TV star Scarlett Moffatt has shared her own experiences and advice on how she copes with her mental health as we recognise Mental Health Awareness Week, from the 10th to 16th May.
Scarlett is an ambassador for mental health charity Samaritans, who provide support for anyone struggling to cope, 24 hours a day on their dedicated volunteer led helpline.
Speaking to Fleur East and the Hits Radio Breakfast team, Scarlett described how she had used Samaritans herself in the past. She said, “I rang the Samaritans about five years ago because things got quite on top of me and they were just so helpful."
She added how proud she was to be associated with the charity. "Honestly, I still can’t believe it. I got a little lump in my throat when they told me.
“I am lucky that I have quite a big platform and I could help other people. The thing is, with Samaritans, people assume that it’s a suicide prevention line, which it is, but it is also there if you feel lonely, if you’re worried, if you’re worried about finances, so I think it is such a wonderful charity which helps so many people.
“I messaged them on Instagram and asked if they needed me to post anything or anything I could do and that’s just been going for years. Then they asked if I wanted to be an ambassador and I said yes!”
Scarlett has also been speaking to us about our ongoing campaign, Where's Your Head At?, that aims to make a mental health first aid a legal requirement in the workplace.
Scarlett said, "I think having mental health first aiders in the workplace is such an amazing idea. It's going to break down stigma and help people open up. Sometimes you don’t want to speak to someone who knows you inside out… it is really important to have a trained stranger there to help."
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In June 2020, following the first Covid-19 lockdown, mental health charity Mind conducted a survey of 16,000 people and found that ‘more than two thirds of adults with mental health problems reported that their mental health got worse during lockdown.’
Scarlett shared how she continues to cope with the isolation brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. She said, “I made sure that I kept in touch with people because it’s so easy to be in your own bubble, sitting in your house because you’re on your own. Especially when my boyfriend goes to work!
“I would make a little schedule for myself, get up, get dressed, bit of mascara on, do a TikTok or two. I planned Facetimes and daily walks with my friends and family which was nice. The walks have helped me a lot. I used to get Uber round the corner but now I’m like a rambler, I’m walking for miles!”
Like so many of us, Scarlett has learned a lot over the course of the last year and describes how lockdown has changed her life.
“I learned to appreciate loved ones and to make time for people because that is what has got me through, spending time with loved ones. Try and take time and look after yourself and make sure that you are constantly surrounded by people you love.”
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She also offered advice on how to cope if you’re struggling with the pressures of social media.
“I think social media plays a huge part in people’s mental health, because everyone is looking on social media and thinking everyone has got their life together. Side note, we haven’t!
“I know this sounds ridiculous, but delete people that make you feel sad about your life. We don’t have to follow people that make us feel sad, it’s no disrespect to that person. But if someone always looks like they’ve got their life together and that’s a trigger for you, just don’t follow them.”