Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this week from 18-24 May 2020. The theme is kindness.
Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. So, for one week each May, the Mental Health Foundation creates a campaign around a specific theme for Mental Health Awareness Week. Since it’s beginning in 2001, they have raised awareness of topics like body image, stress and relationships, with the campaign having reached millions of people every year.
The reasoning behind the kindness theme this year, comes from the understanding 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. Beyond ourselves, their report reveals how inequality is rising in our society and its harmful effects on our health.
Life expectancy is falling for the poorest for the first time in 100 years. As child poverty rises, children and young people in the poorest parts of our country are two to three times more likely to experience poor mental health than those in the richest. After the 2008 credit crunch it was the most vulnerable in our communities who experienced the severest consequences of austerity, with devastating effects on their mental and physical health. This not the hallmark of a kind society.
We must not make the same mistakes after this pandemic.