From 9th-15th May, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is loneliness.
A large amount of us in the UK are being affected by loneliness, which can affect both our mental and physical health.
When we think of what loneliness really is, it’s not down to the amount of friends we have, the amount of time we spend alone or something that’s going to happen when we reach a certain age. It’s how we feel when our social connections don’t match the needs of the ones we want or require.
Therefore, loneliness is different for everyone.
Loneliness is, in fact, one of the key indicators of poor mental health, affecting millions of people in the UK every year. The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the difficulties faced with loneliness, showing that human interaction and connection is so valuable for our mental well-being.
Not having access to loved ones or feeling unable to talk to loved ones about worries or problems can leave us feeling isolated. Even the ever-changing and adapting workplace structure of hybrid or remote working means we may lose or struggle to create connections with colleagues, too.
What are the aims of Mental Health Awareness Week?
Firstly, to raise awareness around mental health and the problems faced through loneliness. With this involves encouraging people to check in with friends and family and to lend a listening ear where possible.
Secondly, to encourage conversations about mental health using guides, advice, and information about how best to approach it. Further information on this can be found on Mental Health UK’s website.
Thirdly, to volunteer your time. This could involve spreading the word about the resources available to help with mental health problems, or by planning events to raise money for Mental Health Awareness Week. Some ideas suggested by Mental Health UK are bake sales, hosting BBQs, or arranging indoor picnics at your office.
Finally, to get others to act. Through checking in with friends, talking about mental health, and planning events, encouraging others to do the same and raise awareness in any way they can will spread the word.
Don’t suffer alone – what we can do to help
Loneliness often does occur when living on your own, especially as you get older and find it increasingly difficult to get out, see friends and family or continue hobbies. Home care support is something that can help tackle loneliness, and we even supply Companionship Care at Clarity Homecare specifically for helping with general tasks like shopping, but also to provide company where it may be difficult for loved ones to do so.