9-15th May is Mental Health Awareness Week. This is my 4th time covering MHAW and the theme of this year is loneliness. This blog will break down the theme and how you can get involved.
Loneliness is about losing connection. Maybe you’ve fallen out of touch, or something has happened like a breakup or death. In all these situations, the “recovery” from loneliness is different. There’s no one size fits all. Part of doing something about loneliness is building up the confidence and knowing where to go to find people that accept you for you. There’s more to it than just getting up and talking to someone.
The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging people to share their experiences of loneliness using the hashtag #IveBeenThere. I’m really looking forward to reading these as there are so many reasons why someone might be lonely and the different ways out of that place.
With the pandemic, we’ve all had to reduce our social interactions. The MHF reported that during the pandemic we felt almost 3 times more lonely than we did pre-pandemic. And while covid restrictions may now be lifted, loneliness is still an issue to address.
If you’re struggling right now, I’d recommend reading the 15 affirmations the MHF has written here as a starting point to dealing with your loneliness. True, this isn’t something you can do alone, but the first step is always building yourself up to a point where you’re in a position to take action to address being lonely.
I’ll be taking a deep dive into my experiences with loneliness tomorrow, but as an overview for the week,` I want to focus this post on how you can get involved.
Talk to someone
The most important thing you can do this week is to be there for someone. By reaching out to those you know, you can show that you’re open to listening if needed. Some people, even if they may appear to you completely fine, might take you up on the offer.
We often talk about a “support network” or people around to help those recover from mental illness. Being there, in a personal capacity as a friend to offer a cup of tea or a check-in text shows that you’re thinking about someone and that you care. When the world feels very lonely little things can make all the difference.
The Mental Health Foundation has produced graphics for the week to share on social media. This can be a simple way of letting your friends and followers know that you’re open during this week and may encourage people to reach out that you wouldn’t think about.
Check out the Mental Health Foundation’s website for some more ways you can get involved. Lots of charities and organisations are getting involved in the week so look around for opportunities to start those conversations or support those local to you.
As I do for all these events, I’ll be reading some of the blogs and content produced for the week and sharing what spoke to me in my roundup blog on Friday. If you have or are going to produce any content for the week, you’d like me to include, please fill out the form below.
And finally, if you are feeling lonely right now know that you’re not alone in this. There are people out there accepting of you who would welcome you. Look around to people you may have lost touch with or what small steps you could take to build confidence to reach out to yourself. As a mental health advocate, you’re welcome to message me and say hello too.
Roundup Post Submission Form
As always I’ll be releasing a blog on Friday sharing the best content from the week and including reads that spoke to me. If you’d like to share your blog with me please fill out the form below.
By Jake Symons
Jake Symons is an entrepreneur and passionate mental health advocate determined to share his story to help others through his blog and YouTube channel.