Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 

What is mental health awareness week?

Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. Mental health is everyone’s business. 

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place every year, for a week in May. This year the theme of the campaign is kindness. At this uncertain time, we can see kindness prevailing all around us. Amid the fear, we also see a sense of community, of support and of hope. 

Helping others is known to be good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing. 


Coronavirus, mental health and being kind to ourselves

It's important to understand that these are very challenging and strange times, where there will be a shock-like reaction to our minds.

This reaction may cause unfamiliar feelings, as though everyday life is not real. Feelings we might experience include: 

  • Increased tiredness / lethargy
  • Inability to sleep
  • An increase in general anxieties
  • Changes in mood
  • Pressure to push ourselves 

It is important to remember that some of these reactions are normal. We are designed to react like this as human beings and your mind is trying to make sense and adjust to all the sudden changes.

Being kind to ourselves, and being more accepting of the struggles, can help to alleviate unreasonable pressure that we continue to 'push' ourselves, when sometimes our minds need down-time to process all that has been happening.

It is also important to remain self-aware, recognising when down-time is perhaps becoming something unhelpful, where we may feel like we are wallowing in the situation or thoughts.

Think about gentle activities that are natural to us, that allow us to momentarily focus on something outside of ourselves. 

To sum up:

  • These are very strange times
  • You may have normal shock-like reactions to this situation
  • You may have struggles with anxiety
  • You could experience lack of sleep and changes in mood

To help yourself, and others who need it, remember: 

  • Be kind and gentle to yourself - it's okay to struggle at times - things will change
  • Allow down-time, but not wallowing time

Please make contact with a mental health professional if you feel like you need to discuss how you are feeling further.

Help and support

Counselling in Somerset is provided by Talking Therapies. If you are registered with a GP in Somerset and over 18 then it's possible to self refer to this service. You can find out more here

Health Connections Mendip - Health Connections Mendip offers one to one or group support to help improve your health and wellbeing, to help you feel more connected, make friends or train up to support others. Living and feeling better can start with a simple step - connecting. 

Mindline Somerset - the Mindline Somerset emotional support helpline is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 01823 276892 to speak to someone. 

We have two mental health practitioners at the practice - you can find out more about what they do here

Coronavirus and mental health 

This leaflet is helpful in sharing advice and tips on looking after your wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. Click the link below. 

Coronavirus: Wellbeing and Mental Health - A Guide To Looking After Yourself And Others

Here are some other links that you might find useful if you need help or support: 

We Hear You - COVID-19 Crisis Support - WHY have developed a crisis support service (telephone) specifically for people affected by coronavirus - for individuals who have, or have recovered from, coronavirus, their close family, friends and loved ones, those who have been bereaved due to coronavirus, people with a life-threatening condition whose treatment has been disrupted or have been otherwise impacted by Covid-19. Click link for more information. 

The service provides up to four telephone sessions with an experienced counsellor. It's not a counselling service, however those who access the covid-19 service are able to go on our waiting list for counselling once telephone support has ended.

Every Mind Matters - Coronavirus and Mental Health - expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

YoungMinds - supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing, with specific advice about managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus. 

Mind - mental health support, including specific advice around coronavirus. 

Coronavirus and your wellbeing  - you might be finding the current situation difficult or stressful. Here are suggestions for things you can try that could help your wellbeing. 

Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak - tips to help you, your friends and your family to look after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mental health and wellbeing  - support if you’re feeling anxious, stressed or depressed.

Five ways to wellbeing and staying at home - some ideas of things you can do – connect, take notice, be active, keep learning, give.

Published: May 18, 2020