Encourage KINDNESS this Mental Health Awareness Week

From 18th - 24th May 2020, the Mental Health Foundation is hosting Mental Health Awareness Week with the theme of ‘Kindness’

A little bit of background...

The Mental Health Foundation works to prevent mental health problems. They drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all and support communities, families and individuals to live mentally healthier lives - with a particular focus on those at greater risk. Since the first Mental Health Awareness Week in 2001, the foundation has raised awareness of topics like body image, stress and relationships. In 2020, we focus on kindness which is certainly fitting in the current global pandemic and these uncertain times.

Let's all focus on kindness

The Mental Health Foundation believes...

"Kindness could transform our schools, places of work, communities and families. Let's shape a society that tips the balance in favour of good mental health, for all of us, but especially for those who are most vulnerable."

One thing is for sure, in recent weeks we have seen kindness all around us. From painting rainbows to spread cheer, shopping for loved ones and neighbours and picking up the phone to our elderly relatives - we've all done at least one thing to show kindness during the lockdown.

We've learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope.

The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing. So, help us to celebrate kindness this week with your family, friends and loved ones in support of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Get involved!

One way in which you can get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week is planning an act of kindness towards someone close to you. Maybe it's a friend you haven't heard from in a while, maybe it's someone you live with and see every day - it really doesn't matter. But what we do know is it will certainly matter to them.

Here are some ideas to get you going and raise some smiles...

1. Got a friend who loves cats or is a dog fanatic? Send them a super-cute animal pic to let them know you're thinking of them.

2. Know someone who's struggling? Send them a motivational message of simply ask how they are. It will mean the world and possibly get them talking.

3. Arrange to watch a film or TV programme at the same time as a friend and arrange a video call. You'll be able to laugh at the same things and benefit from that all-important social interaction.

4. Make a cuppa for someone you live with. Even if you're not a fan of hot drinks, pop that kettle on and brew up  - you might discover a new ritual!

5. Have dinner with someone you love over video call. Young or old, eating alone can get us all down. So, if you know someone who is living alone or fancy joining two families together over a virtual tea-time - make a date, sit down and enjoy a meal with others!

6. Tell someone you know you are proud of them. Acknowledging other's achievements will make their day!

Visit the Mental Health Foundation's website for more advice and information.

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