Are you ready for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022?

Mental Health Awareness Week will take place this year from 9-15 May 2022 and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.

Mental Health Awareness Week will take place this year from 9-15 May 2022 and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.

The Mental Health Foundation has organised Mental Health Awareness Week for the last 21 years. During this time the event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.

Mental health can be affected in many different ways, and it is personal. Certain external influences can affect mental health:stress at work, menopause, andropause, work performance issues, alcohol addiction, relationship issues, financial concerns, line manager issues, family issues, discrimination issues, remote working – the list is endless.

Mental health issues might be genetic or develop over time, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Experiencing mental health issues can be a very lonely situation, and it is closely linked with physical health.

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems. It seeks to inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for everyone. It is also an opportunity for people to talk about all aspects of mental health, with a focus on providing help and advice.

It is important to raise awareness about mental health among the public and ensure communities recognise the part that each person has to play in creating a society that advocates for mental health. With the right support, we can help people live lives of fulfilment and free of stigma.

What is the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week in 2022?

The theme of the 2022 Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Loneliness’.

Loneliness affects many people in the UK and had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the pandemic, particularly due to remote working and lack of human contact. Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health, and we need to find better ways of tackling widespread feelings of loneliness – we can all play a part in this.

Reducing loneliness is a major step towards creating a mentally healthy society, so the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is aimed at raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.

How can I promote mental health awareness?

Just one person’s efforts can make a big difference.

Every conversation you have about the importance of recognising and treating mental illness creates a ripple effect that reaches people in your circle and far beyond it. There are many ways that you can raise awareness for mental health:

  • Talk with everyone you know, asking friends, family and colleagues how they are doing – and really listen to their answers.
  • Open up about your experiences if you have them. Sharing your story about your own struggles with mental illness could be the encouragement that someone else needs to open up about theirs. It can be reassuring to hear that someone else has experienced similar struggles and is now able to tell their story.
  • Encourage kind language and explore ‘person-centred language.’ Any language that reinforces the stigma surrounding mental illness is harmful and might keep someone from getting help. So be sure to call it out when anyone is using derogatory words about mental illness and try educating them on the consequences of their language.
  • Educate yourself about mental illness so that you can pass on your knowledge to those in your circle. It is pretty common for people to misunderstand mental illness, so educating yourself on common misconceptions prepares you to have those conversations. This should include talking with children about mental health in age-appropriate terms. Children are not immune to mental illness and can experience conditions like depression and anxiety at an early age.
  • Use your social media accounts to spread awareness. There is a lot of important and quality content out there that can reach thousands of people if you share it. We now have the platforms to allow us to reach more people, so don’t be afraid to use them to spread awareness about such important issues.
  • Encourage people to see the connection between physical and mental health. Eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise and sleep all play a part in a person’s mental and emotional state. Mental health doesn’t exist in isolation from your physical health, so looking after both simultaneously can be the most effective way to maintain your all-round wellbeing.

Finally consider taking a course as a Mental Health First Aider, this can benefit not only your workplace but your experience could also help a family member or a friend or colleague. Alternatively there are ways to get involved via raising funds to support mental health awareness.

For further details please visit:

Emma Nicholson is regional ambassador for diversity and inclusion at IoD Yorkshire and North East.

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