This year, my chosen charity for Jellybean’s 12 Days of Giving is Mind, a mental health charity which promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. I have chosen to support this charity because mental heath this year has suffered for a lot of the population.

Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people in any given year, ranging from common problems which many will experience such as anxiety or depression, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can affect anyone in any stage or walk of life, from childhood through to adulthood. Many people often overlook their mental health, but just like physical health, everyone has it and we need to take care of it.

There’s no denying that this year has been a struggle for most of us, with 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic posing many challenges and hurdles for mental health. From increased time stuck inside, lack of human contact, worrying news stories every day and fear of catching coronavirus, there are many things which has escalated mental health problems. These additional issues have made it harder for people to cope if already dealing with mental health problems, but also created new cases of mental health deterioration.

The charity Mind have been helping people cope during 2020 by providing information on the different problems that people are experiencing during the pandemic, with advice on accessing treatment and support, whilst also providing services such as phone, email and text helplines, online communities and Local Minds, a localised support group which offers telephone helplines and online services during coronavirus. In fact, 396,000 people have been supported by local Mind services across England and Wales.

Mind not only help with people coping with mental health problems during the pandemic. Their fantastic work helps people in many other ways, from bereavement and grief, anxiety and panic attacks and trauma, making sure everyone gets the support and respect they need. They work hard to empower those with mental health problems, providing advice and support to those who need it, and campaign to raise awareness, promote understanding and improve services.

Donations to Mind go on many important things, such as helping people to stay well, making access to services equal for everybody, helping people take part in society equally, giving people choice, improving services and support, and of course helping to fund and run the organisation.