Supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
Throughout the week, from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd May, we will be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), the theme of which is kindness. Here and on social media we will be sharing information, guidance and tips to promote positive mental health and well being.
The campaign is run by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) and the theme this year is: Kindness.
Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by a genuine desire to make a positive difference. Kindness is key to keeping people connected and to contributing to positive mental wellbeing. It is something that most of us do every day without realising, but the point of this theme is to try and spread further kindness in the UK.
Benefits work both ways, helping the person doing the act of kindness and the receiver of that kindness. Research suggests that being kind:
- Creates connections with others, the community, and offers a perspective of how we connect with the wider world.
- Provides healthy feedback from others and also within.
- Builds confidence and well being.
The coronavirus crisis has created a positive wave of kindness toward others as individuals and communities have pulled together to support each other. This is helping people deal with the roller coaster nature of the situation, as is extra guidance including these 5 tips on dealing with uncertainty during Covid-19. And the Young Minds Charity has specific coronavirus advice and support.
Being kind to yourself, and others
For positive mental health during Mental Health Awareness Week and at other times, research suggests being kind to others including colleagues, family, friends.
Check in regularly on a call, taking time to listen over a ‘virtual coffee’ if possible, saying thanks and offering praise can lift the spirits as can helping vulnerable people or volunteering with shopping or chores you would not normally do.
Being kind to yourself is equally important.
Self-care includes switching off, finding time to relax and reflect be doing your favourite things, and celebrating something you’re proud of.
Kindness definitely does matter
We have been asking people to write down a kindness plan for themselves.
Research shows that if someone receives an act of kindness, they are likely to repeat the good deed they experienced themselves – contributing to an improved sense of well being in the community.
Research suggests that kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. This is so important now more so than ever according to the WHO and other bodies.
Further reading in support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020:
- What is good mental health? Read more from the Mental Health Foundation (MHF).
- Here are tips on good mental health from the MHF.
- Or MHF podcasts promoting positive mental health.
- Here is a guide about mental health at work from charity Mind.
- Read these tips on developing mental toughness from LifeHack.
- Here’s HelpGuide’s guidance on building better mental health.
- Try NHS apps which promote health and well-being.
- An Age Concern PDF guide about promoting mental health and well-being.