This is a very rough and unverified transcript of the Isle of Man Government’s Discussion on Emotional Wellbeing held on Wednesday 24 March 2021. In particular, for any legal guidance, you should seek advice from official sources.
You should not rely heavily upon it — it is transcribed by an automated speech recognition service, and I cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any local Manx words (especially in Gaelic) are more likely to be inaccurate. Also, the automated speech recognition service often converts proper nouns incorrectly (especially the spoken words “Isle of Man” to “Ireland” or “all of man”).
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I obviously do not own the copyright in the underlying words (eg, whatever has been said by the speakers) and I am providing these transcripts because they are of self-evident public interest. I think that I do own the copyright in the adaption/conversion into written text. I’m happy to license these transcripts publicly under a free and very open Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
James Davis 0:00
Good afternoon It is Wednesday March the 24th and the timing of this conversation is particularly pertinent is it not as today was initially classed as the day we hope to be exiting lockdown, there’s no doubt the the covid 19 pandemic is having an impact on on everyone’s lives, but realistically with at least another fortnight under the current measures, how are you getting on you may be bored fed up frustrated, you may be enjoying a more laid back way of life but what of those of you who are really struggling who are feeling low lonely, anxious, depressed, very different things of course, concerned about your health or or that have those close to you? Well, here to hopefully help and allay some of those concerns today to discuss that most precious of assets our emotional health and well being are the head of mental health in the Isle of Man Ross Bailey, and on zoom from the I listen charity, the consultant clinical psychologist Professor Robin Davison and Child and Adolescent psychotherapist, Lindsay Christian. Good afternoon, one and all. Thank you for your time. And let us be honest areas of mental health, the mental health service are overstretched and overfunded even before COVID reared its head. So there are quite a few issues I want to tackle and explore with you in a moment. Ross Bailey, but but let me start with you, Lindsey, for any parents watching this, if I may, because I’ve witnessed it in recent weeks. And I’m sure a number of people have children and young people really struggling with physical and mental health very closely linked, of course, just to start us off, How can parents talk to their children about Coronavirus without making them anxious?
Unknown Speaker 1:43
needing Ross so I think the main the main thing really at the moment is for parents to have open conversations with their with their children, regardless of age. And I think it’s really important that people, parents do have age appropriate conversations with their children. So it’s really about gauging what information your children need to know. So it’s it’s about keeping the information concise and factual but not overwhelming your child, and that they don’t take on those those real worries or concerns. And but I do think it’s important that children are kept up to date, on information about what’s happening, especially on the island in terms of the government restrictions, and what their day to day life looks like. But it really is important that that parents gauge at the right level. So really think about your children as individuals, and what information is appropriate for them to know and be very much led by your children. So if the child is asking questions, try and ask to answer those questions in a really open and honest way.
James Davis 2:47
Are you actually hearing and witnessing indeed, cases where where young people are more concerned than perhaps they normally would be this time?
Unknown Speaker 2:57
Yeah, and I think I think that’s understandable, given the circumstances were in a very unprecedented time who could have imagined that just over a year ago, we’d be sitting here in our third lockdown on the island. I don’t think anybody would have really thought that and it’s, it’s really important to understand that actually, it regardless of how old you are, when we are in difficult times, people do struggle, and that struggle usually is with our mental health that whether you’ve had a pre existing mental health condition or whether you are struggling because of our current lockdown or previous lockdowns, but we have we have seen probably an increase in people concerned with their mental health and struggling with their mental health and that’s really important that we do really take that on board and I’m trying to support and help those people where needed.
James Davis 3:47
Ross Ross Bailey, what are your thoughts initial thoughts then about the backlash of this pandemic because more and more people were hearing or having anxiety disorders they can service child adolescent or mental health in some areas, I think respectfully is hardly touching the sides of the problems there are numerous appointments now on the phone rather than face to face specialist treatments are being delayed people are waiting to get onto the system indefinitely in some cases, there is a bit of a ticking time bomb there I’m sure you agree what it will ever you look what investment is being made in the in the mental health service for the future for the this once Coronavirus once this pandemic however long it lasts once this lockdown is over what investments we made in the future of the island man’s mental health service and at what level?
Unknown Speaker 4:37
It is a really good question. I mean, as as I know, Robin, I speak in terms of the evidence base but we know the the sort of certainly suggested that we’re going to experience another pandemic following this and that’s a mental health pandemic, the you know, the emotional well being of the community, you know has been significally impacted. By this, by this, by the by the current pandemic, there’s a huge amount of work going on, James in terms of the mental health service, and, you know, I have learnt from from the current model of delivery and what we can do differently. Going forward, I think one of the, you know, arguably one of the biggest shifts really is a recent awarding of funding to significantly increase our access to talking therapies. So, certainly this year, we’re looking at recruiting an additional nine therapists, which is going to make an enormous difference in terms of timely access to nice. So the national issue of Clinical Excellence, evidence based treatments, so we’re looking to recruiting currently recruiting now that those therapists and we’ll be embedding those in primary care. So working with our GP colleagues in a much more integrated and collaborative way, we’re also really looking at how we can work in a much more seamless way with our with our third sector colleagues, because they bring an enormous wealth of experience and skills to the to the to the table. So we’re looking at how we how we can we can work with those with those services. I mean, listen, I listen, this is one example of the fantastic resources that are out there. But it means us working in a much more joined up collabs absolutely collaborative way, and filling some of those gaps that we know they’re adding on to that we’ve we’ve also and this is a real significance for us, we’re looking at this year, we’ve teamed up with our colleagues in the department of education, public education, and Chester University to train local CBT therapists, and that’s a two year programme. And that’s going to start in the second quarter of this year. So that’s looking a harvest in local talent on the island, given the opportunity to train as a CBT therapist and work both within our services and the wider third sector. So that’s a fantastic initiative that we’re enormously proud of
James Davis 7:06
me if money was no object. And I have to say, I’m sure you agree this issue can be far from resolved and just throwing money at it. Would that be an argument for having a crisis team or almost a mental health a&e equivalent?
Unknown Speaker 7:20
Well, yeah, we do. I mean, we have we have a crisis team, at the moment kind of acts in that capacity dealing with.
James Davis 7:26
But in terms of 24, seven, I mean,
Unknown Speaker 7:28
it’s 24. Seven provision at the moment, James, we have we have is covered 20 477 days a week, and we’re actually re modelling the way that crisis team operates and looking at adding more additional staff to that. So so really bolstering a response to people making sure that people are seen and assessed in a timely fashion, and then have access to the right care pathway.
James Davis 7:48
If that’s in place, then in that case, why are so many people of all ages falling through the cracks?
Unknown Speaker 7:54
Well, I think this with all the will in the world, James, the mental health services never going to be the answer to the mental health and emotional well, being difficulties in the island, were very, very important cog in the wheel, but were absolutely a cog in the wheel. And I think that’s where that collaborative proach comes in with, with our third sector colleagues. Absolutely. You know, we were a process of investing more. But we’re also reliance on on on individual and community resilience, people working together, working, talking to each other, building, taking responsibility for their own emotional well being. And some of the five ways to wellbeing that I spoke about last week is good examples of how we can do that we’ve all got a responsibility to look after our own emotional well being you referred to as a as a precious asset. And I don’t think it is a more precious asset. So it’s really important that we take care of that.
James Davis 8:45
Well, Professor Davidson. And if I can just bring you in at this point, I think on your website, the I listened website, it says one in four people have mental illness. But the reality is that all of us have mental health, I suppose so generally. And everyone’s different. How can individuals even begin to, to keep their mental health in check? How can we we monitor our mental health?
Unknown Speaker 9:11
Well, just let me just let me say what Ross was talking there about, I want to start on a positive note, man, I work on the items with people who have got cancer, and looking at their psychological needs, and how people get depressed. But one thing that always strikes me, James is that people who go cat is not the number of people who are dealing with cancer, for example, who are depressed, but the number who aren’t the actual resilience that people can show, and never ceases as very humbling for me. In the six years of the Second World War, we saw that as well under this seemingly endless pandemic, the testimony to human resilience that two thirds of people, even three quarters of people report that they’re doing okay mentally. No, that means that Obviously, there’s a quarter of people who perhaps have issues or will have issues around mainly anxiety and depression kicked in by loneliness, loneliness is a key precipitant of all of this, and financial difficulties. So those are the big two that cause mental health issues. So obviously, some people are depressed, and some people are anxious, and they’re different things. And we’ve got data to suggest that people in the beginning of the pandemic, when everybody was fight and flight and energy and so on scared and stressed, I’m xiety was more of an issue. But as time has gone on, that anxiety has decreased. And we have noticed more depression coming in. People are kind of losing art, they’re thinking that this is going on forever. They heard Professor with a, the other day sound was going to be another surge of Christmas, we’re hearing people saying that the social distancing might go on for years. And this, this has led to an increase in depression a little bit. There’s a lifetime prevalence of depression number 1% percent of people in the latter part of this pandemic in the UK, it’s kicking in at around 14, it’s nearly doubled. So the issue of anxiety at the beginning of the pandemic leading it to end propensity to depression among people is concerning. And that’s what I think we have to
James Davis 11:32
look at at the moment. And how then thank you. And going back to the original question, how can we as individuals keep our mental health in check? How do we even begin to start that process?
Unknown Speaker 11:43
Well, there’s a lot of people, everybody says that you have to exercise you have to talk to people, you have to mitigate against loneliness, you have to set targets and all of these sorts of things. And that’s fine, it’s very easy to say sometimes it’s harder to do. I think the key thing, if you’re getting depressed, is to, to search very hard to find form of structure. Depression is caused by a sense of hopelessness or loss of control. And the one thing that we do in therapy for people who are getting depressed or lacking motivation, who are wearing pyjamas all day, who are who just have lost an interest is to begin to try to help them through perhaps CBT, or something like that, our our self help to gain a little bit of control back into their life. And again, a structure and to get sensible ends. It’s called behavioural activation on clinical terms. That’s what it really means. And I think that has to be the focus as that as the pandemic moves forward into this phase that we’re looking at. Ross Bailey,
Unknown Speaker 12:55
I think Robin made some really salient points, I think I’m sure we’re gonna agree involving I’m sure we’ll expand on this, how important it is that people learn to understand their own emotions and recognise when this changes that might represent a deterioration in mood Robin, and catching that early. Understanding your own emotions, understanding their how that affects your behaviour, and then doing something about it is is absolutely the key and also recognising that in other people and reaching out to support them, Robbie might want to speak a bit more in detail about that.
James Davis 13:28
Well, just let me think you’re talking about managing our emotions here. I mean, we’ve often heard it decades ago, sort of the phrase sticks and stones may break my bones and on a lot of names will never hurt me. That was often the phrase that that we used to be told by our parents to sort of ward off the bullies in the playground, etc. And we know now that those sort of unkind and, and and cruel offerings of them, have children and adults can can hurt deeply and leave scars with with some people for years. But we also know that that traditional British stoicism the stiff upper lip approach in the face of adversity, that resoluteness is, is now sniggered out in some quarters. So when you go back and just use those two as an example, as a professional, has that approach that attitude of of yesteryear, left a generation or two, flawed incapable of showing emotion?
Unknown Speaker 14:24
Well, I think, you know, I’ll give you Yes, I think we know, we are not growing up, particularly in the case of men, as well, I think, you know, that’s pretty well, evidence that, you know, without without stereotyping, you know, men have typically found it more difficult to express their emotions and reach out for support. And, you know, and tragically at times, that’s reflected in the suicide data. But I think, you know, our ability to notice when they, first of all, I think it’s, you know, we’ve come on leaps and bounds in the in the last couple of decades in terms of our understanding of mental health problems of emotional wellbeing, you know, how we how we speak more about openly speak about our emotions more, but there’s still an awful long way to go, James, you know, and and our ability to recognise shifts and changes to do you know, things, for instance, you know, there’s a, there’s a, there’s a Greek terminology and adonia, which basically means of loss of interest in things that we used to find typically found interesting, you know, and that’s a key symptom of depression. And something we absolutely look out for, as this kind of simple self, you know, sense of, you know, helplessness or hopelessness, you know, a lack of sleep or loss of appetite. There’s a whole multitude of symptoms that we look out for, and if you know, if we can, if we can, you know, improve the community and public’s awareness of those things, that can only be a good thing,
James Davis 15:50
where do you strike that balance between talking about something? Yeah. And in many ways, helping yourself before you even get to that stage. And I mean, this most respectfully, obviously, illustrates how time has changed, but you often heard not so much. Now you heard the phrase, pull yourself together more, or man up yourself. So for example, for example, is it always wrong to utter phrases like that? Or tell me and that’s terminology from day GM days combined. But with regards to mental and emotional health? Yes, times have changed for have we become less resilient today.
Unknown Speaker 16:28
I’m not sure become less resilient, I think the resilience is an enormous spectrums. And I think, you know, and that’s dependent on our experiences in lives, you know, our opportunities in lives, you know, arguably, our DNA. So, you know, our ability to cope, just like, you know, some people are more prone to coughs and colds and chest infections, and other seems to sort of flip through life without it, you know, it is a huge spectrum. And when when you when you notice a shift in your own reasoning, when you notice that things are changing for you, that should be the trigger. And, and that self awareness is so so key. So
James Davis 17:04
Lindsay, sorry, yes.
Unknown Speaker 17:07
I think a lot of the work that we do, as part of our as part of our listening is very much around what you’re saying there, James and Ross is around encouraging people to become aware of mental illness, about mental health, about their own mental health, about what is right for them, what feels right for them, when to acknowledge and understand that your things might be changing. And for them, for individuals, and for the people around them. It’s about sort of encouraging those, those open conversations around mental health. And that’s been that’s really one of the key things that we do with I’ll listen. And when we go into schools, and we do training and teaching, in lessons and in assemblies is very much around trying to normalise mental health, and get those conversations going and get people really aware of, of, of mental health as a you know, as a over an overview, and also what is what is okay for people and what’s right for people and what people understand about mental health. You say skills there? I
James Davis 18:14
mean, I mean, Never before have the words emotional well being and mental health being so, so used, whether that be in the media and hospitals and schools and and I see next week at Ramsey Grammar School, for example. There’s there’s an initiative, an online Mental Health Initiative. Lindsay, how important are initiatives like that where there is concern for early intervention? Because I know that the evidence base universally asserts that the sooner you do something about it that the better the outcome?
