This week is mental health awareness week, kicked off today with a broadcast from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate). What can we learn from the messages being shared this week?
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from today, Monday 18 to Sunday 24 May 2020. The theme is ‘kindness’. Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.
Mental Health Awareness Week has been run by the Mental Health Foundation since 2001. Today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recorded a special broadcast alongside celebrities, David Tenant, Dua Lipa, Harry Kane and Anthony Joshua to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. The minute-long message, called the Mental Health Minute, was broadcast simultaneously across every radio station in the UK at 10:59am.
Kindness is not just an emotion but is defined by our actions. These “acts of kindness” do not have to be grand gestures. Listening to and being with someone as they talk about a bad day, holding the door for someone who has their arms full, or being accepting towards those around us can all be acts of kindness, says the Mental Health Foundation on their website.
Studies have found that being kind is linked to increased feelings of happiness, wellbeing, and life satisfaction for people of all ages, they add. And as we know all this a healthy and happy workforce is essential for a productive business and for society at large.
The Mental Health Minute was produced by Radiocentre and Heads Together, coincides with a partnership with Instagram. The new Instagram ‘Guides’ feature, which has been curated by Heads Together, will direct social media users to content that will support their wellbeing during COVID-19. It includes a Guide to Talking, a Guide to Self-Care and a Guide to Kindness.
In their publication Surviving or Thriving? The state of the UK’s mental health nearly two in three of us will experience a mental health problem in the course of our lives. And one in six of us is managing fluctuating levels of distress each week. That means at work, as well as at home.
Kindness should form the backbone of your business and be in your thinking when you formulate a strategy. As Mental Health Awareness state, ‘Policies rooted in the values of kindness, empathy, dignity, and respect have great potential to reduce inequality and discrimination, and strengthen relationships and trust between governments, citizens, and society.’ Now more than ever we should act with kindness.