This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental Health Awareness Week is observed throughout the third week of May every year in an effort to raise awareness about mental health and encourage people to seek help and support if they feel they need it. The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is “Loneliness.”
Every year, loneliness affects millions of people in the United Kingdom, and it is a major cause of poor mental health. The amount of people experiencing loneliness has risen since the start of the pandemic and many people have reported feeling isolated and unable to connect with others.
Why is Mental Health Awareness Week important?
By increasing public awareness, and encouraging more people to seek help and support, we can break the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Nearly one in five people in the UK will experience a diagnosable mental health problem during their lifetime; that’s around two million people. People with mental health problems often face obstacles in accessing the help and support they need, because of stigma, a lack of understanding, or a lack of services. That’s why Mental Health Awareness Week is so important, it’s a chance to get the message out there and encourage people to talk more openly about mental health.
Tips for combatting loneliness
Many of us will experience loneliness in our lifetimes and it can be difficult to cope with. However, there are things you can do to help. Here are some tips for combatting loneliness:
- Reach out if you’re struggling – It can seem overwhelming, however, if you’re struggling with feelings of loneliness it might help to open up to friends, family or even a professional about how you’re feeling.
- Make new connections – If you’re experiencing loneliness because of a lack of social contact, try getting out and meeting new people, whether that is through volunteering or joining a new class or group.
- Join a peer support group – Peer support groups can be useful if you are struggling with loneliness because they use their own experiences to help offer you support. There are many different types of support groups including befriender services, mental health charities and online communities.
How to approach mental health in the workplace
Employers play a valuable role in promoting mental health by creating a culture that is conducive to good mental health. There are plenty of ways you can do this including encouraging employees to get help when they need it, providing flexible work policies, and implementing programs that support employee wellness and healthy living. You can also increase employee awareness surrounding mental health issues by providing mental health training, and workshops or appointing mental health first aiders in the workplace.
Relationships are key to our mental health and working in a supportive team is crucial for our mental health at work. As an employer, it is your job to cultivate a positive atmosphere for employees.
As a company, we are continually working towards reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. We currently have two mental health first aiders that act as a point of contact for the team and we hope to send another two employees on the mental health first aid course before the end of the year.
Mental Health Awareness Week is an excellent time to talk about mental health issues and encourage people to seek help. Mental health issues affect millions of people around the world, and they can be incredibly debilitating. The best way to combat loneliness is to talk about it and seek support, whether that is through friends, family or a support group. By getting involved in these conversations, you can help reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues and encourage more people to get the help they need.