Be kind to yourself and others…take care of your mental health

The IOW NHS Trust is supporting the Mental Health Foundation’s (MHF) message that showing kindness to others is good for our own mental health and wellbeing too.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, 18-24 May, the MHF, who work to prevent mental health problems, say being kind to others can help reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing.

The island’s mental health services provider, Isle of Wight NHS Trust, agrees with the message and has added that while showing kindness to others, people should remember to take care of their own mental health as well.

Dr Lesley Stevens, Medical Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities said

“Mental Health Awareness Week this year is more important than it’s ever been before, given our current circumstances. We’ve seen many examples of kindness across the country through the Covid-19 crisis.

At St Mary’s Hospital, for example, we’ve been overwhelmed by donations and messages of support. These examples of kindness are fantastic and have made a positive difference to our NHS staff who are working hard through this period.

The link between kindness and mental health is really clear. Kindness connects us – it creates a sense of belonging and a sense of optimism. It’s really important now more than ever that we stay connected with each other”

To mark MHAW, Dr Stevens is urging island residents to think about what extra kindness they can do to help themselves and other.

Dr Lesley Steven’s advised “It’s important to emphasize that in being kind to others, try and be kind to yourself too, and looking after your own mental health is an important part of self-care,”

Anyone is who in need of mental health support is encouraged to make use of additional support that has been provided on the island to help with Covid-19 challenges, and beyond.

The Community Mental Health Online Support platform has a range of tools and resources, including contact details of service providers that can provide help with the mental health.