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Mental Health Awareness Week 2022: Dates, theme and how to get involved

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week–an opportunity to raise awareness of issues surrounding mental health and to advocate for change.

There is a different theme each year with previous themes including nature and mental health, kindness, and body image.

But what is this year’s theme and how can you get involved with Mental Health Awareness week?

When is Mental Health Awareness Week 2022?

This week (9-15 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week. The Mental Health Foundation founded Mental Health Awareness Day 21 years ago and it is celebrated annually in May.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 Theme

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness.

The Mental Health Foundation says: “One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time. There’s no single cause and there’s no one solution. After all, we’re all different! But, the longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems. Some people are also at higher risk of feeling lonely than others.

“For Mental Health Awareness Week this year, we’re raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental health and the practical steps we can take to address it.”

Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “We hope this year’s theme of loneliness will strike a chord with many of us who felt lonely and struggled throughout the Covid pandemic.

“Millions of us experience loneliness from time to time. We know that some people are at higher risk of experiencing loneliness and the evidence shows the longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems.

“Loneliness deserves more attention and we’re calling on everyone who has struggled as a result of being lonely to share their experiences. We must work togetheras individuals, as a society and through government policy-to reduce loneliness and prevent mental health problems by investing in welcoming, social spaces and new community initiatives.”

How to get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week

The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging people to get involved on social media by sharing a photo of a time they felt lonely and nobody knew.

Social media users are encouraged to add the hashtags #IveBeenThere and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and to tag @mentalhealth on Twitter and @mentalhealthfoundation on Instagram and Facebook.

The Mental Health Foundation is also running the 80 Miles in May challenge, and people are encouraged to take part by sharing their photos of the challenge with the #80MilesInMay hashtag.

You can also donate to help programmes run by the Mental Health Foundation including the Picture This programme, which helps older people who experience digital exclusion, and the Perthyn Project, which is a space for refugee and asylum-seeking women to create friendships, improve their English, and feel less lonely.

What is the Mental Health Foundation?

The Mental Health Foundation is a UK charity established in 1949. They are involved in community and peer programmes, research the causes of poor mental health, lead public awareness campaigns (like this week), and advocate for change to address underlying causes of poor mental health.

The foundation’s website says: “Prevention is at the heart of what we do.

“Our knowledge, informed by rigorous research and practical based study, has been pioneering change for more than 70 years and we aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo or tackle difficult or under researched issues.”