Mental Health Week in South Australia will take place from 10-17 October 2020, and this year’s theme is kindness.
Organised by the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) and the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia (MHCSA), the week aims to raise awareness and to promote the message of good mental health for all.
The Mental Health Foundation defines kindness as ‘doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference. It is a gesture motivated by a person’s genuine, warm feelings in helping others. It is not just an emotion but is defined by our actions.
Mental Health Week 2020 provides an opportunity to recognise individuals who have made a positive difference through their kindness. At this difficult time, we want to celebrate the many exceptional acts of kindness we are seeing through our schools, places of work, communities, and families, who go above and beyond to make a positive difference for other people.
Kindness and mental health are complex concepts that are deeply connected. There is much scientific evidence proving that kindness has a health-enhancing effect for both the recipients and those undertaking the kind act. Such positive impacts have been found to be beneficial for both physical and mental health.
According to a new survey from the Mental Health Foundation, the concept of kindness is deeply linked to positive mental health. Two-thirds of respondents said that being kind to others has a positive impact on their mental health status. While three quarters (72%) of the overall survey said that what we learned from the latest crisis is to be more kind as a community from here on.
The Mental Health foundation chose to highlight kindness this mental health awareness week to celebrate little acts of kindness to others, ourselves, and society more broadly. It is one way to promote and protect good mental health for all.
Kindness Has Broader Impact
The Mental Health Foundation spoke on why they chose kindness as the focus of this year’s celebration.
“Kindness goes beyond individual action. It is important for our communities, organisations, and political institutions. Kindness has a critical role to play in policy, and policies rooted in the values of kindness, empathy, dignity, and respect have great potential to reduce inequality and discrimination, and strengthen relationships and trust between governments, citizens, and society.”
So, how kind are you?
Take a moment to reflect and think about your past actions that may have positively impacted someone. Have you ever undertaken a random act of kindness? How did that make you feel? Can you recount the effect you had on the recipient of that act?
Being kind matters. This Mental Health Week, we encourage all South Australians to participate in this national event, and together, let’s improve community awareness and interest in mental health and wellbeing.
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