Mental Health Awareness Week is celebrated globally on an annual basis. It seeks to inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for everyone.
This event is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, who have been both organising and hosting Mental Health Awareness Week for the last twenty-one years.
This year the Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from the 9th – 15th of May 2022.
For 2022, the theme is “Loneliness”, which focuses on the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and what steps we can undertake to reduce it.
According to www.mentalhealth.org.uk “Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health and we need to find better ways of tackling the epidemic of loneliness”.
Mind.org.uk suggest that “Feeling lonely isn’t in itself a mental health problem but the two are strongly linked. Having a mental health problem can increase your chance of feeling lonely”.
What causes loneliness?
There are many causes that can vary from person to person, depending on their experiences or what they are experiencing at the time. For some it can be certain life events such as:
- Experiencing a loss of a family member or friend
- Retiring and losing the social contact which you had at work
- Changing jobs and feeling isolated from your co-workers
- Moving to a new area or country without family, friends or community networks
- Starting at university or college
- Being unable to see your family, friends and colleagues due to Covid-19 restrictions
For other people, they might find that they feel lonely at certain times of the year, such as the festive period over Christmas and New Year, birthdays or even events such as anniversaries.
What can I do to help reduce loneliness?
There are many ways that are suggested to help reduce loneliness, some of these are listed below:
- Talk to family and friends – A simple conversation with family or friends can help you to understand how you are feeling.
According to mentalhealth.org.uk “Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.”
- Looking after yourself – just doing some simple things to help look after yourself can improve your general wellbeing such as; taking a break as and when you need to, eating healthily and keeping yourself active.
- Joining a social group – Having like-minded people around you, that enjoy the same activities and hobbies can help to reduce your loneliness over time, as you become more acquainted with your peers.
- Get the Samaritans Self-Help app – The Self-Help app was created by the Samaritans with the purpose to provide a type of support that you can use without having to discuss your feelings with someone else, it is a web application which you can download onto your phone or computer.
If you would like to download the Self-Help app, then please go to https://selfhelp.samaritans.org
If you feel that your mental health is being affected, be sure to reach out to your support system or a mental health support service as soon as possible.
We recommend that you get in touch with Able Futures which is a government funded charity, which can provide a program/support for all matters relating to mental health, their website is able-futures.co.uk and their direct number is 0800 321 3137.
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