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Mental Health Awareness Week: 18-24 May 2020

Monday, 18 May 2020

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is about kindness and looking out for each other.  Arguably, looking after ourselves and indeed each other has never been more important than right now. The ‘new normal’ has changed the way we live, the way we work. We’re missing family, friends and colleagues and everybody is using words like ‘lockdown’ and ‘social distancing’ at a time when we all need comfort the most.

There is support for people who are finding life a struggle and who need a helping hand as no one should suffer in silence. Details and phone numbers of organisations and charities who can help are provided below at the end of this article.

Coronavirus is affecting mental health in general - causing disruption, uncertainty and anxiety. It is also:

  • Adding to specific triggers (e.g. food, hygiene)
  • Undermining existing coping strategies
  • Accentuating existing physical health problems
  • Causing social deprivation and acute financial pressure
  • Creating difficulties accessing support
  • Putting people at risk of violence and abuse

Our region, the West Midlands, has major challenges with mental health, which have been exacerbated by the distress caused during the lockdown. However, in spite of these incredibly difficult times, there have been positive acts of charity and compassion shown by people in our region and across the world.

With the Mental Health Foundation announcing that Kindness will be the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020) we are supporting the West Midlands Combined Authorities effort in getting as many stories about acts of kindness from our region showcased.

To submit a story of kindness please visit the link below;

https://www.wmca.org.uk/who-we-are/meet-the-mayor/community-champions-blog-submission/

 

In a time of social distancing small acts of kindness can help us all to connect with others emotionally during the pandemic. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community, and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health and one small act of kindness can lift someone’s mood and often inspires others to make acts of kindness of their own.

As an individual, perhaps you could:
  • call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • tell someone you know that you are proud of them
  • make a cup of tea for someone you live with or
  • offer help to vulnerable neighbour.

If you can, try to think about someone in your community who you might be able to be kind to during this National Mental Health Awareness Week.

Stay safe...be kind.

 

HELPFUL CONTACTS:

Samaritans: Call free on 116 123 or visit the website

NHS 111: Non-emergency advice is available online (Only call 111 if you cannot get help online). People with hearing problems can use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) service.

MIND: Mind has tips and support on its website. Coronavirus and your wellbeing | Mind, the mental health...

Shout: Confidential 24/7 crisis text support. Text "SHOUT" to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line

Crisis Support For Young People: Under 35s. Call Papyrus's Hopeline UK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends. 0800 068 41 41. Text 07786 209697 or visit the Papyrus website

CALM: The Campaign Against Living Miserably, for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason. Call 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight). Free, anonymous webchat with trained staff or visit the CALM website

The Mental Health Foundation hosts Mental Health Awareness Week. Find out about the charity by clicking here: Mental Health Foundation

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