What is Mental Health Awareness Week?
Since 2001 the Mental Health Foundation has run an awareness week every May to highlight a specific theme for mental health. The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is ‘Loneliness’ which will run from Monday 9th May to Sunday 15th May 2022.
Free Webinar: 5 Strategies To Tackle Workplace Loneliness
Join Angela Mappin from SkillBase First Aid for a live 30-minute webinar on Wednesday 11th May at 14:00 for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022.
How can my workplace get involved in mental health awareness week?
A great place to start with mental health awareness is to arrange a mental health talk for your company. Educating and opening up the conversation about mental health helps to end stigma, connect with your colleagues and show that you are an employer that puts mental health and wellbeing at the forefront of your agenda.
We provide talks all year round.. including during mental health awareness week, and we’d love to hear from you! You can find out more information here.
More about this year’s theme of loneliness
Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “Loneliness is affecting more and more of us in the UK and has had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the pandemic. That is why we have chosen it as our theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022. Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health so we much find better ways of tackling the epidemic of loneliness. We can all play a part in this. The week is also an invaluable opportunity for people to talk about all aspects of mental health, with a focus on providing help and advice.”
How does loneliness affect our mental health?
Loneliness can feel or mean different things to different people. When we think about being ‘lonely’ we might assume this means we are alone and isolated, which is certainly one way someone might feel lonely, however, we can still feel lonely even when we are surrounded by social contact. It could be that we feel we are not understood or cared for by the people around us.
Loneliness itself is not a mental health condition but is strongly linked to our emotional wellbeing and mental health, so it makes sense that it can have a negative impact when we feel alone – whether that be physically or mentally. Having an existing mental health condition can also increase the chance of feeling lonely.
“Some research suggests that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress”. (MIND, 2019)
How can we make a difference?
By building our understanding of loneliness, we can help ourselves and others to manage the feeling. Thinking about why you might be feeling lonely may help you find a way to feel better.
Our friends at The Marmalade Trust, a charity dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness and helping people make new friendships, have some great tips and advice on self-care for loneliness and how to talk about loneliness.
Need some advice?
Are you thinking about Mental Health training at your place of work? We have dedicated Mental Health Training Specialists to consult with you and your organisation on strategy, implementing mental health training, including mental health first aid and all wellbeing-related policies.