Let's Connect! It's Mental Health Awareness Week

Monday, 09 May 2022

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9th - 15th May 2022)

The official theme this year is loneliness which affects up to one in four adults some or all of the time.

Feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health, especially if these feelings have lasted a long time. Some research suggests that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress.

Struggling with mental health issues?

If you are struggling with your mental health there are services that can help.

Please visit NHS to find out more about the support that is available.

Events coming up

Please keep an eye on our social media or the Events page on our website for community events coming up.  Local Resident's groups and schemes will be organising community fairs and Jubilee Celebrations throughout the summer! 

Activities at our schemes

  • Stroke Association Group will be running a monthly group for Stroke victims and those who care for them, starting at Elmswood park on 13th June 2-4pm.
  • Manchester Cares charity will be running Desert Island Disk sessions to help attendees talk about musical memories. Memory issues can be challenging and isolating. Please keep an eye out for details of the date and time on our Events page

All our residents are welcome to attend these sessions.  For more information please email involvement@msvhousing.co.uk

If you are a resident at our older persons' schemes, we are helping reform or create social committees with activities including Knit and Natter, flower arranging, sports activities and gardening groups. For more information, please speak to your Scheme Manager.

Building meaningful connections

Activities at our schemes and hubs, or organised by residents' groups, can provide safe and welcoming spaces for talking and supporting each other and can help with building meaningful connections. 

For more information about the activities listed below, or about local community groups please email involvement@msvhousing.co.uk

Our Hubs

Our Hubs are now open at Carrbrook, Stockport and Bredbury with a variety of weekly activities.

For more information about the activities at our hubs please email  involvement@msvhousing.co.uk

Jean Byers Community Hub, Bredbury

  • Every Monday – Dementia Café – 10am to 12noon
  • Every Tuesday – Coffee Morning – 10.30am to 12.30pm
  • Every Month – Social Night – 5pm to 8pm
  • Crafternoon Club – Coming Soon – Every other Thursday
  • Creative Women in Neighbourhood Workshop – Friday 20th May – 10am to 2pm

Bramhall Community Hub

  • Every Monday and Wednesday – Coffee Morning / Knit and Natter – 10.30am to 1.30pm
  • First Friday Every Month (except Bank Holidays) Orange Umbrella Coffee Morning  (victims / survivors of Domestic Abuse) 10am to 12noon

Carrbrook Community Hub

  • Every Monday – Tea N Toast – 10am to 12noon
  • Every other Monday – Luncheon Club – 12pm to 1.30pm
  • Every other Monday – Ageless Grace Exercise Class – 11.30am to 12.30pm
  • Every other Monday – Arts and Crafts – 1pm to 2pm
  • Every Wednesday – Tea N Toast – 10am to 12noon
  • Every other Wednesday during Tea N Toast a full cooked breakfast is available
  • Every other Wednesday – Bingo – 1pm to 2pm
  • Every other Thursday – Tai Chi – 12.45pm to 1.30pm
  • Every other Thursday – British Sign Language Classes – 1.45pm to 2.45pm

Help and advice on coping with loneliness

The Mental Health Foundation have some great resources and listed below are some of their tips to help you cope with loneliness and improve your mental health:

1. Try to do some enjoyable things that will keep you busy 

One way of trying to manage loneliness is by keeping busy and doing things we enjoy. This might be a hobby such as a bit of gardening, going to the gym or even sorting out your kitchen cupboards, jigsaws, puzzles or knitting. Small activities can give you energy and positive feelings. It’s important these things are fun or fulfilling.

Be careful about working too hard or watching TV shows simply as a distraction. These will only delay or suppress your feelings and could actually make your mental health worse.

2. Try to do things that stimulate your mind 

Activities that occupy your mind can help with loneliness. This can include the  benefits of taking courses or listening to podcasts on topics from comedy to fitness. This can be stimulating and something as simple as listening to the familiar voice of someone you like can help you feel less lonely.

3. Think about doing a physical activity 

Physical exercise can help with loneliness. It can be as simple as having a walk in the park when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Alternatively, you could listen to music and do a bit of dancing around your living room. (Be aware of your neighbours though!) 

4. Try to engage with the people you meet in your daily life. 

It can be hard to talk to others when you’re feeling lonely. However, trying to connect with the people you meet as you go about your day can be helpful. Even catching someone’s eye and saying “hi” as you walk along can make you feel better. Or it could be about saying hello to the postwomen or postman or going to the shops and talking to the person at the checkout. By sharing a polite greeting – you might find you give someone else a positive lift too.

5. Find people that ‘get you’ 

It can be hard to connect with others when you’re feeling lonely. But there are great benefits in finding people who have been through similar experiences to you. Interacting with others that ‘get’ you can give you a sense of belonging that may be missing. People who have been there have found connections in local groups or social media.

6. Spend time with pets 

If you are lucky enough to have a pet, it can be a great way of managing loneliness. Not only do animals provide us with unconditional love and support, but they also help to give structure to our days and even encourage us to get out and connect with others. Interaction with pets is also shown to help reduce stress levels.

7. Try to use social media in a positive way 

Social media can help your mental health. But it can also affect it negatively. The key is to use it in a positive way. Finding digital  communities, you share interests and passions with can help. Most importantly be aware of how you feel when you use social media and focus on topics and activities that work best for you.

8. Talking therapies can help 

Talking through your feelings with a counsellor or therapist can help you cope with your feelings of loneliness. Talking therapy can be hard to get – but if you can find a professional, it can really be of benefit. It’ll provide you with a safe space to work through your feelings and thoughts without judgement. 

Download Mental Health Foundation's loneliness help and advice leaflet (PDF, 425KB)