18 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week: kindness matters

This week (18-24 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week. This year the theme of the week is 'Kindness'. 

Research from the Mental Health Foundation shows that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. The research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships. Kindness to ourselves can prevent shame from corroding our sense of identity and help boost our self-esteem. Kindness can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism. 

Emily Austen, Mental Health First Aider at GreenSquare, said: "Now more than ever, kindness is vital for all of us. We need to pull together and remind everyone how great they are and how they are making a difference, even in a small way. Everyone matters and no one is alone, however lonely the world might feel at the moment.”

We know that lots of you out there are doing so much to help your friends, relatives and neighbours. Have you given or experienced kindness over the past weeks? Visit our Facebook page (here) and tell us more.

Kindness challenge

We’ve come up with a list below to help spread a bit of kindness. Why not see how many you can do this week?  

  • Give a compliment, even if it’s to a stranger (while complying with the 2m social distancing rule of course!)
  • Smile 
  • Pop a note through your neighbours doors and see if they need anything ie shopping, a chat or prescription
  • Run your partner a bath at the end of the day
  • Pick up five pieces of rubbish on your daily walk
  • Let someone jump ahead of you in a queue (traffic or in a shop)
  • Buy someone flowers and have them delivered
  • Donate online to charity
  • Arrange a home pub quiz with family and friends
  • Write a card or note to the family members you’re not able to see
  • Leave a positive review of a product you’ve recently bought
  • Tell someone why you appreciate them
  • Sign up to donate blood or organ donation
  • Help an elderly neighbour of family member 

For more information about Mental Health Awareness week and the Mental Health Foundation, please visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk