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There is Always Hope campaign launched as new research shows huge rise in mental health issues across Britain as a result of the pandemic.

Young people have seen their mental health deteriorate the most since the pandemic began, according to research from Network Rail and national mental health charity Chasing the Stigma.

Almost three quarters of 18-24-year-olds (69%) say covid-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health compared with 28% of over 65s. Meanwhile, almost half of Brits (48%) agreed their mental health had taken a hit since the pandemic began.

The research was carried out as part of our new There is Always Hope campaign aimed at encouraging those struggling with their mental health to seek help before they reach crisis point.

Anyone struggling with their mental health can download the Hub of Hope app on the Chasing the Stigma website or at www.hubofhope.co.uk.

The app also has a Need Help Now? button that links straight through to Samaritans and Crisis Text Line.

We've partnered with Chasing the Stigma to create a new film about how there are people around you who care and there is always hope – no matter how desperate you may feel:

According to our study, mental health symptoms have surged among all age groups over the last 12 months, with respondents reporting increases in anxiety (40%), loneliness (31%) and depression (31%).

The study of more than 2,000 GB adults by research agency Yonder shows the pandemic has also had a significant impact on students, with 64% claiming it has affected their mental health, along with 65% of those who identify as being LGBT+.

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “We have a huge responsibility to keep people safe and support the wellbeing of both our staff and passengers.

“Through this campaign, we are trying to help vulnerable people who are at risk before they even come to the rail network by signposting them towards support services through the Hub of Hope.”

There is Always Hope campaign image of people standing on a platform with the words, 'there is always hope'.

Jake Mills, founder and chief executive of Chasing the Stigma, is featured in the There is Always Hope film. Jake set up the charity and developed the Hub of Hope following his own suicide attempt. He realised when talking through his own personal experience that many people didn’t know where to turn within their own mental health issues and he wanted to offer support to others who found themselves in a similar situation.

Jake said: “Mental health has never been more important, especially as the results show the covid-19 pandemic is having a real impact on people, particularly young adults, across the UK.

“Breaking down the stigma around mental health and giving people access to the right support at the right time, is essential as it can make such a difference, and it’s the reason why we set up the Hub of Hope.

“These are challenging times but help and support is available and there is always someone to talk too, so there is always hope.”

The research also found:

  • one in 10 have accessed mental health support during the pandemic (9%)
  • social isolation has been felt by almost half of respondents (43%)
  • three quarters of those who struggled before the pandemic say their mental health has got worse
  • more than a third (36%) of those who did not struggle with their mental health prior to the pandemic have done so since it began
  • a quarter said they have had more time to devote to hobbies and interests
  • just under half have concerns about the economy (42%).

The latest campaign forms part of the rail industry’s efforts to reduce suicides across the rail network. Suicide is sadly an ongoing challenge faced by us, train operating companies and the British Transport Police. We're working together to take ongoing measures to prevent such incidents, including training thousands of industry staff and running campaigns such as Small Talk Saves Lives, which calls on people to look out for one another and intervene safely if they see someone who might ned help.

We have created There is Always Hope, however, with the input of suicide prevention and mental health experts to signpost those at risk of suicide towards support services much earlier on in their mental health journey, before the idea of ending their life on the railway becomes a conscious thought.

Read more:

Chasing the Stigma

Hub of Hope

Hub of Hope – get help now

Hub of Hope app

Safety in the community

Suicide prevention on the railway

British Transport Police

Together we can end domestic abuse