Health

Be kind for mental health week

  • Health minister Kim Wilson delivers her speech to mark Mental Health Awareness Day in 2019 (File photograph)

Residents were urged to remember the importance of kindness as mental health awareness campaigns took place in other countries.

The Bermuda Mental Health Foundation said that stress levels had increased for everyone because of the coronavirus crisis.

A message from its board of directors explained: “Good mental health is important for peace of mind and general wellbeing.

“Good mental health allows us to feel, think and act in ways that help us to enjoy life and cope with its many challenges.

“During these very stressful times of the Covid-19 pandemic, levels of worry and anxiety have increased for all of us.

“Worries and anxieties about job security, family finances, isolation and fear of catching the dreaded virus seem to fill the day.”

The board advised anyone struggling to contact someone they trust or to find help.

It added: “If you know of a friend or family member who appears to be bothered by such worries, reach out and offer a kind hand — just to talk and share or to provide information on helping agencies ready to assist.”

The board explained that mental health organisations, advocates and institutions “around the world”, including the US, observed May as Mental Health Awareness Month.

It added that May 18 to 24, 2020, was recognised as Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK.

The board said: “The UK Mental Health Foundation has characterised the theme for the week as kindness.”

It added: “In Bermuda, let us take a moment to be kind and also to embed kindness as a part of the way going forward.

“It is so easy and can make such a difference in the lives of so many people.”

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, helped to mark World Mental Health Awareness Day last October 10.

She said then: “We need to start seeing every day as mental health awareness day.

“While it is important to stop and recognise the international observance, there are things that we can do every day for ourselves and others to promote mental health.”

The Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute runs a 24-hour mental health crisis line on 239-1111. The Government’s Emotional Wellbeing Hotline — set up in response to the coronavirus pandemic — is 543-1111.