Sea Sanctuary, a mental health charity in Cornwall, welcomes loneliness as the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, 9 – 15 May, as they believe more people than ever are feeling isolated in the aftermath of the pandemic.
With social lives put on hold due to multiple lockdowns, periods of isolation and working from home, the impact on mental health has been devastating. Technology offered some connection, but with consistent face to face interaction lost for nearly two years, Sea Sanctuary is concerned about the number of people who are desperately struggling in the shadows of isolation, as life returns to normal.
However, they believe spending time around blue spaces, such as the sea or lakes, with other people in real life, could be the key to finding calm and happiness again.
Sea Sanctuary Founder and CEO, Joseph Sabien, said: “We know that loneliness is a precursor for poor mental health, so welcome this modern-day crisis being put in the spotlight during Mental Health Awareness Week 2022. Everything we do is about bringing people together, forging new networks and opening conversations, something that was lost during the pandemic and has had catastrophic consequences across society.
“Our sailing and therapeutic programs on our tall ship Irene, give people the space to authentically connect with each other, as well as connecting with the water around them. As they work the sails and focus on the job in hand, they naturally start to build trust with each other, and this can lead to finally having conversations they have been too scared to start in the past.
“By helping our clients to build connections, we give them a voice which, in turn, alleviates loneliness and saves lives. It is easy to assume everyone has a voice and they know how to use it, but the truth is many of our clients feel like they do not have the opportunity to say what is on their mind, and this can be life threatening. They find it hard to be honest about the mental health struggles they are dealing with and if we are not there to catch them, things can go very wrong.”