Mental Health Awareness Week 9-15th May – Loneliness

Do you ever feel lonely? You are not alone in this feeling.  According the Mental Health Foundation loneliness affects millions of people in the UK every year. Loneliness is a key driver of poor mental health.            

During the pandemic research from the Mental Health Foundation found that loneliness has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. The Foundation has been tracking loneliness levels in the UK during the pandemic and found the experience has been much higher with devastating impact. Loneliness has been an important factor contributing to higher levels of distress, resulting from people’s sense of isolation and reduced ability to connect with others.  Further polling also found that loneliness was one of the leading issues that the public felt needed to be addressed.

According to Mind Charity feeling lonely can also have a negative impact on your mental health, especially if these feelings have lasted a long time. Some research suggests that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depressionanxietylow self-esteemsleep problems and increased stress.

This brings us to the Theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week taking place on 9th-15th May.  The week will raise awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.  Reducing loneliness is a major step towards a mentally healthy society.

Overcoming loneliness is not easy for everyone, but there are actions that we can all take to improve how we feel.  These simple actions are outlined below: 

  1. Keep in touch with those around you 
  2. Join a group
  3. Do things that you enjoy
  4. Share your feelings 
  5. Help someone else feel connected 

In previous years the Mental Health Awareness Week has focused on Stress, Body Image, Kindness and Connecting with Nature. 

Local Basingstoke Business Simpila Mental Health is helping to improve the conversations of Mental Health across society.  Working with companies to ensure that we are doing all that we can to support our employees through their own career journey.  

Matthew Holman, Owner of Simpila said “for many years I experienced the feeling of isolation and loneliness when I used to travel for business. I never felt I could talk about these feelings as on the outside I was always happy and fun. The reality was that this was a false mask I was putting over other challenges. I felt empty and alone most of the time I was away for work. Through my work now I am absolutely committed to helping those who are struggling connect to the conversations of mental health. In 2022 nobody should have to sit in silence with their negative thoughts.”

Matthew Holman Mental health trainer and consultant

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