Public Health Wales has launched a new wellbeing campaign to address the negative impact of COVID-19 on the mental, physical and social wellbeing of people in Wales.
The new ‘How are you doing?’ campaign has been created to support the people of Wales to look after their wellbeing and to ensure public health is protected during the isolation period.
This follows a call by many charities and human rights experts warning that emergency isolation measures to tackle COVID-19 will put disabled, vulnerable and older people at risk, as well as having an increased negative impact on the wider public mental and physical wellbeing.
Research also supports the concerns that COVID-19 will negatively impact the public’s mental and physical wellbeing. A report by the Universities of Sheffield and Ulster ‘COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium’ showed a significant spike in anxiety and depression on the back of the Prime Minister’s announcement that people in the UK must stay at home.
A ‘COVID-19 Social Study’ by UCL also highlighted that 64% of its participants reported worrying about friends or family living outside the household. Other concerns included 54% of participants worrying about getting food, 49% worrying about getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and 41% concerned about finances. Social listening also showed that broken or lack of sleep have also been raised as a common issue throughout the pandemic.
In response to the research, Public Health Wales has launched a new microsite, which hosts a wealth of information offering practical support for people who may be affected by the concerns highlighted in the research. The microsite also provides useful links to charities and support groups for people who are feeling overwhelmed by the current situation.
Campaign advertising to raise awareness of the new campaign features a TV and radio advert, as well as social media content featuring the strapline ‘How are you doing?’
Dr Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of Public Health Wales, said: “It is extremely important that we protect ourselves and each other by following all of the guidance and measures for COVID-19, but we also appreciate that social distancing and being isolated from loved ones is hard and can negatively impact on our wellbeing, which is why we decided to launch our “How are you doing?” campaign.
“We want people to understand that it’s okay to ask for help and support for our social, mental and physical well-being and know that we are here to help everyone during these difficult times.
“We hope that people will connect with the “How are you doing?” campaign and use the easy to access support that is available to ensure they stay connected with loved ones, maintain positive mental wellbeing and good physical wellness throughout, and after, this period of isolation.”