Last reviewed 19 May 2020

Kindness is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, currently taking place up to Sunday 24 May 2020, which aims to highlight the benefits of helping others to improve mental health and wellbeing and reduce stress during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Week is being supported by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), and the professional body has issued a statement encouraging people to be kind to themselves and their colleagues.

Suggestions for kind actions from the health and safety professional body included calling a colleague and asking how they’re finding the change in routine, giving praise to a co-worker for something they’ve done well or arranging a video lunch or coffee meeting.

The Institution is also promoting ways to keep on top of mental health and wellbeing throughout these difficult times, such as getting plenty of sleep, getting up regularly from desks during the working day, eating nutritious food, practising good hygiene and staying positive.

Commenting on the Week, IOSH Chief Executive Bev Messinger said, “We believe it is essential to protect workers’ physical and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Healthcare workers and others on the frontline must have adequate mental health support and return-to-work processes throughout these challenging times.

“Many workers are also working from home and may begin to experience a range of emotions including a loss of control, boredom, frustration and loneliness, therefore occupational safety and health professionals have important roles in helping organisations and governments manage wellbeing risks during this pandemic.”