Mental Health Awareness Week: staff celebrate with acts of kindness
Shropshire Council staff are supporting this year’s Mental Health Awareness campaign by sharing their acts of kindness.
This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020) is ‘kindness’, and throughout the week staff are encouraging people to send in their photos illustrating their acts of kindness, which will be shared on the council’s social media channels.
All people need to do is tag @shropcouncil on Twitter or @shropshirecouncil on Instagram, using the hashtags #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek along with a photo and details of your act of kindness.
Over 40,000 people in Shropshire over the age of 16 have a common mental health disorder. Many people are often afraid to talk about their mental health experiences because they fear the response and stigma they may receive. However, recognising the importance of taking care of our wellbeing in communities can break down barriers, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many people feel when experiencing a mental health problem.
As an act of kindness, Matty from the council’s Enable support employment services has been recording himself playing his banjo or guitar in his shed and posting the song on social media for friends and family.
“I’ve been doing this at least once a week to lift spirits and help people stay connected. I’ve also been taking requests and these have been well received. It also helps me unwind at the end of a busy week at work.”
Ash, also from Enable, has been putting together a creative pack for his nephew in hospital. Ash said:-
“My nephew is in hospital at the moment and isn’t allowed any visitors. To try and brighten up his day I have put together a creative package to send to the hospital.”
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said:-
“This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and focusing on our mental health and wellbeing has never been more important. The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has been very challenging and has caused widespread life changes for all of us, and in different ways. It is normal to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated and is OK to feel this way. However, there may be times when we could benefit from some extra help or a listening ear.
“This is why we want to support this year’s campaign, as now more than ever, acts of kindness are vital to our mental health. The Mental Health Foundation have plenty of ideas for acts of kindness to inspire you.
“In these challenging and difficult times, people in Shropshire should take time to consider their mental health, reach out if they need help, and know that it is OK to not feel OK.
“I would really encourage everyone to support this year’s campaign and to celebrate kindness and the importance of doing our best, to support the wellbeing of others and ourselves during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Ruth Davies at Enable said:-
“As an act of kindness to a stranger, my 5-year-old son has made a card to send to a resident in our local care home.”
Matt, from Enable, said:-
My wife works as a Radiographer at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital: today I have made pizzas and fed the whole department.
Residents across Shropshire should know there is a wealth of support available if you are struggling with their mental health, especially during this time.
Shropshire Council’s public health team have recently invested over £42,000 on a suit of Mental Health Resources to help support people’s mental health and wellbeing, through and beyond coronavirus.
The team have also set up a dedicated COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing page at https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/information-for-the-public/mental-health-and-wellbeing/.
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