Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week will fall 9th-15th May 2022 and Handsam would like to make schools aware of this in advance. The week will take on the topic of Loneliness.
Covid has brought to the fore the impact of loneliness. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve all experienced periods of isolation and this Mental Health Awareness Week is about re-building connections and finding other ways to tackle it.
Loneliness has a huge impact on both our physical wellness and mental health. Throughout the pandemic, our relationships have been severed because of lockdown and isolation periods, but the connections we make are fundamental in protecting our mental health.
Loneliness is a big contributor to higher levels of distress and low mood. Whilst technology and the internet provide us with an ability for hybrid working, less travel and more convenience, it doesn't provide us with the same level of connection. We need to embrace this change whilst maintaining the relationships we have with colleagues and our communities.
To do this, we can:
- Raise awareness - by talking about loneliness and how it affects mental health, you will help people understand more about it so that it can be eliminated.
- Check in on those around you - you never know when colleagues, those in your community or loved ones could be feeling lonely, so check in on them.
- Start conversations - initiate a dialogue about mental health and loneliness with your colleagues, or even your students, to get people talking about it and establish connections.
- Signpost - sometimes you want to do something about your mental health, or just talk to someone, but don't know where to start. Ensure colleagues and your community have resources to help with feelings of loneliness by signposting them to occupational health schemes, a GP, and helplines like Samaritans and Safe Haven.
If you're experiencing feelings of loneliness, you could:
- Talk to a close friend or loved one about your thoughts and feelings.
- Join a group or class that focuses on something you enjoy.
- Visit places where you can be around people for example, a cafe or a park.
- Join a peer support group where people talk about their experiences and use this to help each other.
- Don't compare yourself to others or focus on things you cannot change.
- Realise that feeling lonely is normal, many people feel this way at some point in their lives and support is available.
Please see the resource boxes on this page for resources and support.