Mental Health Awareness Week and the case for kindness
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is ‘kindness’. The Mental Health Foundation chose kindness as the theme because of its universal ability to help during uncertain times. Kindness is all around us at the moment. At Pause we will be sharing stories of kindness and celebrating kindness this week. Whilst especially pertinent now, we see kindness and compassion as being foundations of Pause – not just in these exceptional times.
All women that Pause works with are navigating complex lives – many having experienced violence and abuse or struggle with substance misuse, which has led them to having their children removed from their care. Most women Pause works with experience or have experienced mental health issues and their need for support is huge.
Central to Pause is building an intensive one-to-one relationship between a Pause Practitioner and a woman and kindness is a huge part of this. From this comes trust and from a trusting relationship comes an ability to think about things in a different way, to tolerate challenge, to acknowledge grief and loss, to build resilience and then begin to explore possible goals for the future.
That is why everyday across the UK Pause Practices are showing kindness with their support with women. This means overtly demonstrating that women are being held in mind, being thought about and being responded to with compassion. We know because women tell us, that what might seem like small things make a huge difference. So whether it is doorstop deliveries with a treat of a hot chocolate, phone calls to break the isolation reminding women that they are not alone, craft sessions over zoom, joint virtual trips to a zoo or a video-call walk to play a virtual game of ‘I spy’, all these help remind women that social distancing doesn’t mean emotional isolation. Kindness matters.
This week we’ll be sharing images and thoughts on kindness in Pause Practices for #KindnessMatters so follow @PauseOrg on Twitter and stay tuned.
Ellen Marks is Director of Practice and Learning at Pause
You can find out more about the Mental Health Foundation and how you can support Mental Health Awareness Week here.
If you have any questions or would like any information please email firstname.lastname@example.org