Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is ‘Kindness’. This year it is more important than ever to mark the week, raise awareness and start to break down the stigma often associated with mental ill health. 

Ahead of MHAW2020 Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “protecting our mental health is going to be central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic - with the psychological and social impacts likely to outlast the physical symptoms of the virus.”

Since the start of the pandemic there has been a deepening of social values and solidarity across the country. Be it Captain Tom Moore raising over £3million for the NHS, or local people supporting our most vulnerable with shopping and a friendly conversation – people have come together and adopted a strong sense of community spirit.

Jon Cruddas MP who has championed mental health issues for a number of years commented: “I think kindness is an appropriate theme for the current global situation. Every act of kindness, big or small, has kept our spirits up throughout the pandemic.”

The statistic often quoted when we consider mental wellbeing is that 1-in-4 people will experience mental ill health in their lifetime. However, it has been suggested by many leading charities that lockdown and the Covid-19 crisis are having a profound effect on people’s mental health. This can present as anything from loneliness or depression due to self-isolation to anxiety resulting from an information overload.

Jon added: “Thankfully since the start of lockdown thousands of ordinary people have stepped forward as volunteers to support their neighbours and the wider community. However, there are sadly always those that fall through the gaps. That is why Mental Health Awareness Week is so important, to shine a light on the fantastic support and resources that are available and to get people talking.”

There are lots of Covid-19 resources available, some of which have been listed below. Please share with someone that may need support with their mental wellbeing at this time.