Shortly into the start of lockdown I posted on social media about the looming crisis that is sure to come as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We are entering a public health crisis of another kind, the kind that isn’t just about physical health. A crisis that will impact mental health and social wellbeing as well.
We are seeing reports about increased rates of domestic abuse, drug and alcohol problems, mental health difficulties and the strain on key workers are giving us forewarning of what is to come.
The conversations my posts sparked on Twitter and LinkedIn were really encouraging. Professionals and experts from various sectors agreed that something needed to be done.
And there started the proposed Resilience Task Force.
Fast forward to Monday 8 June – the start of our call to Government to convene the Task Force.
With the support of my fellow campaign coordinator, Sir Norman Lamb and over 80 organisations and professionals, an open letter has been sent to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock.
The letter calls on Government to convene a Resilience Task Force with a mandate and appropriate funding allocated to support the Government’s response to the inevitable, damaging and costly social and psychological consequences that will no doubt follow this painful chapter in our nation’s history.
All 80 signatories on the letter are committed to working with the Government and its representatives to build and execute a response plan, using all our collective experience, expertise, networks and resources.
The support that many people will require will need to come from services and agencies that were already unable to meet the demand they faced from vulnerable, help-seeking people every day. This situation will only add to this burden, and the intergenerational impact will be predictable and costly unless we intervene early and with a cross-sector response.
No single agency has all of the answers – collaboration is key.
We have a rare opportunity to influence our culture and shift attitudes towards a more balanced and open perspective that understands and places equal value on physical, emotional and social wellbeing. And it is essential that the social and environmental determinants of health are recognised and addressed as part of our collective response to this coronavirus pandemic.
Now is the time to have a national conversation about the psychosocial impacts of adversity, trauma, the wider determinants of health and to make sure this crisis does not leave a legacy that costs us dearly for generations to come.
I firmly believe that we cannot simply go back to ‘business as usual’ after this pandemic subsides. To do so will lead to decades of unprecedented human and financial cost. We must act now.
I hope after reading my blog you will support the call for a Resilience Task Force.
There is more information on the Resilience Task Force website where you can access updates on the campaign as well as resources to get involved. In the meantime, please share your views on Twitter and LinkedIn using the hashtag #resiliencetaskforce.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support.