our society and many struggling with the illness named Covid-19 (and loved ones lost). I don’t know about you, but for me the last few weeks have been a blur. The words Covid-19 have gone from being a worrying feature of news reports to something that occupies my thoughts and has had a massive impact on my life. I am not alone in this – in fact, I know that I am more fortunate than many.
As we are forced into social distance or self-isolation through circumstance, and Hearing Voices Groups (in person) and many other forms of support are closed, it seems important to find other ways of connecting. Many of us have experienced isolation before and it will mean different things to different people. It might feel reassuringly familiar, or it might leave us feeling left alone with our voices without the people and strategies that usually help. The voices might be speaking in ways that make us feel worse, or be an ally. For some of us, it might be a confusing mix.
But it’s more than just the isolation. Our country is in an unprecedented situation. People are worried about their health, their loved ones, the environment, the economy, their jobs, the future and are living in a state of uncertainty. Many are struggling to get basic necessities without putting themselves at risk. We do not know what the future will bring, so planning for it isn’t easy.
Yet, in amongst all of this, there are acts of kindness and community that bring a sense of hope and possibility. People are gathering together to help out their neighbours, the elderly and vulnerable. Many of us are working out what community looks like when we’re not face to face, and are (slowly) reaching out to create some of the spaces we need. I hope that, over the next days and weeks, we continue to see this energy grow. In an uncertain time, perhaps, it’s this that can keep us moving.
How can we be of use?
To try and be of use to our members (and those who use our website), we have put together a few resources and ideas for individuals and groups. We will continue to try to respond to emails and letters (within our limited resources), helping to provide a listening ear and connecting people with supportive ideas, information and spaces. We will also do our best to keep this site updated with new information and resources.
As a small charity, we’re never going to be as active as the larger well-funded ones … we’re all volunteers, after all, and are managing our own responses to this situation that we find ourselves in. Still, together we can hopefully each do something that can support others. And with that, create the networks and spaces that we need to get through this relatively intact.
With that in mind, if you have any ideas of what you would find helpful during this period – do let us know. Email us or comment on this post. Most importantly, take care of yourselves and those around you (as much as you’re able). If you need it, reach out for help. You are important and your life has worth. I probably shouldn’t have to say that, but in times like this when some of us might not want to make a fuss or use resources – I want to err on the side of caution.
Here are a few links that might help if you’re not sure where to start:
- HVN’s Surviving Lockdown page (including a wealth of information, links and ideas)
- Find a local Covid-19 mutual aid group (these include groups of volunteers who may be able to help with things like picking up shopping and prescriptions for those in need).
- HVN’s Setting up an online group information
- Register to get support if you’re identified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ (if you have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medication that puts you at increased risk from Covid-19)
With warmth and solidarity,
on behalf of all the HVN Trustees.