Mental Health Awareness Week: Kindness Matters

In the current times we find ourselves in, it’s important to look after our own and others’ mental health by showing acts of kindness.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week focuses on the theme of kindness, and we’re proud to be supporting the campaign, which is run by the Mental Health Foundation.

At National Online Safety, we recognise the importance of showing kindness to others, particularly in an online space.

There are numerous ways in which you can be kind to others online, which we’ll be paying particular attention to here – all of which links back to the message laid out for this year’s campaign.

Connecting with others

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lot of people feeling isolated and lonely, due to the social distancing measures introduced by the UK government.

However, the internet provides a number of gateways for us to connect with those who we love and are close to, so that we can continue to communicate.

Since the commencement of lockdown, video-conferencing software such as Zoom has come into the spotlight, with vast numbers of people hosting online get togethers, quizzes and parties with friends and family. The Zoom Meetings application is free-to-use in basic mode and a great tool to make sure you stay connected.

Should you like to reach out on a one-to-one basis, communications tool Skype, like Zoom is free of charge and provides the capability to make video and voice calls via computers, tablets, mobile devices and much more.

Be kind online

It’s important to be there for others also, and you can sustain your level of support for someone by being there online.

Whether it’s messaging friends on Facebook or WhatsApp who’ve expressed concerns to you or reaching out to others online by simply leaving a nice message on a post such as “I understand. I’m here for you”.

This ties into the theme of empathy and how crucial it is to always put yourself in someone else’s shoes when it comes to interacting with them online. Because, once something has been placed online, it’s very hard to remove that footprint – so always be mindful.

Social media has at times, presented a window for ‘trolls’ to submit hurtful comments which have potentially long-term consequences for the victim in question. With this in mind, it’s important to be responsible and understand the impact of your words before you comment.

Our online safety guide on ‘Little Reminders of How to Be Kind Online’ with mental health expert and DfE advisor, Anna Bateman, explores the above in more detail and offers advice on how to show kindness when interacting with others online.

We have a range of online safety guides which place focus on the subject of mental health and how we at National Online Safety can offer support.

Click here to discover the full range.

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