Wigan residents can take on seven-day kindness challenge for Mental Health Awareness Week

Wiganers are being encouraged to carry out small acts of kindness to support others and boost their own mental health.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 2:39 pm
Updated Friday, 15th May 2020, 2:42 pm

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which starts on Monday, is kindness, in celebration of how people across the world have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wigan Council has set a seven-day kindness challenge and is asking people to take part and share their small acts of kindness.

The challenge includes:

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Coun Keith Cunliffe

Sending a letter, postcard or gift to someone who may be isolated and lonely

Donating to your local food bank via the collection points in your local supermarket

Giving an honest compliment

Making time to call or text a friend you have not spoken to for a while

Letting someone know you are proud of them

Checking in on someone you know is going through a tough time

Doing something for the planet – plant a new tree in your garden or swap a meal for a vegetarian one

Coun Keith Cunliffe, deputy council leader, said: “Now, more than ever, we need to be kind to ourselves and to each other.

“It’s okay to be feeling overwhelmed or anxious in the current situation, where normal routines have been disrupted and we’re all being asked to make sacrifices. Recognising these factors and being kind to yourself is one of the most important things you can do to look after your own mental well-being.”

Along with clapping for carers next week, the council is encouraging residents to share kindness across the borough on Thursday by having a "kindness day".

Kindness packages will be distributed with food parcels for vulnerable residents. There will be information for how people can look after themselves, a thank you card with a few treats.

Sarah Preedy, from North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, added: “More than ever, it feels as though we’re really recognising the value and importance of kindness.

“Everyone has challenges. You won’t always see or know what these are, but kindness is about showing compassion and empathy towards others even if we don’t really understand their actions.

“Being kind and receiving kindness boosts self-esteem and confidence and can help distract you from your worries and anxieties. Acts of kindness can improve feelings of confidence, being in control, happiness and optimism.”

Earlier this year the council launched a Be Kind movement to help spread kindness across the borough, with many groups and residents signing up to get involved.

Get help and support if you are in an unhappy place at www.wigan.gov.uk/bekind.

Share small acts of kindness by emailing [email protected] or via the council’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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