Kindness, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) which will focus on the power and potential of kindness.
The Mental Health Foundation explain that they chose kindness as this year’s theme because of it’s ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. Our individual and collective mental health depend on kindness, and it is something that everyone should experience and practise.
Kindness and mental health
Kindness is defined by doing something for yourself and others, that is motivated by wanting to make a positive difference. Research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation; it helps to reduce stress, deepens our relationships and creates a sense of belonging. Kindness to ourselves can help to prevent shame and increase our self-esteem. Kindness can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism.
A kinder society
Research shows that inequality is rising in our society and that this has harmful effects on our health. Life expectancy is falling for the poorest for the first time in 100 years. As child poverty rises, children and young people poorest parts of our country are two to three times more likely to experience poor mental health than those in the richest areas.
Kindness could transform our schools, places of work, communities and families. Let’s help create a society that favours good mental health, for all of us, but especially for those who are most vulnerable.