By Naomi Hayes, Mission Manager (Wellbeing)

Supporting mental wellbeing is a big part of our vision of ‘Co-operating for a Fairer world’. 1 in 4 of us experience a mental health problem in any given year and the pandemic is having an impact with 60% of adults and 68% of young people reporting their mental health has got worse. 

That’s why we’re working in partnership with Mind, SAMH and Inspire to bring communities together to improve mental wellbeing. Our colleagues, members and customers are raising £8m for Mind, SAMH and Inspire to support new mental wellbeing services across the UK. Thanks to our colleagues, members and customers, £5.5m has been raised so far.

One of the services being supported is Rainbow Mind, a collaboration between Salford and Hackney local Minds to support the mental wellbeing of young people from the LGBTQI+ community.

Research from Stonewall shows that the LGBTQI+ community are much more likely to report having a longstanding mental health problem – including depression and anxiety. A survey of over 5,000 LGBT+ people in Britain found that over half have experienced depression in the last year, and 3 in 5 have experienced anxiety.

Rainbow Mind helps young people from the LGBTQI+ community in East London and Greater Manchester, through an innovative new approach called Radical Self Care, which includes teaching self-care techniques such as how to set boundaries and mindfulness skills to address some of the unique mental wellbeing experiences of LGBT+ individuals. You can find out more at rainbowmind.org.

Supporting your own and each other’s mental wellbeing

Looking after our own wellbeing is important. For colleagues support is available 24/7 through Lifeworks, GP services via our partner Smart Health or Gympass, our physical health and wellbeing platform. You can find out more here.

To help support your own or others mental wellbeing download our ‘Be Kind to Your Mind’ guide. It includes activities from Co-op and partners as well as general tips and how to seek support from our charity partners.

Co-operate, our online community centre, is here to help communities come together and benefit from help and support from like-minded people and causes. We know that helping and supporting others can have a positive impact on your own wellbeing.  With over 11,000 groups, find things to do and groups in your area to support your wellbeing at coop.co.uk/co-operate.