Next Monday marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.
It seems more pertinent than ever, as we are currently in the throes of a global pandemic and feeling collectively unsettled. But what better time to check in with ourselves and those around us?
This year's Mental Health Foundation theme is Kindness. Whether a big grand gesture or a simple favour for a stranger, kindness is transformative in every form. You can never really know just how much your kindness can impact someone's day, but the light way you feel afterwards is a solid hint.
Throughout the week we'll be sharing lots of hints, tips and stories.
Our VP Campaigns and Communications, Lewis, has put together a fantastic Random Acts of Kindness Calendar for inspiration throughout MHA week. You'll be able to find the Kindness Calendar over on our socials at the start of the week.
Speaking about the upcoming event Lewis said: "Spreading kindness can have profound effects on both your mental and physical wellbeing. It strengthens relationships, develops community & deepens solidarity, amongst many other things. I encourage everyone reading this to get involved in the week by performing random acts of kindness, be that through the calendar I have made or something from your own imagination. Not only will this brighten up someone else’s day, it will hopefully do the same to yours too."
As part of Mental Health Awareness week, we'll also be anonymously sharing stories across social media. If you think your story could help someone, why not share it with the community?
It could be one of your own experiences of mental health, grappling with lockdown or even a story of how kindness made a difference to you. If you'd like to take part and share your story, visit our stories portal. All submissions will remain anonymous from the point of submission to sharing. By sharing these lived experiences we hope to normalize these narratives, help one another and encourage positive mental wellbeing.
Many of us dedicate time to tend to our physical health but leave our mental health a little less nurtured. If you're struggling, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our Advice team. Our Advice service offers free, non-judgmental and confidential support. Since the start of lockdown, our team have already helped over 100 students, whilst continuing to provide support for those with ongoing cases. Reaching out for help when you need it can be the hardest step, but it's often the most important one you'll take. We'll be here for you, whenever you need us.
So, whether you're planning a week of random acts of kindness or hoping to share your story, let the week bring a renewed focus on your own mental wellbeing and those around you. If we can, where possible, take this period of upheaval as an opportunity of endless possibilities, there might just be a rainbow and the end of this storm.
*If you would like to speak to someone, our Advice team is always here for you. Please get in touch.
#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek | May 18th - May 24th