Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 9th – 15th May, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. The theme for the 2022 is : Loneliness.
The Mental Health Foundation who started Mental Health Awareness Week 21 years ago say:
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. 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. We can all play a part in this.
So, in May 2022, we will be raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.
Reducing loneliness is a major step towards a mentally healthy society.
What is Loneliness?
The NHS UK Website says
Loneliness is an issue that can affect us all, young or old, at any point in our lives. We might live in a busy city or a rural location, on our own or with others and still feel isolated.
You should not blame yourself for feeling like you are struggling, now or at any other time.
We all experience feeling lonely in different ways. This means there are a range of ways we can try to overcome loneliness, and we need to identify the help and support that works for us. It’s really important to remember that loneliness and difficult feelings can pass.
While loneliness is a feeling we can all relate to, sometimes admitting we feel lonely is much harder. We want people to talk more openly about feeling lonely and the impact that loneliness can have.
Tips for dealing with loneliness:
- Keep in touch with those around you.
Talk to friends and family, or your neighbours, check in regularly, from calls, texts or group chats can make you feel more connected.
- Join a Group.
Find a community group, charity, that you have an interest in.
Be part of an online, or offline group to meet people and make connections.
- Do things you enjoy!
Doing things you like is great fo your wellbeing, from spending time outdoors to exercise or listening to the radio (Click the Listen Live button above to listen to Bedrock Radio!)
- Share Feelings, but don’t compare!
Being able to to talk about how you feel can help, hearing familiar voices makes you feel less isolated. However, don’t compare yourself with others, we’re all different!
- Help others feel connected.
Think about people you know who might feel lonely and make an effort to connect with them.
Think about making time to volunteer, or keep in touch with neighbours and check in with friends and family.