Singer Demi Lovato has helped launch a fundraising campaign to support the Irish youth service SpunOut.ie, and three other organisations in ensuring full accessibility of their mental health services during the ongoing pandemic.
The Mental Health Fund will raise money to support the work of organisations such as SpunOut.ie, Kids Help Phone (Canada), Shout (UK) and Crisis Text Line (USA). To help these groups provide crucial crisis intervention services during COVID-19, Demi has been working alongside the Royal Bank of Canada, Virgin Unite and Draper Richards Kaplan to launch the initiative.
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So many have been left alone with their thoughts, their anxieties, their abusers – and are struggling with the uncertainty of these times. That is why I am helping to launch #TheMentalHealthFund to support organizations who are meeting the increased demand in crisis counseling due to COVID-19. You are not alone. Help is fast, free and available 24/7. US: Text SHARE to 741741, UK: Text Shout to 85258, Canada: Text CONNECT to 686868, Ireland: Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280 You can also make a donation to bring free crisis counseling to those impacted. Link in story.
In response to the closure of public spaces, support networks have undergone numerous changes to ensure the LGBT+ community still have access to counselling services.
CEO of SpunOut.ie, Ian Power, said, “As the current crisis continues, days are filled with uncertainty and worry for some young people. SpunOut.ie is here 24/7 to help those in Ireland who might be struggling with any issue, no matter how big or small.”
— SpunOut.ie (@SpunOut) April 20, 2020
Power further stated, “We’re grateful to the supporters of The Mental Health Fund for making sure we can continue to be here for any young person who needs support during this unprecedented time and in the weeks and months to come.”
SpunOut.ie notes an increase from 25-30% to 52% in conversations related to stress and anxiety as a result of COVID-19. Numerous people are reaching out because they feel they have no else to talk too or are looking for someone who doesn’t know them personally.
Demi Lovato voiced her support for the fundraising campaign on Instagram, “So many people have been left alone with their thoughts, their abusers, their anxieties — and are struggling with the uncertainty of these times. I know not everyone has the ability to get the help they need so my hope is that this fund can bring support to help alleviate some of the hardship and pain people are going through.”
The mental health impacts of COVID-19 are intense & will last longer than the virus itself. Crisis counseling is available free, 24/7.
— Kids Help Phone (@KidsHelpPhone) April 20, 2020
Lockdown presents a myriad of challenges for LGBT+ people who may be living in unsafe social environments or facing uncertain financial situations. There have been reports of an influx in calls to helplines, showing that people are reaching out and finding helpful support systems during these difficult times.
Speaking to People, Lovato further shared, “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. Oftentimes our society tells us that if we ask for help, we are weak. But the strongest thing someone can do is take that first step in getting help, whatever shape or form that is.”
To support the Mental Health Fund, you can donate by following this link.
If you are looking to reach out to someone for support or advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBT+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.
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