Community support workers have called for people to be vigilant while a “silent mental health crisis” grips Cornwall as an invisible social side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Specialists working for the ESF-funded Kafe Konnect programme are asking people in communities in Cornwall to check-in with those around them for signs of difficulties caused by increased isolation and social disruption from lockdowns.

They hope community members will help them get their support to those who need it by reaching people who may have disengaged with their wider community and the support that it once provided them.

“We help people suffering from anxiety-related problems to re-engage in their community and get back into meaningful activities, such as education, training, volunteering and employment,” said Becka Prynne, team leader of the Kafe Konnect project.

“Since lockdown we have seen a significant rise in anxiety-related mental health problems relating to isolation often caused by the inability to attend regular social activities or the need to work from home.”

The Kafe Konnect programme, which is free to take part in, helps unemployed people, over the age of 18 by offering a wide range of personal assistance including talking therapies, support groups and one-to-one coaching as well as mentoring in areas such as employability and vocational training.

People can use it to get involved in education, volunteering, training, employment, leisure courses, getting out and about and getting more involved in the community, getting access to additional support. They can also signpost people to further services that specialise in addiction support and more specific mental health difficulties.

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