Breaking down barriers during Covid 19

Sadif, who's been helped by our perinatal services, shares her experiences in a short film.

A mum from Leeds, who received support from our perinatal mental health service for anxiety during pregnancy, has been reflecting on Covid 19, lockdown and the way it’s brought her community together.

Sadif has shared her experiences in a short film, where she speaks to Bal Dosanjh, Clinical Engagement, Access and Inclusion Co-ordinator at the Trust.

At the peak of the pandemic, Sadif was determined that something positive should come from lockdown, so she reached out to her neighbours, writing a letter to every household on the street offering help to those who needed it.

She said the response was brilliant: “It’s brought us so much closer together as a community and as a street.

“When we first heard about Covid 19, the term ‘isolation’ was used a lot, but I’ve found this whole experience has broken down a lot of barriers between people.

“There are people who have been living here for 30 or 40 years who didn’t know a lot of the people on the street. I’ve got to know so many more people and the atmosphere is just so much better now.”

As the community pulled together, so did people of different cultures and religions, and as a proud Muslim, Sadif had to consider alternative ways to celebrate Ramadan during lockdown.

“When lockdown happened, one of the first announcements was that places of worship would be closed. During Covid 19 we’ve had Ramadan, which was a whole month, which would have been such a spiritual time for us, connecting with family, connecting the community and going to the Mosque.

“Obviously this year we weren’t able to do that, but I tried to look at it positively and thought what can we do?

“So all the Muslims on the street, who were fasting, surprised our non-Muslim neighbours and we made them all hampers.”

Turning her reflections to mental health in the pandemic, Sadif added:

“[Covid 19 and lockdown] has been such a huge change for everybody.

“Anxiety and other mental health conditions are something that can affect everybody. They don’t know any religion, any culture, any gender, any sexuality, anything.

“When I was diagnosed with anxiety, I was lucky because I had a very supportive family, but I know there are a lot of people within our community who might not have that support. I think that it’s really difficult when you are already going through so much and facing anxiety and then on top of that having to try to explain to people that you don’t feel well and that you might need help.

“It’s so important that we help embrace these issues and open up and have these conversations.”

Watch the video ‘The impact of Covid 19 lockdown, culture, support and mental wellbeing’ below.

There’s a dedicated section on our website that provides information on Coronavirus for our service users, carers and the public. Take a look here.