Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness week takes place from May 18th to May 24th, 2020. This year’s theme is kindness.
Never in our lifetime has our mental health been so important. The personal anguish caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the loneliness and isolation that has come with the lockdown has affected the mental wellbeing of most of the nation.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness week focuses on kindness, because kindness and considerate acts have the power to heal mental wounds and are vital in times like these.
Throughout the challenges brought by the Coronavirus outbreak, there have been many acts of selflessness and kindness that have provided rays of light to cut through the darkness.
There are many stories of kind acts by friends and neighbours who are selflessly giving up their time to help those who are most vulnerable in society at this time. Also, the fantastic efforts of Captain Tom Moore who wanted to help by raising £1,000 for the NHS by walking 100 laps around his garden (2.5km). At the time of writing this article he has raised over £32.5million!
To find out how you can get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week visit the Mental Health Foundation website here.
Unfortunately, kindness alone cannot heal all and mental health issues take many forms, from stress and anxiety, to poor memory and feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Many freelancers work from home, therefore you would be excused for thinking they are equipped to cope with the current situation, but in normal circumstances they will meet friends and clients, and from time-to-time even work away from home in a café or bar. At present that is not a realistic option despite this week’s easing of certain restrictions.
When you are freelancing you are responsible for everything and at times it can be a lonely existence. This not only means meeting client deadlines and trying to earn enough money to pay the bills, but also looking after your own health and wellbeing and in many cases that of your family too. All of which can significantly increase your levels of stress.
If you are feeling any symptoms of stress, anxiety, loneliness or generally feeling down, then it could be time to seek help and talk to someone.
Freelancers don’t have the benefit of being able to call on the support of a company HR department yet are arguably more vulnerable to experiencing a mental health issue than those in employment.
Don’t feel embarrassed and pressured into having to deal with things on your own, because you are not alone. Search online for NHS Every Mind Matters and/or you could book an appointment with your Doctor.
Remember, looking after yourself is just as important as looking after your clients and meeting your project deadlines.
According to MIND Charity, approximately 1 in every 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue each year.
Mental Health is still a broadly misunderstood problem in the working world. This can give rise to ignorance from colleagues and line managers, and to a lack of awareness as to exactly what symptoms we should be aware of before we ourselves seek help.
Even large organisations who operate well-resourced HR departments still struggle to provide the level of support and compassion that people who suffer from mental health problems require. This includes ensuring that staff know the resource is available to them in the first place, and that they can rely on it when need arises.
Other online mental health resources include:
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