Kindness in Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

By TMS News
Author
Smart TMS
20th May 2020

mental health awareness 2020Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 started Monday 18th May and is set to continue all week

The Mental Health Foundation ran its first Mental Health Awareness Week in 2001 and the event has become a major focus for raising awareness of mental health and mental health problems. The awareness week is designed to inspire positive action to promote the message of good mental health for all.

For 2020, the event theme is ‘kindness’ and organisers say this is particularly pertinent this year, while millions of us are living with reduced social contact.

Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, Mark Rowland, explained why:

“We think it could be the most important week we’ve hosted, not least because our own research shows that 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.”

Kindness is enormously beneficial to mental health. It strengthens relationships and builds community. It is beneficial to confidence and self-esteem too. Receiving acts of kindness can reduce stress and give a ‘feel good’ boost, but being kind to someone else is also beneficial. Studies have shown that being kind is linked to increased feelings of happiness, wellbeing and satisfaction.

What is Kindness?

Mark Rowland explains:

“Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference.

In April of 2020, the Mental Health Foundation carried out online research involving 4,246 UK adults.

  • 63% of UK adults agreed that when other people are kind it has a positive impact on their mental health
  • THE SAME percentage agreed that being kind to others has a positive impact on their own mental health

Acts of kindness don’t need to be big, expensive or timely gestures. Simple things like taking time to chat to a friend, holding a door open or making a cup of tea show thoughtfulness and compassion.

There is also an important theme of being kind to yourself. The survey showed:

  • 67% of UK adults agreed it is important to look after their own needs as well as those of others
  • 41% said they try to make time to be kind to themselves

Mark continues:

“Kindness to ourselves can prevent shame from corroding our sense of identity and help boost our self-esteem.  Kindness can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism.”

More information is available on the Mental Health Foundation website:

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