Together, let’s not be lonely

Mental Health Awareness Week
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is ‘Together, let’s tackle loneliness’. This sentiment will have a special resonance for many of us in recovery. Here, Kairos support worker Louise Fitzgerald looks at how we can reconnect with each other again.

Have you heard of the ‘loneliness epidemic’? That is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9–15 May). Pause for a moment and think about the last time that you felt lonely… It is a feeling that we all will experience in our life and it will be unique to each person.  

During the pandemic lockdown, we couldn’t connect physically with loved ones and our friends, attend community groups and have the social interactions that we so desired. If you were in the vulnerable group, you may have felt even more isolated. If you had social anxiety, trauma or depression, the lockdown may have felt like a sentence. And  then you had to come back out in to the world and carry on as usual – and that was another challenge. But you are not alone. Let someone know, even just one person because you don’t have to be alone. 

In the community of Kairos, we encourage an open dialogue with residents to share personal experiences of mental health and to access the support that is often needed as well as recovering from addiction.  

Research from the Mental Health Foundation has highlighted that meaningful relationships and a sense of belonging improve our physical and mental well-being.

Is there someone you could reach out to today and connect with today? It might well lighten the burden a person has been carrying.

• Louise is one of two Kairos support workers whose work finding training and development options for Kairos residents has been funded by a grant from the Maudsley Charity.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE: Useful links

Campaign to End Loneliness: Insights, activities, podcasts and lots more.

Mental Health Crisis Phone Numbers: NHS London and national charities.

Dual Diagnosis Hub: Recovery resources.

Together: Find help local to you.

The Listening Place: If you’re feeling suicidal and in a crisis.

Mental Health Foundation: National research and statistics.

Open Dialogue UK: Information and training.

MIND: National and local support, so ‘no one is left behind’.