This year’s campaign, like everything else, has been massively impacted by the global outbreak of COVID-19 which has disrupted every part of life for many billions of people worldwide. And in the climate of isolation, fear, uncertainty and death, more people than ever will be struggling with their mental health.
This year’s theme is ‘kindness’, and it was chosen because, now more than ever, we need to reach out to those around us, strengthen relationships, develop community and deepen solidarity. We may be physically separated, but luckily, we live in a time when there are a multitude of ways to connect without risking the spread of the disease.
As Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said ‘protecting out mental health is going to be central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic – with the psychological and social impacts likely to outlast the physical symptoms of the virus’.
It can be hard to know where to start in helping someone with their mental health, which is where we can help!
See below our three favourite books which can help you take the first steps to showing a little kindness to those around you, no matter who you are, how old you are, or how far away you are from those in need.
For those looking to help a loved one…
How Can I Help? 8 Ways You Can Support Someone You Care About with Anxiety or Obsessional Problems
By Lauren Callaghan
Available now in ebook £10.28
Do you have a friend, partner, child or loved one who’s suffering from anxiety? Do they need your help but you’re not quite sure what to do? Are you wondering how you can best support them?
At some point in our lives, many of us will witness someone we’re close to experiencing anxiety, stress or anxiety-based depression. It can be challenging to see those you care about facing the challenges these conditions can cause, but there are ways that you can help.
In this accessible, no-nonsense guide, clinical psychologist Lauren Callaghan provides tools, tips and strategies that you can use to help the person you love along the path to recovery. Whether your loved one has already been diagnosed, or whether you think that a loved one might be suffering but has not yet been diagnosed, there is something in here for you.
For those who want to check in on the men in their lives…
Barber Talk Taking Pride in Men’s Mental Health
By Tom Chapman
Available now £9.99
Up to a certain age, Tom Chapman rarely had any reason to worry about his – or anyone else’s – mental health. Aside from a bout of loneliness when his friends left town to go to university, he didn’t struggle too badly with his emotions either.
But when he suddenly lost a friend to suicide, Tom knew that he wanted to do something to change the culture around men’s mental health. Through his work as a barber, he recognised how important it was to encourage men to talk to each other. He knew that if he could just help men to open up, then perhaps he could save lives. And so the ‘Lions Barber Collective’ was born: an international group of top barbers, all of which came together to encourage conversation and help raise awareness for the prevention of suicide.
Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind
By Jessica Hische
Available in ebook now £3.99
In a follow-up to Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave, award-winning creator Jessica Hische brings to life another series of inspirational, hand-lettered words of wisdom, hope and positivity alongside adorable illustrations of love and caring. This uplifting book is a reminder to all readers, young and old, that the smallest kind gesture can make the biggest difference.