ONE in four of us will experience mental illness at some point in our life. From anxiety and depression to substance misuse and psychosis. The single biggest killer of young people in the UK is suicide. Your mental wellbeing really does matter. To you and everyone else around you.

Emotions under lockdown aren’t easy. For some, the unexpected loss of loved ones. The feeling of hopelessness. Life on hold. Loneliness. Relationships and opportunities missed. The best laid plans of mice and men.

For many, Covid-19 has literally locked them into their homes; for those with abusive partners that can seem like a life sentence. The pandemic has amplified mental health problems.

Which perhaps explains why the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has chosen the principle of kindness as the theme for this year’s mental health awareness week. It’s something we can all contribute to; however small – a smile, a phone call, looking out for someone, a random act of generosity. Something positive. There can be no doubt we all need more kindness in our lives.

At the time of entering lockdown, the MHF undertook a UK survey which showed more than two-thirds of adults felt anxious for the future during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over a fifth felt panic and hopelessness. One in 10 felt loneliness.

Such feelings are natural. But there is always hope and light, and such feelings can be ameliorated. During a stressful period, you would expect an increase in financial worries, underlying health problems, and mental health vulnerability.

Yet, as we begin to talk about transition out of lockdown this week, it’s important to realise that kindness needs to be transformed into solid legal rights to protect those most at risk. Unless we prevent that risk from crystallising, we know that mental and physical health will be severely injured for the many.

There has been much talk in Scotland about social justice and fairness. But time is running out for action and not just maybes and words. We know what the problems are. Last month, the New Economics Foundation published research that showed over a third of private renters were living in poverty.

Most private renters were at the highest risk of losing their jobs through social distancing measures.

When the furlough scheme winds-down and comes to an end, many people will experience a major financial shock. It’s about when, not about if. We all know it is later this year. We know this will happen.

Tomorrow, the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill will undertake its final reading in the Scottish Parliament. Are we putting sufficient measures in place to ensure social justice and fairness as we contemplate an easing out of lockdown? I don’t believe we are.

To be fair both the Scottish Greens and Scottish Labour MSPs have tabled a number of strong amendments to the Scottish Government’s Bill. Both Labour and the Greens have called for a tenant’s rent support fund. Other amendments call for support funds for social care staff and grants for young carers.

Andy Wightman MSP has tabled amendments looking to freeze all rent increases in the social and private rented sectors for two years. It’s a radical and bold move that is perhaps more probing of the Scottish Government’s mettle here, than a serious attempt to change the law.

That said, unless Scotland introduces some proper rent controls during the Covid-19 transition we will be faced with a housing and eviction crisis.

Mr Wightman has also put forward an amendment to stop rent arrears accrued during the pandemic being used to evict a tenant. This is similar to an amendment Govan Law Centre had campaigned for during the time of the bedroom tax, and it makes eminent sense.

Jackie Baillie MSP has introduced an amendment to the Bill that would enable Scots affected by the pandemic to seek a debt moratorium for six months. During this period all interest, fees and charges on credit and debts would be frozen. Again, this is a much needed, fair and helpful piece of law reform that would reduce the level of out of control indebtedness in Scotland.

The prospect of either Scottish Labour or the Greens proposed changes to the Coronavirus No.2 Bill being accepted by the Scottish Government are slim to non-existent. However, the Scottish Government will at some point very soon have to grapple with these issues.

They aren’t going away. You can only talk about them so long before they become a reality.