Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020, the theme this year is kindness.
You can find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week on the Mental Health Foundation website, especially the pages they have published specifically for Mental Health Awareness Week. There are also resources about mental health in general and relating to Mental Health Awareness Week on the website of JAMI (the Jewish Association for Mental Illness). JAMI are hosting various events throughout the week (using Zoom) and you find more details on their website.
This year, one of the aims of the campaign is to encourage conversations about mental health and kindness – to create lasting changes. There is a lot of research that kindness – the simple act of helping others – has positive benefits on our own mental health. One of the positive impacts of the current Covid-19 pandemic has been the many acts of kindness seen in neighbourhoods and communities. Within the ELELS community we can find many examples of acts of kindness and volunteering:
- Making phone calls to stay in touch with other members – especially those who are isolated
- Collecting shopping or medicines and doing other errands
- Helping people with technical issues – especially with getting access to Zoom an our online services
Mental Health issues will not go away with a few acts of kindness over a week, and Covid-19 is likely to have long term impacts – whatever changes are made to the lockdown restrictions in the next few weeks. Recovery from mental health issues, like Covid-19, will (to paraphrase Rabbi Jacobi from his recent article in Jewish News) be more like a marathon than sprint.
So this week, next week, in the months ahead; lets try to be kinder to ourselves, to each other, to all others – every little kindness helps.