Mental Health Awareness Week, which is running across the UK this week, has this year adopted the theme of ‘be kind’.
The focus on kindness is a direct response to the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing mental health challenges which have been caused by lockdown, social distancing and the affects the virus has had on our way of life.
The Mental Health Foundation has started a discussion on the kind of society we want to shape moving forward from this crisis.
“Now more than ever, we need to rediscover kindness in our daily lives,” said Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation.
“We want to use Mental Health Awareness Week to celebrate the thousands of acts of kindness that are so important to our mental health. And we want to start a discussion on the kind of society we want to shape as we emerge from this pandemic.”
The first Mental Health Awareness Week took place in 2001 and it has since become one of the most significant campaigns in the world.
To kick off Mental Health Awareness week, we are asking you to take a #MentalHealthMinute 🕚— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) May 18, 2020
This minute is about the importance of listening and appreciating the difference we can make to someone in need of help when we just take the time to stop and to listen 👂 pic.twitter.com/RWo8hwffWp
Reading Football Club's Trust are playing their part.
The charitable community-focused arm of the club are delivering a number of initiatives that directly support fans' mental health during a difficult time.
Royals Cast Chat was recently launched - allowing some of our Social Inclusion staff to connect with young, vulnerable people in the local area via a game of FIFA and then mentor them through their anxierties at the current time.
The Football Friends Programme is run in conjunction with 'Friends of the Elderly' and brings together an older generation of Royals supporter for an informal chat about what they've seen and what they want to see more of out on the football pitch.
And Talking Tactics is a scheme run in partnership with Berks & Bucks FA, again giving Reading supporters of all ages a chance to meet and chat and take in some information about mental and emotional wellbeing.
Some of us currently have extra time on our hands. ⌛@Mindcharity recommend learning something new, or mastering that skill you’ve always wanted.— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) May 3, 2020
The practice of setting learning related goals has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.#HaveYourMatesBack pic.twitter.com/jZHtrYu0ZP
And our Community Trust are continuing to use the power of football to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of communities across Berkshire during lockdown, by personally reaching out to elderly supporters via telephone to ensure high spirits are maintained and by engaging young people in meaningful conversations on platforms that they feel comfortable on.
Take care, stay safe and be kind.