Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week is happening from 9th to 15th May 2022, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. The official theme is ‘loneliness’. Loneliness is affecting many of us and has had a significant impact on our physical and mental health, especially during the pandemic.  Our connection to people and our community is crucial to protecting our mental health, and we need to find better ways of tackling feelings of loneliness and how we can all be involved in supporting this.

During this week, LLC will be raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it. We encourage you to build meaningful connections with your friends, family, colleagues and communities.

Loneliness is something that we all feel at times but when it is chronic or long-term it can have serious effects on our mental health. We all have a part to play in reducing loneliness. Loneliness is a normal part of life, with most of us feeling lonely at some point and experiencing how it can gnaw away at our sense of self-worth and belonging.

Loneliness is not about the number of friends we have, the time we spend on our own or something that happens when we reach a certain age. Loneliness is the feeling we experience when there is a mismatch between the social connections we have and those that we need or want. That means it can be different for all of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Loneliness

Loneliness is when we feel we do not have the meaningful relationships we want around us. It is something we can all experience from time to time, throughout our lives, and will be different for everyone.

Although feeling lonely is often connected with being alone, they do not mean the same thing, or always happen together. Being alone, sometimes called social isolation, means being physically separated from the people, and things, that bring us comfort and support. A person who is socially isolated does not necessarily feel lonely.

Some people may enjoy spending time by themselves, whereas others may feel lonely when spending time alone. Some people may feel lonely when spending time with others, perhaps feeling like others don’t understand or care about them, or that they don’t belong or fit in.

Feelings of loneliness can come and go, depending on the experiences we have. Many of us feel lonely from time to time. Sometimes we can feel lonely for long periods of time. When those feelings stick around, it is important to reach out to someone we trust and ask for help. If you are worried about yourself or a peer, it is important to talk to a trusted adult.

How does loneliness link to mental health?

Although loneliness is not a mental health problem, it is an experience that can affect our mental health. When we feel lonely, we may experience low moods and low self-esteem. Sometimes, if we are already experiencing poor mental health, and do not feel understood, this can lead to feeling lonely.

Mental health is made up of our thoughts, feelings, mood, and behaviour. We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health.

Read Young Mind’s guide on ‘How to cope with loneliness’ for advice.

There are many things we can do to look after our mental health and support ourselves when we are feeling lonely. Sometimes, it can help to find meaningful connections with ourselves, others, and the world around us, to reduce feelings of loneliness.

It is important that, when we are no longer taking part in and enjoying our everyday activities, we talk to someone.

The pandemic brought us all closer to loneliness

One of the few consolations of the pandemic is that it reminded us of our need for each other. This Mental Health in the Pandemic study showed that Covid-19 brought the experience of loneliness closer to millions of us. During the lockdowns, loneliness was almost 3 times that of pre-pandemic levels. Connections with loved ones, friends, family and everyday relationships were disrupted, or in some cases broken.

This loneliness wasn’t experienced in the same way across our communities. People with long-term physical conditions, people on lower incomes and people with existing mental health problems were more likely to experience loneliness compared to the general UK population. Older people’s risk of loneliness was influenced by factors like whether they were digitally connected.

The week will be an opportunity to ask vital questions about how we will reduce loneliness as we continue to come out of the pandemic, and live with Covid-19 in a different way.

What can we do?

There is so much you can do during the week. Take the chance to get in touch with a friend or neighbour you haven’t spoken with in a while.

Get involved in the largest collective sharing of loneliness experiences and together let’s shatter the stigma around loneliness. Share your experiences and send a powerful message to others, using the hashtags #IveBeenThere and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Source of information: Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 – Mental Health UK (mentalhealth-uk.org)

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LLC office is closed today 18th February 2022 due to Storm Eunice.

All learners will/are being contacted to advise them to “stay at home” and “do not take risks” as a red weather warning was issued for London and the east of England ahead of the arrival of Storm Eunice.