More than half of Welsh adults are worried about the mental health of a loved one this festive season

Over half (56%) of Welsh adults are worried about the mental health of someone they know this Christmas according to a survey published by the Mental Health Foundation.

As we approach Christmas, significant numbers of people in Wales are expressing their concern for the mental health of children (53%), partners/spouses (32%), relatives (36%) and friends (30%).

Reflecting on the findings, Jenny Burns, Wales’ Associate Director of the Mental Health Foundation said: “We will remember this year for a cruel pandemic and how it exposed deep inequalities in our societies but also for public outpouring of kindness in our communities as we faced great challenge. With hope on the horizon, these findings show that compassion too is still alive in Wales, with more than half of Welsh adults concerned about the mental health of someone in their lives.”

YouGov survey of 2,109 adults in the UK, commissioned by Mental Health Foundation, also found that one in three adults (33%) reported that they were personally feeling anxious or stressed as we enter the festive season while two in five (40%) said they are feeling happy, hopeful or excited about the season.

Jenny added: “Given the huge challenges we have faced in 2020, people have a range of emotions right now including anxiety, relief, hopefulness. Many people are concerned for others wellbeing which is especially important as we know the pandemic has not affected all communities equally.

“Now is a time for re-discovering the power of kindness – both in private and public life. Research shows that an act of kindness demonstrates our concern for another’s vulnerability and can help someone feel appreciated and has the power to reduce stress, improve mood, self-esteem and happiness. It’s a gift that has the potential to protect our collective mental health.

“As a society, we have to start taking kindness seriously and applying kindness in public policy has huge potential for a healthier and happier country. Kindness builds the social capital we need in communities to address the social, economic and mental health consequences of the crisis that could last for years to come.”