Cool to be kind

Last Updated: May 20, 2020 This post was written by Clive Price
An older couple wearing PPE masks receive the gift of a box of fruit and vegetables from a visitor

Be kind, get connected and do some colouring – those are just some of the practical things-to-do for Mental Health Awareness Week.

We looked at some of the messages shared by various agencies for the week (18th-24th May). We found a variety of resources on common themes.

‘The research shows kindness is an antidote to isolation’

Unusually, the Methodist Church’s own wellbeing resources include an adult colouring book. For relaxation or devotions, Slow Journeys In The Same Direction has been created by Geoffrey Baines, an Associate Chaplain at the University of Edinburgh.

The idea has academic backing – researchers have found that daily colouring can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Grandparents may be interested to know the Church’s resources also feature mental health cards for children and young people. The cards provide tips on how to stay mentally healthy – and information on where to get help.

The Mental Health Foundation are focusing the week on kindness as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak. The foundation have found from their research that kindness and mental health are ‘deeply connected’. Chief Executive Mark Rowland said, ‘The research shows kindness is an antidote to isolation’.

Echoing that sentiment, the charity Mind encourage people to #SpeakYourMind. They want us to share positive messages with those who need a friend – so they don’t have to face this pandemic alone.

Mind’s recent survey of more than 10,000 people showed connecting online with family and friends is one of the most common coping strategies many are using during these times.

‘The future of mental health care is community-based and locally focused’

Rethink are pushing for wider community support for those experiencing severe mental illness. ‘The future of mental health care is community-based and locally focused,’ said Rethink.

The organisation encourages us all to create caring communities by – sharing our own experience of mental illness, signing petitions, writing to our MPs, checking in on our neighbours and responding to others with kindness.

‘Your voice can be powerful,’ said Rethink.