This week we have been celebrating and raising awareness of two very important campaigns: Mental Health Awareness Week and Face Equality Week.
Changing Faces UK have headed up the Face Equality campaign to raise awareness of those with visible differences, just like the many of us with vitiligo. The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is ‘Kindness’, and it raises the point of just how important it is to be kind to yourself and others, including the thousands of us with visible differences, including vitiligo, alopecia, scars, burns and acne, and those with sometimes invisible mental health battles too.
In the recent weeks and months with so many changes going on in our lives, and many of us spending much more time at home than we usually would, it's so important to remember to show kindness not only to others but to yourself too. I hope you’ve been able to take a few minutes this week to check in with yourself. How is your mental health? What small things could you do to practice self-care and be kind to yourself?
I’ve been continuing going to work and doing my day job, which is in a local hospital, and the recent events with many people clapping on their doorsteps on Thursday evenings has really shown us just how important kindness is. I’ve been wearing my rainbow ‘thank you’ t-shirt with pride, and felt so appreciative to everyone in the NHS, and the many carers and keyworkers.
Mental health charity Mind have said that one of the most common coping strategies for thousands of us during this time of staying at home is to connect with family and friends online. This week, for Mental Health Awareness Week, but also in the weeks and months that follow, take every opportunity you get to speak with family and friends whether it be over the phone or via video call. Set up fun quizzes, do online board game nights, and get your family and friends involved! Many people with existing mental health problems can feel particularly lonely and alone at this time, so it’s important to communicate and show kindness.
Friend of VITILIGLOW®, Joti (@vitiligo_and_me on Instagram) has been sharing daily posts on different topics surrounding mental health throughout the past week. On Tuesday, she focused on challenges faced by young people, Wednesday looked at how mental health has impacted families, children and relationships, and Thursday focused on self-love and self-kindness. Finally, on Friday, Joti ended MHAW by inviting her followers on Instagram to share recent acts of kindness that they have experienced. I loved following Joti’s posts throughout the past week, and you can too on her Instagram feed.
If you want to find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week, there’s been lots happening on social media using the hashtag #MHAW or you can visit the Mental Health organisation website. To learn more about Changing Faces UK’s Face Equality Campaign, head over to their website or search the hashtag #FaceEqualityWeek on social media to join in with the discussion.
I hope you are all staying safe and well.