Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness week is organised by the Mental Health Foundation and this year’s theme is Kindness
The MHF 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.
Kindness and Mental Health
Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by a genuine desire to make a positive difference. Research has shown that kindness and mental health are deeply connected. MHF research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships. Kindness to ourselves can prevent shame from corroding our sense of identity and help boost our self-esteem. Kindness can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism.
Kindness is an act of courage
But kindness is an intrinsically risky endeavour. It can risk us looking foolish or being taken advantage of, which is why we sometimes retreat. To receive or to give kindness is an act of courage.