On Wednesday 10th June, Faiths Forum for London, Faiths United and Strengthening Faith Institutions co hosted a webinar on ‘Loneliness & Mental Health’ in light of Covid 19, the plight of lockdown loneliness, money worries and stress are having and the impact on mental well being which had over 260 participants. 

It brought together an expert panel which included: 

  • Baroness Barran MBE, Minister for Civil Society and DCMS, Ministerial responsibilities include loneliness
  • Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Paul Farmer CBE, CEO of MIND
  • Jonathan Benjamin MBE, Mental health campaigner, Ambassador for JAMI
  • Rashid Rose, Clinical Counselor, founder of the Caribbean Health Initiative and advisor to the Salam Project

The webinar covered the main triggers and circumstances that may cause an individual to experience a detriment to their mental health during these times such as people living on their own,  the elderly or loss of jobs and income.

The discussion then moved on to how faith communities have a role to play. 

Jonathan Benjamin MBE drew on his own experience of growing up within the Jewish community and how it was a taboo subject. However, he noted that he feels positive about the future as young people are breaking barriers by openly talking about the issue.  Jonathan suggested that faith communities can organise men’s groups as men have a higher suicide rate.

Rashid Rose also discussed the Caribbean community in particular and identified that there needs to be stronger support mechanisms to be in place, especially during these times as the virus is more likely to affect people from a BAME background as highlighted in the Government report.   

Baroness Barran MBE identified that we all need to feel valued as human beings and not judged. She went on to say that “Sometimes faith communities can be supportive, other times they can be judgmental”.

Panelists were encouraged to reach out for help if they felt that their mental health has deteriorated and to speak up and tell their story. 

The webinar had a number of notable partners which included: 

  • Hindu Council UK
  • Hindu Forum Britain
  • City Sikhs
  • The Salam Project
  • Jami
  • Al Khoei Foundation 
  • London Borough of Faiths Network

Click HERE to watch the full webinar.

Information and Support

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