Demand on mental health services is expected to remain high for a long time due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Dominic Layden, CEO of leading mental health charity AWARE, who was speaking ahead of the launch of the charity’s new fundraiser (29 May – 5 June), supported by Maxol.
Aware provides free support services to people impacted by anxiety, depression, stress and other mood-related disorders, and is currently seeking to bring up to 200 additional trained volunteers on board in anticipation of the huge increase in demand for its services arising from the pandemic. The charity relies heavily on donations and fundraising events to support its services. However, with most of its planned activities cancelled, Aware is facing a shortfall of up to 40% of its expected income this year, and urgently needs funding. Today, together with its charity partner Maxol, Aware is now calling on the public to do two things:
- Between 29 May and 5 June, phone a friend, neighbour or colleague who might need cheering up or would be thrilled to hear a friendly voice
- Text PHONEAFRIEND to 50300 to donate €4 to Aware
The Phone a Friend Campaign will be fronted by professional rugby player and Maxol brand ambassador Jacob Stockdale.
Dominic Layden said, “During this time of crisis as we are encouraged to stay at home, staying in touch has never been more important. Making a phone call and having a chat can have a really positive outcome, and for some can help turn a bad day into a good one. Sharing concerns or problems can help to lift people’s mood and relieve low levels of anxiety, and that is why we have launched our Phone a Friend Campaign, with the aim of encouraging 10,000 phone calls over the next seven days, inviting the public to make a donation.”
For over 35 years, Aware has been there for the thousands of people for whom a friendly phone call is not enough. The charity is hearing from people who can normally manage their mental health very well, but are struggling at this time. It is also hearing from people who have never experienced anxiety or low mood before, but now need Aware’s help. Aware is making its appeal in anticipation of the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on the mental health of people across Ireland.
Brian Donaldson, CEO of The Maxol Group, spoke about the campaign: “It’s devastating to see the impact COVID-19 has had on communities across Ireland. For charities, the crisis has seriously impacted fundraising abilities and this will directly impact the vital support they can provide to those who need it most. This is why Aware’s Phone A Friend campaign is so important, and the need has never been greater. As Aware’s charity partner, we will be asking all of our retailers and staff to make a call and a corresponding donation over the coming week, as we all know the profound affect this crisis is having on people’s mental health.”
Aware provides support, education and information services for those impacted by depression, bipolar disorder and mood-related conditions. Maxol has raised more than €420,000 for Aware since 2016.
For more information on Aware or to access its support services or make a further donation www.aware.ie