This week is Mental Health Awareness Week: 10th – 16th May 2021. The theme for this year is #ConnectWithNature. So we wanted to collate a list of all the great resources and tips that are coming out to raise awareness and support Mental Health, along with a few insights into what makes our own team smile at the moment! Keep your eyes peeled …
Mind are asking you to join the fight for mental health.
During this last year and through the pandemic, mental ill health and difficulties have arisen ten fold, whether you’ve learn this through personal experience or watching a loved one struggle. And there just doesn’t seem to be sufficient support out there where it is needed.
For all of us, Mind are asking us to take this chance to step up the fight for mental health. This means fighting for change, for life-line support, for fairness and for respect.
How you can get involved
- Speak out and share why you’re fighting. Whether you use social media or simply speak with friends, family or colleagues – mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 by telling those around you why you’ve joined the fight for mental health and help create a movement for change.
- Donate. Donating to Mind will help them to lead the fight with your support, whilst continuing to be able to offer support to those of us with a mental health problem.
Mind have got lots of resources for you to share on social media to help raise awareness of why you’re fighting for mental health – from posters to social media graphics, available in both English and Welsh. View them here.
Mind – Mental Health at Work
Mind are also asking employers to recognise the hit that our mental health has taken in response to the pandemic and the adaptations and challenges that this pandemic has brought us, and the toll it has taken on our wellbeing. They are asking employers to join the fight for better mental health at work, in order to build fairer workplaces and promote and adopt an ‘inclusive for all’ approach, including those with mental health problems.
3 ways you can join the fight as a workplace:
- Sign the Mental Health at Work Commitment – The Mental Health at Work Commitment provides a simple framework for employers who want to promote staff wellbeing. Find out more here.
- Training for better mental health – Our research shows that poor mental health is now the leading cause of absence at work, and many managers feel ill-equipped to support employees with a mental health problem. Investing in yourselves, employees and knowledge around mental health is invaluable to help prevent mental health from declining. Find out more here.
- Join Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index – Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index is a benchmark of best policy and practice and can set you apart in terms of workplace wellbeing. Taking part will help you find out what you are doing well at, and how you can improve your approach to mental health in the workplace. Find out more here.
Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation have put together some useful resources and toolkits, as well as answering some questions about this years themes. Their website includes:
- Resources – press releases, logos, social assets, posters and the ever so apt, Zoom backgrounds!
- Take Action Get Active toolkit – how you can get active in nature whilst raising money for mental health
- Schools Pack – this pack for schools provides materials to support children and young people in schools to connect with nature in a positive and meaningful way.
- Why Nature? – looking into this years theme around #ConnectWithNature.
- FAQ’s – key questions about how to get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week 2021.
- Nature Journal – document how you feel both before, during and after connecting with nature to keep track of your mental health and actually see the impact written.
Mental Health Awareness Week Toolkit – BLMK
The week is an opportunity for people to talk about all aspects of mental health, with a focus on providing help and advice. The aim is to inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways, noticing the impact that this can have for their mental health. This might be as a simple as tending to a house plant, taking a walk, listening to the birds, touching the bark of trees, smelling flowers or writing a poem about a favourite nature spot.
#NatureBLMK and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #ConnectWithNature are the hashtags for sharing stories/pictures.
How to get involved:
- Experience nature: take time to recognise and grow your connection with nature during the week. Take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. You might be surprised by what you notice!
- Share nature: Take a photo, video or sound recording and share the connections you’ve made during the week, to inspire others. Join the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #NatureBLMK #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Talk about nature: use tips, school packs, research and policy guides to discuss in your family, school, workplace and community how you can help encourage people to find new ways to connect with nature in your local environment
- Take note of simple things you can do to take care of your mental health and wellbeing during times of uncertainty by visiting www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
Click below for more information about communications toolkits, how you can make your staff and colleagues aware and support Mental Health Awareness Week, as well as local signposts and services that are available: https://www.cvsbeds.org.uk/assets/cvs/files/2021/MHAWCommsToolkit2021ForVCSE.pdf
What keeps us going and makes us smile
We at Community Action: MK are humans too – strange, right – and we also get days that are tougher than others. So we just wanted to share with you some of what makes us smile and how we get through the week …
‘Seeing my children spending time with their grandparents makes me happy, and going for a long walk with my friend every Friday gets me through the week’.
‘From my seat by the window upstairs I can see a squirrel run along the garden fences. I have named him Basil and he makes me smile as I can just hear the theme tune to Mission Impossible as he navigates across the maze of fences’
‘Something I have really enjoyed this year is going on a walk during my lunch, it feels like a good screen break but also paying attention to what’s around me and how pretty spring is! Jude (my dog) is also a constant source of amusement and jealousy from all his naps!’
‘First thing in the morning when I get up and everyone else is asleep, I make some coffee and drink it out of a tiny cup and enjoy the peace and quiet. Also, everyday, whatever the weather, I go out into my garden and I gaze at the sky and the flowers and trees.’
‘My daily source of happiness is always my dog. He makes me smile when I get up in the morning, which is a great start to my day and he loves to go on walks! I also bake once a week and love sharing my creations with my family (doorstep drop offs are very well received!)
‘My doggos make me smile and a photo of our twice weekly Covid tests (negative) also make me happy!’
‘Walking out in nature makes me smile. It’s like magic! Here is Mr and Mrs Swan looking after their nest.’
‘Spending time with my little man and walking in our local woods (in all seasons, but especially when the bluebells season starts) is the best way of relaxing and re-centering for me’