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Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

How can I get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week 2020?

Below are number of activities that individuals and teams can do to participate in Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme of the week is ‘Kindness’.

Join in online

During the week, you could carry out one of the following or reflect on an act of kindness.

  • Take a photo or video (with permission!) and use the hashtags #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealth AwarenessWeek
  • Share your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health using the following hashtags #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Join one of our webinars in Mental Health Awareness Week

To join a webinar, please click on the relevant link below on the day of the webinar which will take you to the Teams meeting. No registration is required. 

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Inner Space: Guided Meditation on Kindness

  • Speaker: Amisha Bhavsar
  • 11.00 a.m. – 11.30 a.m

Be kind to you and make the time for a 20 minute meditation to just sit down, sit back and be guided through a relaxation, visualisation and some calming moments. Breathe, be mindful and meditate on kindness. Because ‘kindfulness’ is the new mindfulness!  Experience kindness, and you’ll extend it unconditionally to yourself, others and the world around you.

Amisha Bhavsar is a meditation teacher at Inner Space. Over the last 20 years, Amisha has developed and facilitated wellbeing sessions for charities, government departments and companies.

Inner Space is a meditation and a self-development centre based in Covent Garden, London, also known as ‘London’s Oasis of Calm and Insight’. For over 25 years, we’ve been supporting the wellbeing of individuals, staff in companies, organisations, charities and government bodies. We offer free sessions and talks on positive thinking, stress less, building resilience, meditation and more. Currently, we’re running live online sessions on Zoom.

Donations can be made in 2 ways:

  • BACS: if this your preferred method, let us know so we can send you our account details.
  • PayPal

 Wednesday 20 May 2020

Workwise: Managing Your Way Out Of The Coronavirus Crisis

  • Speaker: Peter Thomson
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 11.15 a.m.

We are now entering a challenging phase for organisations with a partial easing of the lockdown rules. Some people may be able to come back to work and maintain social distancing, some will still need to be isolated at home and others will not be sure what to do. Managers will be faced with difficult decisions on whether to encourage people back or tell them to stay away. At least the full lockdown was a clear directive. The uncertainty of the new situation is bound to add to the stress levels of managers and their staff.

This is the topic being covered in a webinar on Wednesday May 20th on the subject of “Managing our way out of a crisis”. It is being run by Peter Thomson of Wisework who has a long record of advising organisations on new ways of working. He ran the Future Work Forum at Henley Business School for 16 years and is co-author of the best selling book “Future Work”. He has recently been running webinars to help managers of home workers adapt to the current crisis and will be sharing his views on the next phase.

The webinar will run from 10.00-11.15 with a 10 minute break in the middle.  Peter will be happy to take questions during the session.

 Thursday 21 May 2020

Trigger Publishing: Managing Uncertainty In An Uncertain Time

  • Time: 2:30 p.m. – 3.45 p.m.
  • Speaker: Dr. Dominique Thompson

Dominique is an award winning GP, young people's mental health expert, TEDx speaker, author and educator, with over 20 years of clinical experience caring for students. She was named Bristol Healthcare Professional of the Year in 2017.

She is author of The Student Wellbeing Series (Trigger Press), a short series of guides for young people aged 16-25 about mental health, wellbeing and life at university, and co-author of How to Grow a Grown Up (PenguinRandomHouse), a book for parents, carers, teachers and anyone working with young people, about raising independent and resilient young adults ready for the challenges of the 21st century.

Dom has done two TEDx talks about young people’s mental health and wellbeing; ‘What I learnt from 78000 GP consultations with university students’ (about perfectionism, competitiveness and the pressures of being young today) and ‘Understanding Why’, looking at why young people self-harm.

She is also a co-author of Student Mental Health & Wellbeing in Higher Education: A practical guide (Sage). Dom is a Clinical Advisor for NICE, the Royal College of GPs, the Anorexia Bulimia Care charity, and for Student Minds, the UK's student mental health charity.

You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @drdomthompson, and find her on LinkedIn and Facebook. Dom’s TEDx talks and other interviews are available on YouTube.

 Friday 22 May 2020

Inner Space: Think More Positively

  • Speaker: Karen Dowd
  • Time: 11.00 a.m. – 11.45 a.m.

Your thinking affects everything. Think negative thoughts, and it drains your energy, elevates your anxiety and makes things seem worse than they actually are. And even though it’s so easy for negative thoughts to creep in, it’s really important at times like these to hold onto a positive attitude. The session explores how the mind works, how to switch negative thoughts to positive and how to improve your ability to think positively.

Karen Dowd has been running personal development seminars with Inner Space for nearly 20 years. Karen's day job is within learning and development.  She loves the challenge of finding the positive in every situation. 

 Join an Inner Space webinar

You could join an Inner Space webinars, two of which are dedicated to QM. To find out more about webinars and sessions on meditation and personal development, please go to Inner Space.

An act of kindness

Before you start, please remember to keep others in mind.  Even though carrying out good deeds for others can make you feel good, don’t forget to keep in mind why you’re doing it – for the benefit of others. Remember not to overdo it! If you find that you are giving too much of yourself or have gone beyond your personal resources, then consider taking a step back. Start small to avoid becoming overwhelmed or giving more than you are emotionally able to give.

Connected with family and friends

  • Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them
  • Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know
  • Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call
  • Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
  • Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them
  • Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
  • Send someone you know a joke to cheer them up
  • Send someone you know a picture of a cute animal
  • Send an inspirational quote to a friend
  • Send an interesting article to a friend
  • Send an inspirational story of kindness people around the world are doing for others to someone you know
  • Contact someone you haven’t seen in a while and arrange a virtual catch up

Acts of kindness at home

  • Make a cup of tea for someone you live with
  • Help with a household chore at home
  • Spend time playing with your pet

Acts of kindness in the community

  • Donate to foodbanks
  • Donate to a charity
  • Reach out to call a friend, family member or neighbour who
  • is experiencing loneliness or self-isolation
  • Offer to skill share with a friend via video call – you could teach guitar, dance, knitting etc
  • Offer to send someone a takeaway or a meal
  • Offer support to vulnerable neighbours

Acts of kindness at work

  • Lend your ear – call a colleague and ask how they’re finding the change in routine
  • Give praise to your colleague for something they’ve done well
  • Arrange to have a video lunch or cup of tea with a colleague

Attend an online Mental Health Arts Festival

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival will have a special programme of online activity beginning in May, including live-streamed events, film screenings and artist commissions.

The festival aims to support the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.

Artists and audiences will have an opportunity to explore what kindness means to them.

Start a conversation about mental health

Below are number of activities that individuals and teams can do to start the conversation about mental health.

Starting a conversation
Suitable for: Individuals
Advice on how to start a conversation about mental health.

Speaking up
Suitable for: Individuals
How to speak about your own experiences in a safe and effective way.

Stream of consciousness
Suitable for: Individuals
This activity helps you to think about how we might find a place to start telling our experiences of stress, anxiety, low mood, or other mental health problems.

Tea, Toast and Chat?
Suitable for: Groups
Time: 15-20 minutes

Break the work routine by holding a meetup event specifically for wellbeing.

Mental health myth buster quiz
Suitable for: Groups
Time: 15 minutes

Challenge misconceptions and learn the real facts about mental health.

Support available to staff and students

QM offers a range of mental health initiatives designed to promote positive mental health in the workplace such as the development of a wellbeing strategy, Workplace Options an independent employee assistance programme. The Big White Wall an online 24/7 support tool for mental health and wellbeing for both student and staff, Mental Health First Aid and wellbeing training  along with our wellbeing policies. Click on the links that follow to find out more about how QMUL helps to provide a positive working environment for all staff and students.