The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is loneliness. We all experience loneliness from time to time. Because loneliness is a subjective experience, no two people will have the same experience.
Loneliness occurs when our need for fulfilling social contact and relationships is not met. Loneliness, on the other hand, does not always imply being alone. Others may find being alone lonely, whereas you may prefer to be alone and live happily without much contact with others.
According to a study conducted by the Mental Health Organisation UK, connecting with nature helps to alleviate mental health issues such as anxiety and sadness. For example, research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression. These benefits could be the result of frequent exercise and social interaction along with exposure to the outdoors.
Being outside in natural light can be helpful if you experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that affects people during particular seasons or times of the year. Other types of mental health issues have been alleviated as a result of people’s experiences in nature, as well.
Anxiety over environmental issues can also have a significant impact on our wellbeing. Spending time connecting with nature may be beneficial if climate change is harming your mental health. You could also get active in environmental protection initiatives or campaigns.
The week of Mental Health Awareness 2022 will be from Monday, May 9 through Sunday, May 15, 2022. The week will explore the experience of loneliness, its effect on our mental health and how we can all play a part in reducing loneliness in our communities.
Loneliness affects millions of people in the UK every year, and it is a major cause of poor mental health. According to the Foundation’s Mental Health in the Pandemic research, the Covid pandemic has worsened loneliness. The Foundation has been checking levels of loneliness in the UK during the pandemic and has discovered that the experience has been much worse, with devastating consequences.
According to additional polling by YouGov Plc, loneliness was identified as one of the top issues that the public felt needed to be addressed.
The week will raise awareness about the negative effects of loneliness on our mental health and how to combat it. Loneliness reduction is a key step in creating a mentally healthy society.
How can we help?
If you are lonely, a coach or mentor can help you in a variety of ways. KBC coaches have a duty of care to our clients, and if your support goes beyond the coaching / mentoring relationship, we can refer you to a counsellor (with your agreement).