Today marks the start of the Mental Health Foundations’ annual Mental Health Awareness Week (9th-16th May 2022) where the theme of the week is loneliness.
On the topic of loneliness and why it was selected as this years theme, the Mental Heath Foundation website says: “Loneliness is something that we all feel at times but when it is chronic or long-term it can have serious effects on our mental health. We all have a part to play in reducing loneliness. Loneliness is a normal part of life, with most of us feeling lonely at some point and experiencing how it can gnaw away at our sense of self-worth and belonging.
“Loneliness is not about the number of friends we have, the time we spend on our own or something that happens when we reach a certain age. Loneliness is the feeling we experience when there is a mismatch between the social connections we have and those that we need or want. That means it can be different for all of us.
“This Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to give loneliness the attention that it deserves, bringing it out from the shadows where it so often is hidden. We will release research to show the embedded misunderstanding and prejudice around loneliness, and why the length of time we experience loneliness is so vital to its effect on our mental health. We will explore the shame we often feel and how many of us still struggle to talk about loneliness and how it is affecting our mental health.”
To mark Mental Health Awareness week, The Grassroots Football Coach podcast has recorded a special with hosts Mark Rivers & Richard Brant who openly talk about their own mental health experiences and discuss the impact of loneliness can have on individuals.
The new podcast will be released later in the week, before then however, why not take a listen back to some of our other Mental Health focussed episodes. Featuring special guests from the world of football and beyond, in eac episode our guests discuss their journies and experiences with Mental Health and champion the importance of talking about how you're feeling.
*Caution advised* These episodes contain sensitive material with references to drug/alcohol abuse, gambling, violence and criminal activity, which some listeners may find distressing/difficult to listen to.
Mickey McCloskey, Plymouth Argyle’s Community Trust Health & Disability Officer
Jason McMahon from Berkshire Rugby, on how a Goldfish called Wilson saved his life
Scott Davies, former Slough Town midfielder
Martin Sinclair, former England & Team GB Cerebral Palsy player
Manisha Tailor MBE, the QPR Academy Coach shares her personal family experience
Marvin Sordell, former Watford and Team GB London 2012 footballer
Cara Ostryn, Psychotherapist and Consultant for The Thrive Programme
Need support? The Samaritans are there to listen 24 hours, 365 days a year. Call free on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org
If you want to get involved with the Mental Health Foundation's campaign and join the nation in talking about loneliness and mental health, you can follow them on social media and by following/sharing the hashtags #IveBeenThere and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek