Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 18-24 May 2020.
This years theme is Kindness.
The Mental Health Foundation have chosen the theme of Kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health.
Kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. Research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation & creates a sense of belonging. It can help to 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. It can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism.
They also wanted to shine a spotlight on the ways that kindness is already flowering during the Covid-19 pandemic and want this to continue to spread into every community in the UK.
How Can You Get Involved?
The Mental Health Foundation will be releasing new data to reveal how many of us experience kindness in the UK and a summary of the latest evidence about its important mental health benefits.
During Mental Health Week, you can get involved by doing these 3 things :
- Reflect on an act of kindness. Share your stories and pictures (with permission) of kindness during the week using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Use the Mental Health Foundations Online Resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands in practising acts of kindness to yourself and others during the week
- Share your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
Mental Health and Disability
The office for National Statistics published an article in 2019 which gathered data from the Annual Population survey relating to disability, well-being and loneliness in the UK. It showed the following :
- Disabled people’s average ratings are lower than those for non-disabled people for happiness, worthwhile and life satisfaction measures.
- Average anxiety ratings are higher for disabled people at 4.27 out of 10, compared with 2.66 out of 10 for non-disabled people.
- Disabled people with a mental impairment as a main health problem have the poorest well-being ratings.
- Disabled people whose impairments affect them more severely have poorer well-being ratings than disabled people whose impairments affect them less severely.
- The proportion of disabled people (13.3%) who report feeling lonely “often or always” is almost four times that of non-disabled people (3.4%), with the greatest disparity for young adults, aged 16 to 24 years old.
Covid-19 Lockdown & Your Well-being
At Bendrigg, our aim is to promote inclusion, encourage independence and build self-confidence through adventure activities. During the Covid-19 pandemic when adventure and access to the outdoors for many disabled people isn’t possible, we know that many will be struggling with prolonged periods of isolation having a negative impact on wellbeing & mental health.
So we’ve put together a list of resources to try to help you through these difficult times.
A free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults including, professionals and volunteers, parents and carers & older people.
Mentally Healthy Schools
Mental health and wellbeing resources for school staff
Calm Zone – Activities and tools to help children feel calmer
Council for Intellectual Disability
Easy Read Information Guide for people with communication difficulties – Tips for positive mental health
Mental Health Foundation/Foundation For People With Learning Disabilities
Easy read guides for people with communication difficulties, including Feeling Down : Looking after my mental health
Coronavirus and your wellbeing
How to cope when you’re supporting someone else, looking after yourself and support for you.
The NHS Every Mind Matters
Tips to help if you are worries about coronavirus
The National Autistic Society Website
Information about anxiety in Autistic adults
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities
Mindfulness for Kids with Learning Disabilities & Covid-19 related resources for families with a child with a learning disability.
Downs Syndrome Association
Keeping fit and healthy at home – includes advice on mental health and a helpline.
How to Start a Journal
A guide to journaling
Mindfulness Practices for Children With Autism
6 simple tips for children with Autism to practise Mindfulness
Mind Over Mountains
Mind Over Mountains utilise the outdoors as a tool for tackling mental health issues. Whilst their normal services aren’t available their facebook page is full of inspiring interviews and free mindfulness video sessions.
We hope you find the information above helpful and please feel free to contact us if you know of any resources which aren’t included that you think could help others.