Mental Health Awareness Week 2020


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Opportunity for choice: This article mentions suicide and bereavement. If you feel that your mental health could be negatively affected by reading this, we advise that you take a break and talk through your thoughts with someone you trust. You could also scroll further down to where we offer some helpful advice.

Earlier this year, a single sentence was shared online, and it began to trend across social media. The sentence read: "In a world where you can be anything, be kind."

The words rose to prominence in tragic circumstances. They were originally posted on Instagram by the TV presenter, Caroline Flack, in December 2019. Two months later, she passed away, after an incredibly sad series of events led to her premature death by suicide.

Monday 18 – Sunday 24 May is mental health awareness week. The mental health foundation, which hosts the week, decided that the theme of the week would be kindness.

You might wonder what links the notion of kindness to mental health. Research by the foundation shows that kindness and mental health are deeply connected – showing that kindness creates a sense of belonging, and helps to lessen feelings of isolation.

The research also shows that acts of kindness help to reduce stress, bring a fresh perspective, and deepen friendships. Kindness to ourselves can help boost our self-esteem, improving feelings of confidence and optimism.

This year, Sodexo UK & Ireland is teaming up with the Sunshine People movement. Their founder, Nahla Summers, completes a challenge each year and asks people to show their support - not by donating money to a charity, but by offering an act of kindness for a stranger. Sodexo is looking to support Sunshine People in its aim to create one million acts of kindness.

By doing this, we can spread the positive effect of kindness – across our teams, our business, and the communities we serve. In the week ahead, we want you and your team to share positivity, and reap the reward of mental wellness.

Acts of kindness come in many forms, and the current restrictions on social contact can help us to be more creative. You could leave a nice note for a delivery driver. Or, use Recognising You to say a quick thank you to a colleague. Why not dig out your pen and paper and write someone a letter? If you’re stuck, contact our Head of Engagement and Wellbeing, Katie Wilson, for a pack of support materials to help with ideas.

Once you have completed your act of kindness, please share it on whichever social network you use (ideally with a photo) with the hashtag #SodexoKindness and tag the Sodexo social media channels:

Let’s combine the power of thousands of Sodexo people to spread the joy of kindness.


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