Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week

This year the theme is Loneliness, which affects millions of people across the UK.

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.

The week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 22nd year and runs from 9-15 May 2022.

This year, the theme for the week is ‘Loneliness’. Across the country, people will be reflecting on loneliness and how it impacts our mental health. Long-term loneliness is closely linked to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “We hope this year’s theme of loneliness will strike a chord with many of us who felt lonely and struggled throughout the Covid pandemic.

“Millions of us experience loneliness from time to time. We know that some people are at higher risk of experiencing loneliness and the evidence shows the longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems.

“Loneliness deserves more attention and we’re calling on everyone who has struggled as a result of being lonely to share their experiences.”

Some of the ways people can participate in Mental Health Awareness Week:

  • During Mental Health Awareness Week use the hashtag #IveBeenThere to share experiences of loneliness to support others and give the campaign momentum.
  • Share or get familiar with the local resources and support options available – know when to use them yourself or how you can help others.

There are several ways you can seek help if you are experiencing loneliness or ill mental health. If you need support or advice, make a call to:

  • a friend, family member, connect with local counselling service or befriending service
  • Samaritans (116 123) or email jo@Samaritans.org.uk if you need someone to talk to
  • Silverline Scotland, a helpline and befriending service for older adults on 0800 4 70 80 90 (Free, 24 hour confidential helpline)

You can also text Forth Valley’s free 24-hour mental health and wellbeing text support service. If you live in Falkirk, text FALKIRK to 85258 to get started.

If you live in Clackmannanshire, you can text CLACKS to the same number. Elsewhere, text SHOUT to 85258

You can access a range of resources and tips online from the Forth Valley Health Improvement Service. Resources are available for staff and patients.

For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #IveBeenThere and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek