‘If you are in distress don’t leave it til the last minute, come and talk to us’-Havering Samaritans.

This third lockdown has made its impact on most of us. The impact it has made varies from an emotional impact not being able to see family and loved ones or a financial impact through not being able to work.

The winter months have hit most people hard and the uncertainty the government have left people in is taking its toll on our community. Not knowing when this next lock down will end is what is causing distress to people not just here in Havering but right across the country. When is our life going to go back to some degree of normality? When can we work again? When can we see our loved ones? We are constantly being told not to do this and not to do that and now after nearly a year of on and off restrictions, people are suffering.

The Havering Daily spoke to Arthur Leathley, the Director of the Samaritans in Havering about the devastating impact this third lock down is now having.

“We haven’t seen an increase in the level of calls we have had but it is the level of distress people are experiencing in the community,” he tells us. “For Christmas we thought there was some level of hope that we might be able to see loved ones and then that was dashed at the last minute. Now what we have is an indefinite date of lock down that is causing a spiral of decline. People are feeling isolated, there is no prospect of when this is all going to come to an end. It is causing them stress, be it financial or emotional.

“The three biggest issues are isolation, many people have isolated since March, Covid health fears for themselves and their loved ones and the financial problems it is causing to so many. The distress we are hearing in people has increased.”

By isolating, the ability to talk to others and share your problems has been taken away and now people find themselves alone and with no one to talk to.

“We want people to know that we are out here if they need someone to talk to,” continued Arthur. “The isolation has meant that people can’t share their problems with others. They can’t pop out and grab a coffee with a friend or relative and share their concerns. Or even if they have someone there to share, they might be scared to burden them with their troubles and hold it all inside.”

The Samaritans are there for people to talk to. “Please talk to us,” says Arthur. “We really want to hear from you from when you start to feel stressed, don’t leave it until the last minute, come to us early on. It is true that everyone is suffering at the moment but we are here 24/7 for people to talk, we will listen.

“Doesn’t matter what age you are, we are here for everyone.”

Arthur fears for young people in particular who do not always talk. “Young men struggle but don’t often want to talk, they are our biggest concern at the moment. Please, come and talk to us.”

If you struggling and feel like you need someone to talk to, call the Samaritans on 116123. We all need someone to talk to there is no shame in that. Things are hard and this lock down has effected everyone in a multitude of ways.

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