Health bosses in Morecambe Bay are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week and encouraging local residents to do the same by encouraging this year’s theme of kindness.
Mental Health Awareness Week is running from Monday 18 May until Sunday 24 May and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. The campaign highlights the need for us all to look after our minds as well as our bodies and throughout the week Bay Health and Care Partners will be promoting ways to retain good mental health.
Protecting our mental health is central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and the reason this year’s theme is focusing on kindness is because research has shown that it is linked to good mental health.
Dr Jim Hacking, local GP and GP Executive Lead for Mental Health at Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Looking after our mental health has never been more important. The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures have been very challenging for us all, and people’s mental health will have been affected in various ways.
“Many people will be feeling lonely, isolated, stressed and anxious during this difficult period – so we must do all we can to look after each other and support one another’s mental wellbeing. The psychological impacts will last longer than the physical symptoms of the virus, as we eventually come out of lockdown.”
Kindness connects people and communities and can therefore boost our mood. Being kind to others makes us feel good and it also lifts the spirits of those who receive acts of kindness.
Dr Hacking added: “I’ve been so proud to see many of our residents in Morecambe Bay volunteering to help vulnerable groups in our community during the lockdown. Acts of kindness mean so much – such as doing their shopping, collecting and dropping off medications, and phoning to see if they are ok. We all need to be spreading kindness more than ever to protect our mental health.”
Some of the benefits of kindness include:
- Antidote to isolation
- Creates a sense of belonging
- Helps reduce stress
- Deepens friendships
- Boosts self-esteem
- Improves feelings of confidence and optimism.
If you’d like to get involved or if you’d like more information on Mental Health Awareness Week, then please visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week