From Devon & Cornwall Police:
Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from Monday 18 May 2020. This year’s theme is kindness.
Approximately one in four people in the UK experience poor mental health each year.
Mental Health Awareness Week aims to encourage people to share experiences and talk about mental health, which will help dispel the stigma associated with it, which can often stop people from seeking the help they need.
During this current pandemic, many people are experiencing poor mental health due to restrictions including social distancing and isolating guidelines. More people are finding they have increased feelings of anxiety or stress; but such feelings are completely normal at difficult times such as these.
One thing we have witnessed worldwide during this pandemic, is that kindness is prevailing in these uncertain times. Amid the fear, there is community spirit, unending support, optimism and hope.
Assistant Chief Constable Julie Fielding of Dorset Police said: “Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. We wholeheartedly support this national campaign around mental health.
“Each of us know someone who may be facing the challenges of poor mental health, particularly now, when the sense of normality is disrupted. It’s important that we raise awareness of such an important topic, promote openness around it and encourage people to get talking.
“The topic for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Having an understanding of mental wellbeing and carrying out acts of kindness for other people can make a real difference to peoples’ lives, our schools, places of work, communities and families.
“We are asking everyone to help 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. Your attitude to mental health could change someone’s life.”
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “I have noticed in my community that people have been more forgiving of one another and kinder during the lockdown. For example, I was extremely touched when a neighbour of mine offered to wash my car, it really made my day and made me realise that acts like this, that are within all of our gift, can make a positive impact on people’s wellbeing and outlook.
“Unfortunately for many people the present situation has made life extremely difficult. You never know who’s struggling so I would urge everyone this week to reflect on how they might make a big difference through a small act of kindness.”
If your mental or emotional state is suffering, or you’re worried about someone you know – help is available. The Samaritans offer confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Please call 116 123 – this is a free 24-hour helpline.
For more information, help or advice, please visit the Mental Health Foundation at www.mentalhealth.org.uk.
You’re not alone; talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery.