Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this year from 9th May to 15th May. The theme for 2022 is loneliness - the experience of feeling lonely, its effect on our mental health and how we can play a part in reducing loneliness in our communities.

Students can explore this theme in a number of ways – thinking about your friendships, relationships and support systems, about how best to support others, and self-care strategies to employ if you ever feel lonely

What is loneliness?

Finding our connections to ourselves, others, and the world around us, is fundamental to protecting our mental health and reducing feelings of loneliness.

Loneliness is when we feel we do not have the meaningful relationships we want around us. It's something we can all experience from time to time, throughout our lives, and will be different for everyone.

A YouGov poll (2019) of 13-19-year-olds found 69% said they felt alone “often” or “sometimes” in the last fortnight and 59% feel like they “often” or “sometimes have no one to talk to".

It's important to support young people in recognising when they are feeling lonely, understanding their thoughts and feelings, and identifying the supportive connections they have.

“Usually whenever I feel lonely I want to reach out to people ... it doesn't need to be an actual conversation, it can just be sending a funny meme to a friend or I go and do something that makes me feel better, like playing a game.” A student.

What's the difference between feeling lonely and being alone?

Loneliness can often be connected to being alone. However, they do not mean the same thing, or always happen together.

Being alone, sometimes referred to as social isolation, is the physical separation from the people, and things, that bring you comfort and support.

A person who is socially isolated is not necessarily lonely.

Some people may enjoy spending time by themselves, whereas others may feel lonely when spending time alone.

Some people may feel lonely when spending time with others, perhaps feeling like others don’t understand or care about them, or that they don’t belong or fit in

Tackling Loneliness Resource Pack

This booklet for students contains lots of information about loneliness, with suggestions for ways to tackle it.

The pack shares suggestions for:

  • podcasts to listen to

  • books to read

  • films to watch

  • ways to combat loneliness

  • other sources of support

View the pack now

Always reach out if loneliness is affecting your mental health...

Call 116 123 for free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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