The local NHS in Coventry and Warwickshire are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week and encouraging residents to do the same by supporting this year’s theme of kindness.
Mental Health Awareness Week, 18-24 May, is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and highlights the need for us all to look after our minds as well as our bodies. The aim of the week is to raise public awareness of mental health in general, mental health problems and to promote good mental health for all.
Dr Imogen Staveley, Chair at NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Looking after our mental health has never been more important. The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures have been very challenging for us all, and people’s mental health will have been affected in various ways.
“Many people will be feeling lonely, isolated, stressed and anxious during this difficult period – so we must do all we can to look after each other and support one another’s mental wellbeing. The psychological impacts will last longer than the physical symptoms of the virus, as we eventually come out of lockdown.”
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is kindness, because research shows this it is linked to good mental health. Kindness connects people and communities and can therefore boost our mood. Being kind to others makes us feel good and also lifts the spirits of those who receive acts of kindness.
Dr David Spraggett, Chair at South Warwickshire CCG, said: “I’ve been so proud to see many of our residents across Coventry and Warwickshire volunteering to help vulnerable groups in our community during the lockdown. Acts of kindness mean so much – such as doing their shopping, collecting and dropping off medications, and phoning to see if they are ok. We all need to be spreading kindness more than ever to protect our mental health.”
Some of the benefits of kindness include:
- Antidote to isolation
- Creates a sense of belonging
- Helps reduce stress
- Deepens friendships
- Boosts self-esteem
- Improves feelings of confidence and optimism.
Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair at NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG, said: “Physical health and mental wellbeing are linked and being active is a brilliant way to be kind to your mind, so you can also take part in the campaign’s challenge to get active for 30 minutes a day. If you look after yourself physically, you will be in a better mental position to look out for the wellbeing of others and those you love.
“Kindness can help transform our schools, places of work, communities and families. Join in with Mental Health Awareness Week and let’s work together to help create a society that promotes good mental health, for all of us.”
Please ensure you continue to follow the government’s advice on social distancing and stay safe. For the latest guidance visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Warwickshire County Council’s Five ways to Wellbeing here
- Local Mental Health resources in Warwickshire here
- Health and Wellbeing in Coventry here