‘Lift someone out of loneliness’ this Mental Health Awareness Week

In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, 9 – 15 May, Somerset County Council is encouraging residents to ‘lift someone out of loneliness’.

Mental Health Awareness Week, run by the Mental Health Foundation, focuses on improving good mental health throughout the country. This year’s theme is exploring the impact of loneliness and how we can tackle it.

The theme was picked following research by the Mental Health Foundation that found there has been an increase in people having feelings of loneliness. They want it to be addressed as a serious topic, requiring urgent action.

The council are encouraging all in Somerset to ‘lift someone out of loneliness’ by reaching out to help someone who may be feeling lonely, which might in turn help them feel less lonely themselves.

Feeling lonely is something that anyone can experience at any time and it can have a huge impact on a person’s wellbeing. Long-term loneliness is closely linked to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety

Sometimes admitting to feeling lonely can be hard, but it is important to remember that many people experience feelings of loneliness too, and the feeling can pass.

Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said:

We hope this year’s theme of loneliness will strike a chord with many of us who felt lonely and struggled throughout the Covid pandemic. 

Millions of us experience loneliness from time to time. We know that some people are at higher risk of experiencing loneliness and the evidence shows the longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems.

Loneliness deserves more attention and we’re calling on everyone who has struggled as a result of being lonely to share their experiences.

Some of the ways people can participate in Mental Health Awareness Week:

  • Reach out to someone in your community who may be lonely and let them know they are not on their own.
  • During Mental Health Awareness Week use the hashtag #IveBeenThere to share experiences of loneliness to support others and give the campaign momentum.
  • Sign up to walk, run or job as part of our 80 Miles in May challenge and share your photos using #80MilesinMay and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.
  • Find more support and advice for ways to lift someone out of loneliness: https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/lifes-challenges/loneliness/
  • Take the Mind Plan quiz to get a personalised mental health action plan with practical tips to help you deal with stress, anxiety, low mood, trouble sleeping. and advice on how to cope with feelings of loneliness.
  • Mindline is a confidential listening service which provides a safe place to talk if you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health difficulties. They are available 24 hours a day seven days a week – 01823 276892 or freephone 0800 138 1692 or email support@openmentalhealth.org.uk.

For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #IveBeenThere and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek