People in Wolverhampton will be encouraged to celebrate the acts of kindness that are so important to their wellbeing during this year's Mental Health Awareness Week, which begins on Monday (18 May, 2020).

The theme of this year's Mental Health Foundation campaign is kindness and seeks to highlight the positive impact that acts of kindness, both large and small, can have on people's mental health and wellbeing – particularly during difficult times such as these.

In Wolverhampton, organisations across the city are coming together to encourage people to share acts of kindness and celebrate the good deeds of others. To get involved, please share your experiences – and thanks – on social media using the hashtags #kindnessmatters and #WVkindness or via Stay Safe, Be Kind - Kindness Recognition Form

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Simple acts of kindness can have a hugely positive effect on people's mental health by making people feel valued, and reminding them that others care for their wellbeing.

"During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen an overwhelming desire among local people to do good for others, reminding us that even during these uncertain times, there is also community, support and hope.

"We want to celebrate this, and so are encouraging children, families and people of all ages to share examples of how they have supported others, or been kind to themselves. We also want people to say a very public thank you to others who have been supportive to them.

"The acts could be picking up shopping for or checking up on somebody who is self isolating, volunteering their time for or donating money to a good cause, ensuring they get some well deserved 'me time', making the most of spending time with children and families to support each other during these difficult past few weeks – the list is endless. 

“Please get involved and share what you've done to help yourself, your family or others, or say thanks for the support you've received from others. Together we can celebrate these good deeds and share ideas about how we can all support one another."

Sally Roberts, Chair of the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together Executive, said: “The kindnesses we do for others have an immeasurable positive impact on the lives of those we come into contact with. 

“During this time of lockdown and uncertainty there are many additional pressures on individuals and families that can result in poor or worsening mental health.

“So a real kindness is to look out for children and vulnerable adults whose lives may be adversely affected by their own mental health or the mental health of someone else, and share any concerns you have – you could make a fantastic and life changing difference to those involved.”
As well as highlighting kindness, Wolverhampton will be using Mental Health Awareness Week to kickstart a conversation about what kind of society people want to shape as the country emerges from the coronavirus lockdown. This include changes people want to make to their own lives and the communities they live in which could improve their mental health and wellbeing. 

Councillor Jaspal added: "We have a once in a generation opportunity to rethink about what kind of society we want to emerge from this crisis, so we will be encouraging people to consider life after lockdown – what will you do differently as a result of your experiences over the last few weeks, and what kind of community and society do you want for you and your family in the future?"

If you have concerns that someone’s mental health might cause a risk to themselves or others who they care for, live with or visit regularly please call 01902 555392 for concerns about children or 01902 551199 for concerns about an adult or find out more at Wolverhampton Safeguarding. In an emergency, always call 999. 

Mental Health Awareness Week is organised by the Mental Health Foundation and takes place from Monday 18 May to Sunday 24 May. To find out more, please visit Mental Health Foundation.

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind