‘It’s OK not to be OK – just tell people when you’re not’

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 June 2020

Joseph Whibley, independent candidate for Exmouth Town ward. Picture: Joseph Whibley

Joseph Whibley, independent candidate for Exmouth Town ward. Picture: Joseph Whibley

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District and town councillor Joe Whibley writes about the need for people to communicate if they are struggling

I think by now we’re all growing tired of television adverts telling us we’re living in strange times - we know!

But, speaking personally, I am well aware how the current situation may be affecting the mental health of the nation.

Be you furloughed, under financial pressure, shielded - these are all massive changes we’ve had to learn to deal with in a very short space of time.

And as we ease out of lockdown, things that were once normal - people on the beach, for example, become a shocking or worrying sight.

Personally, I’ve been keeping busy doing some jobs for the school where I work, doing some volunteering for Mutual Aid (who, along with all of the other volunteer groups, are doing a marvellous job), and dealing with various shenanigans in my position as a district councillor - and there have been lots of those of late!

But finding a rhythm and motivation can be a real daily struggle.

I think for me, the constant confusion of changing government Covid rules, worrying about family living far away, watching too much news and listening to the stories of others takes its toll.

And there have been times when I’ve had to say – ‘I’m not OK’.

I’m lucky enough to have people to talk to who will listen and help me through these situations.

If you have those people in your life, I urge you to talk to them if you need to.

If not, help is out there – many organisations offer a listening ear service – and talk to the Samaritans as a last resort.

Or talk to me!

Ultimately, we’re all finding our way in our new lives and, old or young, healthy or otherwise. This is hard, but always remember that it’s OK not to be OK.

Just tell people when you’re not!


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