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Mental Health Awareness Week: 10 – 16th May

Mental health has impacted all our lives; whether this week you choose to #ConnectWithNature or #FightForMH, let's raise awareness and work together to show kindness, support and change. 

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Now, more than ever, it is so very important to recognise those among us who are suffering from mental health issues, and to acknowledge that the numbers of people suffering, children included, are on the increase. 

As a result of the pandemic, cases of mental health challenges have risen as people from all walks of life - young and old - are faced with constant challenges, worries, and, in particular, loneliness during lockdown.  These have all had a detrimental effect on people’s mental health. In fact, one in six adults admits to suffering from some form of mental health issue.

Let me ask you a question. How are you? No, how are you really, deep down?

It’s OK to answer, “not too good”, “could be better”, “I feel sad, lost, anxious, just not myself”.  

And it’s why we should all be asking, and importantly listening, to our family, friends and peers, because mental health can affect anyone and everyone. 

That’s why I want to remind people that this week, 10th – 16th May, is Mental Health Awareness Week.  A week where we should all be checking in on, not only each other, but ourselves.

For Mental Health.org.uk, this year’s theme is nature. Nature is all around us, whether you live in a city, seaside resort or town. Nature, fresh air, walking – it’s all proven to help people’s mental wellbeing. What’s more, nature is free to enjoy and available to everyone – listen to the birds, the sound of the waves crashing, the trees rustling in the wind, admire beautiful wild flowers. Enjoy the simplicity of it all.

To share the wellbeing benefits of nature people are being asked to upload their videos, photographs and recordings of nature online. You can do this by using the following hashtags - #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. 

Mind.org.uk are also fighting to raise awareness of mental health this week, their theme being just that – fighting; fighting for support and life-changing help for those affected by mental health issues. They are encouraging you to share why you will fight for mental health by using the hashtags #FightForMH and #MHAW

It’s a great idea to use social media as a channel for everyone to come together.  If you’re feeling low why not search out these hashtags to feel connected, not just to nature and fighting for your cause, but to others who are finding comfort from sharing and feeling part of the awareness community?  Remember, you are not alone. There is no taboo in admitting you are struggling. 

Expert Help, Someone To Talk To

There is help available, in many forms, and most importantly sufferers are not alone. There are many organisations that can help you manage and overcome mental health issues; these include...

  • Mental Health Foundation - mentalhealth.org.uk
  • Mind - offering crisis helplines, a local drop-in centre for counselling and therapy, mind.org.ukor call them on 0300 123 3393
  • The Samaritans - free phone 116 123
  • Rethink Mental Illness – call 0300 5000 927
  • Confide in a trusted friend, a colleague, a family member
  • Speak to your GP or medical professional