Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is ‘kindness‘.

Kindness has been 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. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.

Many staff who work in the housing sector at at the frontline of the coronavirus crisis. Caring for old or vulnerable residents and continuing to carry out essential repairs in homes – making sure residents are safe and secure.

What have English Rural and our community of residents been doing?

Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference.  We know from the research that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. The research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships. Kindness to ourselves can prevent shame from corroding our sense of identity and help boost our self-esteem.  Kindness can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism. What have we been doing?

  • Calling many elderly or vulnerable residents to check they are OK and to ask if they need any help.
  • Working with rural communities to help isolated households connect with local support groups and charities.
  • Encouraging residents to look out for their neighbours and check in on them where it is safe to do so. 
  • Helped almost 50 households in significant financial need with our Coronavirus Hardship Fund and we continue to signpost other residents to external agencies who can also offer welfare advice and support.
  • Given residents help on information on how to manage their mental health during the crisis
  • Looking after the wellbeing of our own staff by holding a weekly non work-related virtual ‘coffee morning’, bringing a sense of togetherness and fun to the working week.

Our residents continue to inspire us. Supporting their neighbours. Lifting Spirits. 

These community actions inspire others as we discover our connection to each other and extend kindness to ourselves.  Please watch the video below which shines a light on the acts of kindness we have seen in our communities over the last few weeks: –

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