Why Kindness?

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. We wanted to share a bit more about why they chose this theme and why it could be the most important week they’ve ever run.

One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times. We have learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope. The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing.

Beyond ourselves, our research reveals that inequality is rising in our society and that this has harmful effects on our health. Life expectancy is falling for the poorest for the first time in 100 years. As child poverty rises, children and young people in the poorest parts of our country are two to three times more likely to experience poor mental health than those in the richest.
This not the hallmark of a kind society. We must not make the same mistakes after this pandemic. Kindness could transform our schools, places of work, communities and families. Let’s shape a society that tips the balance in favour of good mental health, for all of us, but especially for those who are most vulnerable.

To start the conversation on kindness and mental health we would love you to share the little acts of kindness you’ve experienced in the last few weeks and your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health?

Hi Megan

the subject of “acts of kindness” has already come up on the forum here


Compassion, acceptance, inclusion and generally just being less assuming, judgemental when it comes to peoples perceptions of what someone with mental health problems is supposed to be like in their mind. Instead of writing people off who most of the time aren’t bad people, but just regular people with problems, or who have just lived through bad experiences, make more effort to integrate into society than palm off with medication just because it a cheap option.

Its much of the same struggles people with disabilities in general endure, although in ways worse as mental health problems are less visibly noticeable.

I hope as we learn more about the mind and better understand the impact of mental well being on physical health society begins to treat it with the urgency it deserves.

It is not a good way to live to have problems you can’t openly discuss/disclose because of how the system itself (let alone regular people you talk to) react with such negativity (in cases hostility) towards.

I think that this is important. Over the past few weeks, I have seen various acts of kindness from people. I think that much more understanding is required. Meditation will not work every time. Instead of just passing out medicines or recommending therapy, what about free courses for mental health patients?

In no specific order these are my tips:

Offer to make a cup of tea for someone with depression
Check up on any neighbors with mental health issues too
Encourage them to try to use distraction techniques
Ask them how their day is going
Talk about their emotions with them
Respect their feelings
Let them take the lead in discussions

This is why we still need mental health awareness.

Hi Everyone,

Honey Badger and thara_1910 - thank you for sharing so much for sharing how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health. And thank you susieq for sharing the Kindness thread, some really lovely things shared.

I just wanted to share some of the great tips on being kind to yourself as a carer. We talked about these in our Mental Health Learn and Share session last week these tips were shared by Hanlie, from Mind in Harrow who lead the session, and the carers in the chat as part of Mental Heatlh Awareness Week.

Best wishes,

Kindness for Carers.pdf (399 KB)

I feel that the word “kindness” in relation to caring is rather patronising. I don’t want “kindness” I want to feel valued, for the time I spend caring to be valued. As a pensioner carer I get nothing.

It would be nice if kindness continued after the lockdown…

Meaning local authorities and social services would be more thoughtful towards carers and carees and actually put our needs first …instead of us having to fight them for every scrap of support snd recognition.