Kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) focuses on the power and potential of kindness. Protecting our mental health is going to be central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic – with the psychological and social impacts likely to outlast the physical symptoms of the virus.
Mark Rowland the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation talks about why kindness is the theme for mental health awareness week 2020 – and why it could be the most important week they’ve ever run…
“Last week, I waited in a socially distanced queue outside the supermarket as the rain started to fall.”
“One of the staff noticed we were getting wet. He scurried away to find a pile of umbrellas, carefully disinfected the handles and passed them out with a smile. To my surprise, my eyes started to well up. At a time when I felt alone, I suddenly felt connected.”
“If I asked you the last time you gave or experienced kindness, you would tell me stories of when you felt moved, protected, held, seen, loved.”
Kindness has been chosen because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.
But we also want to shine a light on the ways that kindness is already flowering at this time. We have seen it in the dancing eyes of 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore as he walked his garden to raise money for the NHS and in the mutual aid groups responding to local needs. We want that kindness to spread further in every community in the UK.
Finally, we want to use the week to explore the sort of society we would like to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
How you can join in
We are asking our colleagues to tell us about a ‘Kindness Story’ that has touched, inspired or encouraged them to do something kind themselves. We will share our stories on social media and encourage our community to be brave and share their own story using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.
Online Kindness Sessions
We are planning a selection of online sessions on our website throughout the week, look out for updates on social media. These sessions will support the positive impact of kindness through self-care which can help boost our self-esteem and wellbeing. Kindness and our mental health are deeply connected and kindness can be an antidote to isolation and create a sense of belonging.
Involving our Service Users
We don’t want our service users that aren’t online to miss out. We’ll be contacting our service users asking them if they would like to share a Kindness Story with us. We will collate all the Kindness Stories and send them out in a printed booklet for our service users to read at home.
We’re looking forward to sharing some lovely Kindness Stories. Please follow and share our stories throughout the week on social media and our website and don’t forget to tag us in too!
Author: Paula Hall
Posted on: 11th May 2020