Borough Insight

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health weekRun by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.

The theme for 2020 is 'kindness' - why kindness? See the animation produced by the Mental Health Foundation here - https://youtu.be/Qcyc68d6OAk

Although the theme for Mental Health Awareness week was decided before the Covid-19 pandemic began, it couldn’t be more appropriate.

As well as the personal tragedies, the pandemic has impacted on all lives and changed society. It has also inspired many acts of kindness, whether by going shopping for a vulnerable neighbour, consoling a colleague, painting a rainbow for NHS staff or simply taking time to listen more actively to those who are anxious or who are alone.

As Mental Health Foundation chief executive Mark Rowland says: ‘Now more than ever we need to re-discover kindness in our daily lives. Kindness unlocks our shared humanity and is central for our mental health.’

Being kind supports other people and it also benefits the person being kind, emotionally and physiologically. So, acts of kindness are also acts of self-kindness and a way of taking care of ourselves.

Taking care of your own mental health

We're currently living in a very uncertain time. This can add pressure to our lives and heighten stress and anxiety. Here are some tips to help look after your mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus crisis:

  1. Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media – overloading on information can impact your mood.
  2. Make time to unwind. If you can't do the things you normally enjoy because you're staying at home, think about how you could adapt them, or try something new.
  3. Stay connected with others, call friends and family members. The Surrey Community Helpline on 0300 200 1008 can also put you in touch with a telephone friend if you don't have anyone to talk to.
  4. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  5. Stick to the facts. Only read and share accurate information from GOV.UK and the NHS to understand the actual risks to yourself and people you care about. This can make the outbreak less stressful for yourself.
  6. Help others who may be struggling with their mental wellbeing. Check the NHS One You tips on what you can do to help others.
  7. Build physical activity into your daily routine, like dancing to music you love, cleaning your home or following online exercise workouts. This can help reduce stress, anxiety and low mood.

There is a range of support and advice on the Healthy Surrey website which includes self-help resources, local services (including a 24/7 confidential helpline) and information for those with or dealing with an adult in crisis

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