This week, 9-15 May, is Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. This year, the theme for the week is ‘Loneliness’. As an organisation which supports numerous clients suffering from poor mental health, including chronic loneliness, Caridon Group, leading providers of interim, permanent and emergency accommodation, has organised a wide range of events throughout its buildings and across its services, helping to raise awareness and encourage a greater sense of community and togetherness.
Across the country, people are reflecting on loneliness and how it impacts our mental health. Long-term loneliness is closely linked to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. In Croydon, Crawley, Bristol, Harlow and Brent, Caridon is running group walks, a zumba class, yoga for beginners, afternoon tea, a beauty session, a parent and child picnic, a BBQ, and art therapy classes. On Wednesday 11 May, a tenant versus Caridon Staff football match was arranged at Dagnall Park in Croydon and on Thursday 12 May they have arranged for Richard Pacitti, director of Croydon Mind, to host a talk at 2pm in Park Hill Park, Croydon, to discuss the challenges of mental health issues and how it can impact every aspect of our lives. All of the events are for both tenants and staff to participate, as Caridon puts a strong focus on positive mental health in the workplace.
Mario Carrozzo, CEO of Caridon Group, including Caridon Property and Caridon Foundation commented: “For over a decade we have helped vulnerable individuals on their personal journeys towards permanent housing. But for some, that journey can often feel like a long and lonely one. Whilst having good quality accommodation provides the foundation for how an individual can take steps towards having a more stable life, it doesn’t solve the issues that have led to that person needing support in the first place.
“We have invested years trying to create a holistic group of services which boost employment prospects, enhance access to educational opportunities, provide budgeting support and most importantly address mental health concerns.
“The events run this week by the team are about bringing people together, supporting one another and recognising that often the simplest of activities, such as a walk, can really help promote positive mental wellbeing.”
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 together – as 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.”
Some of the ways people can participate in Mental Health Awareness Week:
● During Mental Health Awareness Week use the hashtag #IveBeenThere to share experiences of loneliness to support others and give the campaign momentum.
● Sign up to walk, run or jog as part of our 80 Miles in May challenge and share your photos using #80MilesinMay and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #IveBeenThere and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek