Mental Health Awareness Week 2022
The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, led by Mental Health Foundation, is loneliness.
We can feel lonely when our needs for rewarding social contact and relationships are not met. Everyone experiences feelings of loneliness in their life, but research has shown that prolonged loneliness can be associated with a higher risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and increased stress.
With many members of the team working from home part-time or even full-time, and some living alone, it is important to understand how we can support each other.
Research into loneliness in the workplace
Research carried out by Mental Health UK and YouGov into workers’ experience of loneliness at work (in Britain 2022) has shown that:
- 1 in 5 of us feel lonely at work
- Almost a quarter of workers (23%) agreed that feeling lonely at work has affected their mental health
- Almost half of workers (46%) said they would not feel confident letting a colleague know that they felt lonely or isolated at work
- 60% of UK workers have had in-person interaction or meeting with their colleagues in the past three months
Tips to help manage loneliness in the workplace
- Talk about loneliness with a colleague or your manager
- Find ways to help colleagues to feel more connected at work by setting up catch ups or by planning face-to-face social time
- Break up the day by getting a change of scenery or some fresh air to connect to people in different ways
Trained Mental Health First Aider at Lightning Health
Lightning Health’s Mental Health First Aider, Maddy Dawson, is trained to spot the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions and can provide mental health first aid to those who may be experiencing a mental health issue. Maddy can signpost team members to professional help and helpful resources to manage feelings of loneliness.
Resources for loneliness
- Various charities (listed here) offer telephone befriender services which put volunteer befrienders in touch with people feeling lonely
- Online communities (e.g., Mind’s Side by Side) can provide a place to listen and share with others who have similar experiences
Article published 12 May 2022.