Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week!
An annual event across the UK with the aim of achieving good mental health and spreading more awareness to something that affects many people. It is incredibly important to raise awareness of looking after your mental health, the more people talk about and normalise it, the more people will be willing to seek help when they are in need.
For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the Mental Health Foundation have selected the theme of loneliness and the impact that can have on our mental health. Everyone can feel lonely sometimes, especially over the past few years with the pandemic. It is even completely normal to still feel lonely when you have people around you.
Whilst loneliness is not strictly in itself a mental health problem the two are still linked, as having a mental health problem can often increase your chance of feeling lonely. For example, due to pre-existing stigmas surrounding mental health, people could fear how family/friends will react to them and as a result isolate themselves. This is what raising awareness can help with, the more we can talk about mental health together, the more we can remove the stigmas.
Also, whilst that is one circumstance that could make someone feel lonely, that is just one possible cause. For example, a lot of people also experience what is known as social anxiety, and as a result find it more difficult to have meaningful social contact.
What are some ways we can tackle this feeling of loneliness together?
Mind offers a fantastic service called Side by Side, a new online community that aims to bring people together to connect over shared experiences. This is welcome to anyone over the age of 18 and open 24/7. -> https://sidebyside.mind.org.uk/
At Burton and District Mind we also offer groups such as our Muddy Boots service which brings people together to do some gardening. A hobby shared by others can often be a great way of tackling loneliness. For more information on the other groups we offer you can find that here -> https://www.burtonmind.co.uk/adult-support-groups
Together this Mental Health Awareness Week, we can make the people around us feel less lonely and remove some of the dangerous stigmas surrounding mental health! Through this entire week we will posting lots of useful information across our social media in our bid to raise awareness.