Mental Health Awareness Week: V

Being There For One Another

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting lives in so many fundamental ways, now more than ever it’s vital to talk about mental health.

And so, as we continue exploring ways to help promote Mental Health Awareness Week, today our focus is on the importance of community.

From day one of the COVID-19 lockdown, neighbours all across the UK have responded to each other with kindness – the very quality that’s at the heart of this year’s Awareness Week.

Simple yet heartfelt acts of kindness range from having a friendly chat at a safe distance to making sure vulnerable neighbours have everything they need to volunteering to deliver shopping, medicine and PPE.

All of this has been instrumental in not only keeping communities safe but also protecting individuals’ mental health. Simply knowing there are people close by with whom we can talk openly and share freely, is a huge boost to anyone who may be struggling with their emotions and feelings right now.

This sense of involvement and caring is something we hope will continue to be part of the so-called ‘new normal’.

Of course, there are professionals, too, whose input has saved lives and boosted mental health in many, many ways.

That’s why we’ve focused on saying a big thank you to NHS heroes. It’s no surprise our Gardens For Guardians campaign has met with such an unprecedented response. People all across Britain have been keen to show their appreciation for neighbours who are working on the frontline by nominating them for the chance to win a free garden upgrade.

Nominations for Gardens For Guardians close on Sunday, May 24, and shortly afterwards we’ll be contacting the finalists . . . before announcing the winners.

Meantime, if you or someone you know needs help right now, there are professionals ready to listen, including . . .

Samaritans: Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.

Shout: Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line.

Papyrus: Crisis Support For Under 35s. Call the Hopeline UK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends. 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209697 or visit the Papyrus website.

Finally, we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in Mental Health Awareness Week this year!