Mental Health Awareness Week 2022
Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health and this year’s theme is loneliness.
Loneliness affects more and more people every year and has had a huge impact on physical and mental health during the pandemic. Connection to other people and community is fundamental to protecting mental health and Mental Health Awareness Week aims to involve people from all walks of life in awareness raising.
We will all experience loneliness at some point in our lives – it can affect anyone at any time and employers can help by seeking to understand, recognise and talk about it.
Loneliness has long been associated with mental ill-health and this week will be an opportunity to ask vital questions about how to reduce loneliness as we continue to come out of the pandemic, and live with Covid-19 in a different way.
Social isolation is about how many social contacts a person has, while loneliness is a feeling of a lack of companionship. Loneliness is a feeling that can come and go, or it can be something a person feels all of the time.
Employers are encouraged to arrange informal events in the workplace to bring people together. If you are remote or hybrid working, try to encourage employees to come into the office, even if only for an informal meet up and coffee. Talking every day onscreen cannot replace a face to face chat – consider the effects of remote working on your teams and question whether there ought to be more in-house meetings; check-ins and one to one meetings.
Encourage your employees to share their own experiences of the pandemic. Sharing stories helps reduce the stigma around loneliness and challenge the stereotypes about who experiences loneliness and how it affects us.
What are you doing to reduce loneliness in your workplace? #mentalhealthawarenessweek