Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) and we decided to get involved by encouraging conversations around this year’s theme – ‘Kindness’. Taking place on 19th – 24th May, the MHF said of this year’s theme:

Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference” and it was chosen 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” (MHF).

Research suggests there is a strong relationship between our mental health and kindness, such as: stress reduction, a sense of belonging, stronger relationships and less isolation. There are many positives to come from being kind to others but also to you. This year we have decided to focus on self-compassion as a way to practice self-kindness. We can all be critical of ourselves sometimes so we wanted to emphasise the importance of treating ourselves kindly.

Over the week we will be partnering up with other local organisations and charities to deliver Recovery Education Workshops on ‘Kindness & Self-Compassion”. The workshops will be delivered online and raise awareness surrounding mental health, the impact of kindness and some practical self-help techniques people can use at home to increase their self-compassion to promote overall wellbeing.

Our partners include: The Conservation Volunteers, The Carer’s Centre, Leicester College, Voluntary Action Leicester, Recovery College and we will also be hosting a workshop for our Life Links client group. Alongside this, our existing peer support groups also have activities surrounding kindness planned, so please keep an eye out to see what we got up to for MHAW!

We will also be regularly updating our twitter page: @RFLeicLifeLinks

To read Mental Health Foundation’s full article please click here.