Unknown Speaker 18:44
Absolutely. And that’s, that’s really where I listen as a charitable initiative was really born from. And, you know, it came about a couple of years ago, that we realised that there was a place for early intervention on the island in terms of mental health with young people. And that’s really our our vision. And our goal is about early intervention with young people school aged primarily currently within secondary within second secondary schools. But our hope is that that will obviously will grow into primary schools. But it’s absolutely imperative that there is early intervention and that there is provision put into place for young people to really focus in support their mental health, at whatever level and we are that that is our goal is early intervention.
James Davis 19:37
messages. Lindsay, if I may, sorry to interrupt you what will key messages when I listen goes to the schools, what are the key messages in your campaign?
Unknown Speaker 19:45
Absolutely, that communication is key. So whether that is communication with your peers, with your family, with with teachers with, you know, other support systems, communication is absolutely key. So really Being able and feeling able to say, you know what, I’m not okay. I’m not okay today and I’m struggling, and I need some help on whatever level that is. So communication is absolutely imperative. And really about what Ross said just before about listening to your emotions and your feelings of really having that awareness and validating when you’re not feeling, okay, so really listening to your body, really listening to your thoughts and feelings is absolutely crucial. And things about like keeping a routine, like, like Robin said, that is really important is to have that routine, but ensure that there’s a bit of flexibility and that don’t be very rigid, to the point where you’re sort of almost putting barriers in place. So keep a routine as much as possible, but allow that flexibility. And so there’s sort of our real key, our key messages. So it’s very much about communication. It’s very much about listening to your own feelings, and validating them and those around you, and about keeping routine where possible, but allowing that flexibility,
James Davis 21:04
if Professor Davis and you find yourself down during self isolation, how easy can it be to sort of slip into that mindset that you are alone?
Unknown Speaker 21:14
Oh, it can be very easy to draw the distinction between loneliness and self isolation. Loneliness is that, that place when you feel that there’s no one there, there’s no one to talk to, that you’re isolated, not only geographically but mentally. And then it’s very easy to slip into depression. I actually think that all the data that we’ve got now has shown that that people who are particularly vulnerable to that are obviously people who have had a pre existing mental health condition. But also younger people, paradoxically, between the ages of 15 maybe and 30, are particularly women. And study after study after study has shown us that young, particularly on women are finding it particularly difficult of the loneliness, and prone to depression as a result of lockdown. I think it’s terribly important to recognise when people are slipping into depression as a result of particularly loneliness, getting into that sense of helplessness. And I want to go back to what you said there, James, about how we view mental illness. I think one good thing that’s happened, there used to be the soap opera, that the resilience, everybody, you know, just first step forward. And so I think people are talking about it more, there was a tendency years ago to maybe rely on antidepressants, or all of these sorts of things. And so now people are realising that actually opening up about personal insecurities about our own problems, actually works, you know, a problem shared, and also an old fashioned thing to say, but a problem shared is a problem, maybe not half, but there’s a problem reduced. So I think I’m a wee bit more optimistic than some others about the fact that we are not opening up our own vulnerabilities. As Ross said, Men are able more more able to talk about issues like this. So the field is improving. We are not relying on drugs and we are not relying a lot on that we are being more open about our mental health. And I think that can only be important some moods
James Davis 23:39
are low right now of course they are but but even in normal times, however you define that aren’t variations in moods, part of their normal day to day practice, aren’t they?
Unknown Speaker 23:52
I absolutely. And I think we’ve we’ve always got to be careful I use the term will not be mustn’t pathologize ordinary moods, we mustn’t suddenly turn sadness into clinical depression, or we mustn’t suddenly turn stressed out into an anxiety state. There’s a danger of turning ordinary moods. So we all suffer unbearable and everybody gets sad. Everybody gets a bit tense. Everybody gets scared. Everybody gets slowly. These are normal conditions, and we mustn’t pathologize them and make them into a mental illness or a mental health issue. I think it’s important to draw that distinction. But the net the very nature of the human condition is that we must feel sad sometimes. The how we define resilience is not stopping us feel sad, or stopping us feeling depressed. It’s how soon that we can pick back over that step. That’s what resilience means.
James Davis 24:52
How this time How are you as a charity? Either Professor Davidson or Lindsay? How are you on Offering emotional support to family to friends to co workers who have been quarantined.
Unknown Speaker 25:09
So, currently, at the moment, we’re still offering support, as we always have. Obviously, we can’t do that face to face at the moment because of the government restrictions. And but we are offering video calls, and via via zoom or Microsoft Teams, and we’re doing telephone calls to clients. So that is still ongoing. So we’ve still got that, that connection with people. So we can still we can still do that. In terms of what we would offer, usually out to businesses, we’re still offering training and support as we always would. And we’ve had to obviously adapt it and modify how we how we offer support, but we still are very much offering support. You know, we we welcome you know, if people have got worries or concerns, you know, you can get in touch with us the wealth of other services on the island, who you can, you know, you can reach out to you, but I think it’s important that to realise that that there is support out there for people.
James Davis 26:09
So obviously, I listened one a number of charities and third sector organisations, which provides remarkable yet yet often under acknowledged services to our community, as a society. Ross, do we do we widely appreciate just on the point that Professor Davis has been talking about that? Do we widely appreciate? Do you think that it’s that it is okay? Not to be okay? Or is this still some way to go in that off in
Unknown Speaker 26:33
the stool some some way to go in there? I think, you know, we’ve got it, we’ve got a responsibility and as a mental health service, of working with our colleagues to really market and promote some of the services that are out there and also enable this the public to and the community to make sense of them. Because we’ve got some incredible kind of pockets of amazing practice and incredible charities doing incredible work, you know, and what we do, you know, we do need to be more joined up in the way that we deliver services and the other mental health services. And government’s got a responsibility to do something we’re absolutely extremely keen to do.
James Davis 27:09
How is the service refocusing? It’s, it’s really refocusing on emotional well being.
Unknown Speaker 27:16
The I think, historically, the mental health services, this is always going to be our core business as a statutory service we’re going to be we’re going to have a major focus is on those people suffering with moderate to severe mental illnesses or mental health problems. But and I think that’s been our sole focus. For historically, what we’re what we’re really looking at now are those lower steps and how we can work with more preventative methods and make sure that the you know, the wider community, some of those more low to moderate mental health problems, are receiving the support and treatment in a timely fashion. So our model of delivery is what we call the step care model, if you like so it’s it starts with step zero, and goes up to Step five is just bear with me a second James, I’ll try and explain. So step zero really is kind of the emotional resilience that our own individual and collective responsibilities to look after their mental health, much of what we’re discussing about today. Step one, really is his primary care. So that’s not working, you might go and see your GP, you might access our list, or you might access another third sector charity. So when things are getting a little bit more more challenging for you, or you’re you’re struggling, step two is out, for an example is a community will be in service. So that’s out some of our therapists and psychologists and OTS who are going to be working and do work but but that’s the service we increase in the size of who are going to be embedded within primary care. Step threes, a community mental health teams, your older persons teams, your community helps it teams for adults. Step Four inpatient services. And Step five is is where some people need absolute specialised, usually off Island provision. And that’s a tiny proportion. So it really is a kind of triangle. What we’ve historically under invested in not just financially but also in time and energy. Are those lower sticks those preventative steps, and they’ve been people, the wider community to access treatment support, an opportunity. That’s our focus in addition to our core business, and that’s a major shift for us.
James Davis 29:27
It’s, I mean, I think we heard yesterday last week alone, the work there was 16 calls to the emergency joint control room related to mental health issues. We know one person attempted to take their own life, I think we were 11 calls of people making threats of suicide. What support network and Lindsay’s touched on it here and is a far wider support network, but what support network agencies are in place for these people and their loved ones when they can’t wait for an appointment when they need help. Now, I mean, you mentioned the 24 seven earlier, but But it’s not as simple as that is it?
Unknown Speaker 30:01
Unknown Speaker 30:02
we look after James, we look after around about 6% of the audience population on mental health services caseload at the moment. And that’s, that’s increasing year on year. So we’re looking after around about sort of approaching 5000 people in the moment, and then numbers going up. And I think we can as well, as I alluded to earlier, you know, with the experience of this pandemic, we can see that continuing to happen. The the crisis team, I mean, if you’re experiencing profound acute mental health problems, and and there’s real, real concerns in terms of, you know, risk of harm to self activity, and obviously, farms itself, their neck crisis team is there, the numbers there, and we’re looking to make that a free phone number in the very near future. And that is a 24 hour 24. Seven, provision. We also out of bounds, we have an approved social worker on call, we have two, two consultants, psychologists don’t call. So there’s that there’s that there’s a range of provision, to to act very, very quickly.
James Davis 31:03
What what when a phone calls not enough?
Unknown Speaker 31:06
Well, the the initial phone call James is to is to is to understand what the problem is, and then ensure that that person gets access to the treatment in the what we call the care pathway, in the right time. So
James Davis 31:16
some of those treatments are available 24, seven, but others aren’t?
Unknown Speaker 31:20
Well, I think these this this, I’m certainly not going to sit here and defend some of the issues we’ve got in terms of access to talking therapies at the time, I wouldn’t, you know, it’s unacceptable. What’s very clear to us is that we are doing something about it, we’re where we’ve now secured the funding to do that, we’re now going out to recruitment, we’re looking at training therapists on Island and tapping into that, that local talent pool, so we can upskill and train accredited therapists. So you know, by by the by the by, by the end of this year, we will be in an absolutely much better place. And our expectations, in terms of in terms of what we call our key outcomes, is are going to be far beyond what what the NHS uk uk NHS set as targets. So we’re dissipating within the next two years potentially, we’ll be far exceeding the wait times that are currently offered by the NHS,
James Davis 32:13
what what is prompted this, I wouldn’t say sea change, because that would be harsh, but what is prompted this realisation that the needs to be a significant investment. And I’m not just talking financially here, Island wide?
Unknown Speaker 32:26
Well, I think the last few years, the you know, the mental health service, you know, there’s been, there’s been a real acknowledgement and greater understanding of the, you know, the emotional impact and the mental health things of our population, we’re much, you know, much more open to speaking about it, there’s much more press relation of related coverage of it. So, you know, it’s a much more greater understanding of how crucial having access to treatment and support is. So, you know, we we really, like I said, I want to repeat it, we really, really keen that we’re working with that with with it with all the providers efforts sectors, to make sure that people have access to the support the right support at the right place at the right time.
James Davis 33:08
But Professor Davidson any any general findings that you’ve that stand out for you over the last 12 months or so in terms of figures during and after? And then before lockdown? Part Two, Part Three?
Unknown Speaker 33:23
Yeah, I think I think as I said, depression has increased from maybe 8% to 15%, as lockdown has gone on anxiety has perhaps gone down a little people who think about suicide, seriously think about suicide as called suicide ideation. That’s about 3%. At any one time of the population is a little bit higher than we think there’s some very serious studies that have gone on and locked down and say that’s jobs almost 10%. So the idea of getting depressed over the last year, and thinking about self harm, has actually increased. We think that the number of people who do actually attempt suicide has increased. We think that other things, particularly domestic violence, people who are shot shut down in their own homes, with no other things to do. That has increased. And one of the other things that disturbs me particularly is that we’re drinking as a population on the Isle of Man is no different. A third more than we did before lockdown. So the amount of alcohol as a coping strategy has increased dramatically in the last year. And that leads to impulsive behaviour, like suicide ideation, like domestic violence, like these, these sorts of things. So I think it’s a whole other area, but we’ve got to look very carefully at alcohol use particularly as opposed to other drugs but alcohol use, particularly as a precursor to some of the things you’ve been talking to Ross about.
James Davis 35:07
Any Yeah, and I look Miss wanted to all of you really then in that case, any any tips particularly hints of how to best get through lockdown.
Unknown Speaker 35:20
So I think I think for myself is very much around trying to keep a routine like we spoke about before. So trying to keep a routine as much as possible and trying to really focus on getting a good night’s sleep and trying to keep that as a routine. I know that can be really difficult. But it is really important that people are trying to get sort of around eight hours sleep a night roughly or there abouts. And really focus on you know, trying to keep active and maybe think about new interests, try to think about what really sort of set you set your soul going in and think about things that are really interest you and focused on that. And, and really thinking about strategies for when you are feeling particularly low you are feeling perhaps particularly down or anxious. And think about what has worked for you in the past. So whether that’s around distraction, sort of speaking to other people and keeping connected with other people, we are a human race that thrives on on human connectedness. And that is really important. It’s really about thinking about what has worked for you in the past, and what can work for you going forward.
Unknown Speaker 36:33
I’ll speak personally as well here. It’s three, three songs on four grandchildren all living in England, and I haven’t seen them really since last March. And I’m getting you get a bit disheartened when you can’t see your family and you’re in a bubble. And you’re you’ve also got the added problem or wife, I get COVID. So at the middle of lockdown around Christmas, I got a bit a bit disheartened, really, you know, and I felt myself sort of drifting, not being able to see family and so on. So I kind of began to structure my life a bit more I properly organised on a daily basis, zoom conversations with the family, I tried to read a book, you know, and let that go. And, and I tried to get a bit of structure to my life because it’s very easy just to drift into a kind of sort of depressed as as as rasa on the doula as a good word for so I tried to add a bit of structure. And that’s worked, that’s worked.
James Davis 37:37
They’re all coping techniques. I mean, this is something that you as the head of mental health speakers speak a lot about,
Unknown Speaker 37:43
yeah, it’s fair to say, absolutely. And I really point people towards the it’s your K campaign, and some of the fantastic guidance and support and, and tips if you like, the available within those five wells to wait five ways to wellbeing. So So I mean, I really would point people towards that. It’s a fantastic resource. And also to highlight the James we, you know, we haven’t we have an online counselling platform that the community has got access to. And we have quill, which is our adult platform and uncouth, which is tailored and targeted for younger people. And there you have 24 hours a day, seven days a week, access to to qualified staff that you can speak to speak to, regarding your emotional well being, you know, they they’re qualified therapists, there’s chat rooms, as well, are online. So that again, that’s a great resource that people are able to tap into. But certainly echoing you know, the fantastic advice that Lindsey and and Robin have given, you know, that connectivity, making sure that you connect with people and you know, for me, as I mentioned, the armour I’m, I’m a dad of three kids under Undertale, my wife’s a teacher, you know, I’m really really conscious of the, of the, of the impact this has had on on a young community in our community as a whole, making sure that we’re reaching out we were staying connected is is enormously important.
James Davis 39:08
There’s a toolbox of messages if you like this five ways to wellbeing, isn’t it? It’s all on it’s all online.
Unknown Speaker 39:14
It is absolutely i mean, so we you know, that it starts off with that the connecting with people, you know, talking and listening be there for individuals and certainly understanding your own, you know, your own emotional well being, and then we move on to kind of be active and there’s, as I spoke about last week, there’s a wealth of evidence that talks about the value of physical exercise in terms of most people’s people’s emotional well being and their mental health you can have a profound positive impact on your on your mental health and now there’s no better place to enjoy the army either man it’s, you know, as a bloke from southeast London, you know, I’m only too conscious and I’m still in awe of what what a What a beautiful, beautiful place The island is so we should join enjoy it. You know, keep learning You know, making sure that we do take two opportunities, you know, rediscovering old interests and embracing new experiences as difficult as that sometimes can be, you know, it can be really really stimulating and help you emotionally give I mean there’s no better feeling than the giving is there and making doing something nice for people and you know, there’s all sorts of evidence in terms of the impact that has on our new ones and how that makes us feel feel feel good. And taking notice and this is really what I’ve been been trying to focus on us being aware of our own our own emotion emotional well being and the emotional well being of the people in starting those meaningful conversations with people is nothing more important than
James Davis 40:43
your swept by the sounds of your sock jelly deals for queens then heavy.
Unknown Speaker 40:48
I’m partial to germana hit the stereotype I’m not from the East End of London, I don’t mind are probably so much shellfish. It’s awfully inside with James. It’s Yeah, the avoided cheese and gravy. But but but that the sugar, the shellfish, certainly
James Davis 41:05
fortunate man. Obviously, we talked about wellbeing messages, their coping techniques, I listened. Lindsay has a coping circle really doesn’t.
Unknown Speaker 41:14
We do though, it’s something that we quite often use within therapy, and it’s something that we have been very keen to message to bring to the public is around how we, how we cope, and how we are what we really can control within our lives. And so the circle of control is a set of three interconnected circles if you’d like. And it very much focuses on, on what we can control, and what we can influence and what we have no control over. And the idea of the circle of control is very much that we we, we really tried to focus as much as possible on what we what we can control. And when we focus on what we can control. If we spend too much time in thinking about things we can’t control, that can have a real detrimental impact to our mental health and our mental well being, we can start to feel very disillusioned with life. And so it really tried to focus on on other aspects rather than on what we can’t control is really important. And obviously there are things in life that we can influence. And that’s really important that we we can identify some of those things that we can implement and have an impact on, we can try and make a real difference. And that can really help with our with our well being. But I think the the Act, the real important things are those things that we can control, it’s really about focusing on and really putting that energy into the things that we can really see make a change with and have an impact on and that can really impact in a positive way our mental health and well being especially in in times like when at the minute and where life can feel very much out of control. Professor Davidson, you
James Davis 43:00
mentioned grandchildren. Now, I mean, at the end of all of this, as well as each and every family will have tales to regale to that their grandchildren a different story. There might be unexpected success, the will be those very much at the other end of the scale, where personal lives and businesses have been decimated a depression or debt, potentially worse, serious illness. What advice would you give to those people? What initial advice would you give to those people at the more serious end of that scale?
Unknown Speaker 43:30
Well, there’s there’s the talk about long COVID. And there’s also long mental health issues with regard to call. But it’s not all just acute, these sometimes these aren’t going to go away the financial problems and so on. If I could give one piece of advice, and it’s based on what Lindsay just said, the very essence of mental illness is loss or feel as learned helplessness. It’s called loss of control of we’re going to help people get back control and tiny bits of their life and build on that control. the very worst emotion is to feel totally helpless. And that leads to clinical depression. And so I wouldn’t do it silently what Lindsay said if I could give one piece of advice is to try to gradually control those things that you can control. critically important, the most important piece of advice I think you can have for people who are suffering from depression or indeed anxiety,
James Davis 44:33
rasa, our modern day mental and emotional health vocabulary has changed, has it not because I mean, you know, PTSD now that used to be shellshock. If you came back from the war on the battlefields of Europe I mean, I mean, Has it always been there? It’s just better understood now.
Unknown Speaker 44:51
Yeah, absolutely. As you know, this isn’t something that’s just emerged it’s always been there so the court something differently or or ignored or swept under the carpet So it’s it’s always been there, I think we’ve got a much better understanding that with is much more investment and resources is spent in research into it in terms of trying to understand it. So, you know, we and that had that’s continuing, but we, you know, in terms of anxiety, depression, the whole gamut of mental health problems, we know, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what works in terms of those moderate severe medical problems, you know, it’s my service, huge responsibility to make sure that those treatments and services are there and, you know, unfolded in a timely fashion, but just really reiterating what we know what Robin and and, as you said, you know, there’s a huge amount that people can do themselves. And that’s really important. And that, you know, that focus on controlling things that you can control, is it you know, is it is a fantastic message,
James Davis 45:48
distancing closing of schools, workplaces, I suppose, not doing the things we love, whether taking the kids to the part, go into sport, go into the theatre, seeing family and friends, all this affects what we love to do. All this affects where we want to be and who we want to be with. And that creates social isolation. So if there was, if we pay more attention to the present moment, two changes on our own thoughts, how much of a help is that to well being? How far can it go? Because to some people, that will be enough to others, it will presumably just be a tip.
Unknown Speaker 46:23
Unknown Speaker 46:25
I think you know, that we are inherently social creatures aren’t we like being around other people that, you know, that’s, that gives us a sense of a sense of joy. And when that, you know, when access to that is, is taken away or taken away, we need to adapt. So, you know, engaging in regular telephone calls with people in engaging in zoom calls with people reaching out and connecting with people, you know, is is incredibly important. And not to lose sight of that and not to let that slip is is is absolutely crucial.
James Davis 46:55
Professor Davis and what we’re just coming to the end of this now, but what would you say is as has is the as the mean any particular aspect, which has heartened you over the last 12 months, where perhaps as a society, we have learned and developed and adapted from this pandemic, and all the feelings that could that that has caused?
Unknown Speaker 47:16
I, as I said earlier on, I think that what is heartened me is that, looking at the figures, nearly 70% of people say they’re coping with this huge change in their life, reasonably, are quite well. And that sense of blue, the resilience of the population of the Isle of Man, and the United Kingdom heartens me. I think the other thing, which I would say is that in mental health treatment nine, we use a lot of cognitive behaviour therapy, and we use a lot of mindfulness. And mindfulness has become very popular as a therapy that’s delivered on the iPhone and elsewhere. And mindfulness is teaching people to car pay down, as you were saying, gems are secondary, is to grab the data, understand the present, not to focus necessarily on the past, not to focus necessarily on the future. And it takes a lot of work. And it takes a lot of therapy and so on. But to be able to focus on the here and now that mindfulness is now very popular as a treatment and mental health care. So what strikes me is what’s happened, I think people are resilient. I think the PTS taught us to talk about things I would never have dreamed of doing this interview a year ago, we’re talking about my own grandchildren, I would have talked about research and data and all of this stuff. But now I feel that because of the year of lockdown, slightly more personal about this. It’s not all about science. And it’s not all about statistics, I can actually feel comfortable about relating my own story. I think that’s something positive, that’s come to light at all of us in the last year.
James Davis 48:56
There are other many charities organisations, third sector organisations who are here to help in their specialist areas. Lindsay, just from an IR listen perspective. Where can people find out more
Unknown Speaker 49:11
and so people can go onto our website onto i alisson di M. And there’s a whole wealth of resources on there. In terms of downloadable documents, and YouTube videos and clips, hints and tips. There’s a whole wealth of knowledge on there. And there’s also sort of pinpoints to all the charities on the island as well. Again, there’s a wealth of knowledge and experience on the Isle of Man through various other services, known Samaritans to name just one and but there is a whole wealth of knowledge out there and I would really urge people, you know, if you do feel like he needs support, if you feel that you’re not able to get that support from family and friends and you need something more, please reach out, please, please speak up and get the support that you need.
James Davis 49:57
I’m sure that that is probably something right. That you would endorse. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 50:01
absolutely. And there’s the you know, again, I’ll refer back to the show I okay campaign which also has a wealth of information and advice and signpost, people to a huge range of, of third sector organisations, who can be there to provide, you know, invaluable help and support. So, you know, I would urge people to, to access that resource.
James Davis 50:21
Thank you. The details have just been on the screen. We could talk there were so many avenues we could explore here. Thank you for your time to Lindsay Christian, Professor Robin Davidson. And I’m Ross Bailey. very much appreciated and good. Good to speak to you this afternoon. Hopefully this webinars been helpful, especially for those of you who are struggling mentally and or emotionally. With this current lockdown caring about our emotional well being I’m sure you agree this has never been been more important. Thanks for your company. Keep talking and take care of yourself. Goodbye.