Calderdale mental health figurehead says 'lockdown can be good for us’

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A leading mental health figure in Calderdale has said lockdown could be a positive on people’s mental health.

Luke Ambler, founder of men’s mental health group Andy’s Man Club, said lockdown has allowed people in self isolation to take a step back from their lives and deal with any underlining issues during the unprecedented time.

The former Halifax RLFC star’s comments come as the UK descends into its ninth week of lockdown as Prime Minister Boris Johnson extended the Covid-19 measures to reduce the spread of the virus in a speech on May 10, which many have described as ‘clear as mud’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “This can be good for our mental health, however it’s all about the individual’s mindset.

Luke AmblerLuke Ambler
Luke Ambler

People can take a step back and analyse underlining issues they may have, and this period has given them the time to deal with it.”

Mr Ambler also said people itching to leave isolation should think twice.

“I think Boris Johnson’s message was mixed, but some people have been guilty of looking how they can benefit individually,” said Mr Ambler.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s frustrating because everything is still uncertain, which causes anxiety.

“The best thing we can do is stick together.

“It’s important to realise if we leave lockdown too soon, it could put us in a worse position mentally in the long run.”

Throughout lockdown Andy’s Man Club have been hosting weekly online group meetings and have started a new campaign ‘It’s OK to Run’.

Mr Ambler said: “Our new campaign is for people to run 300k throughout May - anyone can take part and it’s good for mental health.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As part of his speech, the PM spoke about easing restrictions as some businesses start to reopen.

“The main danger as people start to get back to the norm is change.

“Change can be dangerous especially because it could be different once lockdown is over, especially because there’s going to be a lot of people unemployed.” said Mr Ambler.

“For now, I would recommend people in isolation to get into a routine and stick to it.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

During lockdown, Andy’s Man Club has been in collaboration with with high-profile acts including Calder Valley-based BBC TV comedian Jon Richardson.

As well as help from mental health groups, NHS Commissioners invested almost half a million pounds into a new mental health helpline for areas including Calderdale, which is provided by NCHA Care and Support.