‘Try a little kindness for mental health week’

15/05/2020, PR-9401

​Everyone is being asked to share more kindness next week, as Wakefield marks Mental Health Week under lockdown from coronavirus.

Little acts of thoughtfulness are what Public Health experts are prescribing to help take people's minds off their worries.

In the last month, the Council has been running a social media campaign which has reached almost 85,000 Wakefield residents – that's nearly a quarter of the population. More than 5,000 of them have sought more help and advice.

From Monday, 18 to 24 May – National Mental Health Awareness Week is on the theme of 'Kindness' - the Council is rolling out another campaign on Facebook and Twitter with suggestions on some of the kind of things that people can do.

Cllr Faith Heptinstall
Cllr Faith Heptinstall

​Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: "A simple act of kindness can go a long way. A smile, a gesture, an offer, a listening ear, a telephone call, a joke, an inspirational verse, a complement or a virtual coffee and chat can help lighten a person's mental load.

"In the words of Glen Campbell's song 'Try A Little Kindness', I urge you:

Don't walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way"

Director of Public Health

​Anna Hartley, Wakefield's Director of Public Health, said: "Since the lockdown started general anxiety and depression are higher than normal, and more in women than men according to research done nationally.

"Specialised charities are also reporting higher than normal levels of stress and anxiety among children, more of whom have called helplines for children.

"This Mental Health Week and beyond, let's practice kindness to the people in our community, those in our households, in our work places and our friends and family elsewhere.

"Kindness is good medicine and I recommend it. It can help to divert worried minds from fear of the unknown, doubts, uncertainty and apprehensions and bring comfort and companionship to the lonely."

Some examples of simple things to show kindness are:

For housemates

  1. Do a clear out together
  2. Help with a household chore at home
  3. Make a cup of tea for someone you live with
  4. Spend time playing with your pet

For workmates

  1. Arrange to have a video lunch with a colleague
  2. Give praise to your colleague for something they've done well
  3. Have an after-hours virtual curry and chat
  4. Have a virtual quiz
  5. Lend your ear – call a colleague and ask how they're finding the change in routine

For other mates

Chat

  1. Call a friend that you haven't spoken to for a while
  2. Contact someone you haven't seen in a while and arrange a virtual catch up
  3. Reach out to call a friend, family member or neighbour who is experiencing loneliness or self-isolation

Give

  1. Donate to a charity
  2. Donate to foodbanks
  3. Offer to send someone a takeaway or a meal

 

Socialise

  1. Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know
  2. Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call

 

Support

  1. Offer support to vulnerable neighbours
  2. Offer to skill share with a friend via video call – you could teach guitar, dance etc.
  3. Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
  4. Send an inspirational quote to a friend
  5. Send an inspirational story of kindness people around the world are doing for others to someone you know
  6. Send an interesting article to a friend
  7. Send someone you know a joke to cheer them up
  8. Send someone you know a picture of a cute animal
  9. Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them
  10. Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
  11. Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them