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Mental Health Information

Mental Health Awareness Week

When is mental health awareness week?

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place in May in the UK. Every year there is a theme for the week to help raise awareness of a mental health challenge and to open up conversations about mental health between friends, families, colleagues, and communities.

Mental Health Awareness Week. Illustration of a calendar.

As one of the annual mental health events, it’s important to use these opportunities to build public conversation and to reduce the stigma that there is so often about discuss our personal well-being.

The awareness week started in 2001, and through adopting a different theme each year, the hope is that attention can be given by the millions of people who are engaging with the publicity in order to raise education about that specific theme without overwhelming them with information about the broader challenges.

There are opportunities to get involved with awareness, campaigning, fundraising, and running your own themed events using the resources, posters, social media graphics, and conversation starters available from the Mental Health Foundation.

From an organisational perspective, it can be useful to turn attention on mental health for the week and use it as an opportunity to reduce the stigma of talking about mental health, to share experiences, and to build resilience within the workforce – which in turn can help the organisation in terms of human resources and sickness.

Leading up to the week it can be a good idea to appoint a mental health champion within your staff and to offer them access to training to support a greater understanding within the workforce and a point of contact for anyone who would like a confidential chat about any concerns they have (confidential subject to safeguarding procedures).

Previous themes

  • 2020: Kindness
  • 2019: Body image
  • 2018: Stress – are we coping?
  • 2017: Surviving to thriving
  • 2016: Relationships
  • 2015: Mindfulness
  • 2014: Anxiety
  • 2013: Physical Activity
  • 2012: Doing good, does you good

You can find out more information about Mental Health Awareness Week from the Mental Health Foundation.