Croydon residents are being encouraged to share their stories of kindness during Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) to show how they are helping others and looking after their own wellbeing.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the #CroydonTogether campaign has highlighted how our community has united in support of each other – from frontline workers to volunteers, businesses and community groups – and simply as good friends and neighbours.
Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re asking you to continue this using the hashtags #KindnessMatters #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek as well as #CroydonTogether when you post your pictures on social media showing kind acts.
These could include checking up on family, friends or neighbours online, volunteering, shopping for others or donating items to a food bank in the borough.
People can also share ideas of how we could build a kinder society to improve our mental health in the long term.
The council is also asking people to focus on the five ways to wellbeing programme for inspiration in carrying out their kind acts and to also support their own mental health.
Evidence suggests these five actions can help improve mental health through connecting with others, giving to people, keep learning, being active and taking more notice of our surroundings.
“Croydon residents are living in an unprecedented time of change due to the covid-19 outbreak. Having to stay inside more, work from home more, and not meet up in person with wider family and friends can impact on our mental health and wellbeing at various levels, especially for those who are more vulnerable.
“We know that so many of you are supporting each other at this time and it is uniting our communities even more. We hope that you will take part and share your stories of kindness during this Mental Health Awareness Week. It is more important than ever to look out for others and to also look after your own mental health and wellbeing.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care
One in six adults in Croydon will experience a mental health problem, and issues are becoming more prevalent among young people. Half of all mental health difficulties begin before age 14 and 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem do not get appropriate help early on.
Support is available in Croydon for anyone who is feeling concerned about their mental health because they are isolated or lonely or stressed and worried. The council website has information to signpost people to where they can get help if needed www.croydon.gov.uk/wellbeing
Croydon’s JustBe website also has advice on the steps you can take to feel happier and healthier www.justbecroydon.org/be-happy
Croydon Live Well advisors are currently available on the phone to help residents who want to boost their mental health and wellbeing by making a positive change to their life by being healthier. You can contact them on 0800 019 8570 or email email@example.com
The council also supports young people in the borough to connect with others and get in touch with groups and organisations who can offer advice if they are feeling stressed or worried like Young Croydon, Off the record, Croydon Talking Therapies and Ment4.