Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 May 2020.
The theme for 2020 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.
We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.
A kinder society?
We have a once in a generation opportunity not only during but also following this pandemic for a reset and re-think about what kind of society we want to emerge from this crisis.
Our own reports and others such as Sir Michael Marmot’s 10 years On report reveal how inequality is rising in our society and its harmful effects on our health. Life expectancy is falling for the poorest for the first time in 100 years. As child poverty rises, children and young people in the poorest parts of our country are two to three times more likely to experience poor mental health than those in the richest. After the 2008 credit crunch it was the most vulnerable in our communities who experienced the severest consequences of austerity, with devastating effects on their mental and physical health. This not the hallmark of a kind society. We must not make the same mistakes after this pandemic.
Applied kindness could have a transformative impact on our schools, places of work, communities and families. As the former Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has said, now is a time to put values above valuations. We must seize this time to shape a society that tips the balance in favour of good mental health, for all of us, but especially for those who are most vulnerable.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, we are asking you to do three things:
- Reflect on an act of kindness. Share your stories and pictures (with permission) of kindness during the week using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Use our resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands in practising acts of kindness to yourself and others during the week
- Share your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
You can tag us across social media – we would love to see what you get up to:
No act of kindness is ever wasted. Please join us this Mental Health Awareness Week and make kindness matter.
Find out more information by visiting https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week