Mental Health Awareness Week 9-15 May 2022

Date posted: 9th May 2022


Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this year between 9th and 15th May. The official theme this year is ‘loneliness’ and, throughout the week, people are encouraged to build meaningful connections with their friends, family, colleagues, and communities. Connections that aim to combat loneliness.

In 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data regarding loneliness in Great Britain which found that 5%, that is 2.6 million people, said they “often” or “always” feel lonely. This group of 2.6 million people is described by the ONS as ‘chronically lonely’.  They expressed how feelings of loneliness not only affected their mental health but also their physical health and wellbeing.  The knock-on effects for those who are chronically lonely manifest both in the work place as well as at home. The ONS study suggests the largest group likely to express feelings of loneliness are working-age adults who live alone and,  since the pandemic, now also work alone.

But what is to be done about combatting loneliness?

Mental Health UK, a charity that delivers support and services for some of the biggest societal challenges that pose a threat to people’s mental health these days, is asking people and organisations to consider what they can do towards tackling loneliness, isolation, and the barriers to connection. They have a four-point plan which asks people to :

  1. Raise awareness
    1. Take steps to help people to understand links between loneliness and poor mental health.
    2. Actively check in on those around you at work and in your communities to see how they are doing – just a ‘hey, how are you?’, can make a difference.
  1. Invite conversations
    1. Fin out as much as you can by way of advice, information, and conversation starters with anyone you feel may be lonely. Don’t be put off if they knock you back at first – it takes courage to accept spport!
    2. Join the community on Clic, which is a free online resource for anyone – employee or employer – to have conversations about mental health in safe space.
  1. Volunteer your time
    1. Give back some of your time – either by helping out with charities or local community groups.
    2. Check in with neighbours to make sure they have what they need.
  1. Ask others to act
    1. Raise the issue of loneliness within your communities and workplaces by encouraging more people to talk about how they are feeling.

Mental Health Awareness week is just a week. The struggle with mental health, however, can last a lifetime.

If you require any guidance for supporting mental health within the workplace, please contact Kingswood Group HR team on 01245 204450 or mail us at hr@kingswoodgroup.org

 

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