This year’s theme is ‘loneliness’.

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual campaign hosted by The Mental Health Foundation. This year, it takes place between the 9th and 15th of May. The aim of Mental Health Awareness Week is to encourage conversations about mental health, and to raise awareness of mental health conditions.

The Mental Health Foundation launched Mental Health Awareness Week 21 years ago and it is now one of the largest awareness weeks globally. Every year it sets a theme and hosts the week. The foundation has chosen ‘loneliness’ as the official theme for 2022.

Why is loneliness the chosen theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week?

When you consider the last two years, the theme of loneliness is fitting for Mental Health Awareness Week. The pandemic has had a huge impact on the physical and mental health of millions of people across the UK. Samaritans is a suicide prevention charity and our charity of the year. The charity states that 1 in 3 people who phone the support line disclose feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Society is also changing fast. The way we live and work is shifting towards a more digital environment. Jobs are becoming more solitary, and people are living longer, and this has led to loneliness and social isolation becoming a growing problem. From online healthcare appointments to remote working environments, it’s essential now more than ever to raise awareness of the links between poor mental health and loneliness.

Loneliness can lead to mental health issues, but it can also be a result of poor mental health. We need to find better ways to combat the issue of loneliness in the community, and everyone can play a part in this.

Tackling loneliness

Reducing loneliness is a step towards improving mental health across society. It won’t cure all mental health problems, but if everyone took the time to consider their own contribution in tackling loneliness and isolation, then together, we could make a real difference. At 848, we take mental wellbeing seriously and during this mental health awareness week, we urge you to:

Raise awareness – Help people to understand the importance of actively checking in on those around you at work, amongst family and friends, and in your communities.

Get involved – Research events going on in your community for Mental Health Awareness Week. Bury Samaritans are hosting a retro afternoon tea on Monday 9th May from 12pm. The Mental Health Foundation are hosting their own challenge called 80 miles in May, and anyone can sign up.  

Enhance the power of social media – Get involved on social media platforms during Mental Health Awareness week with hashtag #IveBeenThere to share your experiences and to support others.

Be aware – If you or someone you know is struggling to connect with others, is experiencing self-doubt and self-worth, or an overwhelming feeling of isolation regardless of who’s around, then seek advice from professional services such as Samaritans or Mind for support.

Supporting good mental health and wellbeing at 848

848 is committed to ensuring staff feel supported and can speak openly about mental health and their feelings. We have implemented a number of mental health policies to support positive mental wellbeing in the workplace.

Qualified Mental Health First Aiders – We have funded mental health training for a range of staff in different areas of the business. This has enabled them to become fully qualified Mental Health First Aiders, providing employees with a number of avenues to access mental health support within the business.

Private healthcare – We provide every employee with access to professional mental health services such as talking therapies and counselling via private healthcare.

A work/life balance – We aim to create a working environment and culture where discussing feelings and mental health is encouraged. With flexible working policies and uncapped holiday allowances, we ensure staff maintain a good work/life balance.

Charity committee – 848 has a charity committee who dedicates time to supporting two chosen charities each year. The committee organises events throughout the year with an aim to raise money for great causes but to also get people from across the business together.

To all of our staff, thank you for looking out for one another and respecting the importance of mental health. If you would like more information about our mental health policies, please get in touch.

848 takes on 5200ft ascent, over 24 miles, in under 12 hours

Next week, across the country, people will be reflecting on loneliness and how it impacts our mental health. On Saturday 14th May, a team from the 848 Group is coming together to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in a bid to raise money for suicide prevention and emotional support charity, Samaritans.

All donations will be greatly appreciated in helping us raise as much money as we can for Samaritans. 848 is passionate about supporting good mental health and we are proud to support this cause. All funds will go direct to Samaritans after the challenge.

Click here to reach our just giving page.