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PRESS RELEASE: Tackling loneliness for MHAW2022

PRESS RELEASE: Dorset based charity tackles loneliness for Mental Health Awareness Week  

Dorset Mind is addressing the theme of loneliness during Mental Health Awareness Week (9th to 15th May). They aim to encourage people to reach out for support through an online campaign and range of events in Dorset. In the wake of Covid, it’s safe to say that we have all experienced the feeling of isolation. However, for some people lockdown may have made no difference whatsoever to their situation. They were already contending with a deadly pandemic – the pandemic of loneliness.  

Whilst not a mental health condition, loneliness can however have a detrimental effect on mental wellbeing. By asking people to share their experience and the slogan ‘I’ve been there,’ the charity hopes to emphasise why we must make connecting with other people in our communities a priority. Loneliness affects way more people than you might think – and surprisingly across all ages and backgrounds. 

Stigma prevents people from accessing support

Dorset Mind CEO, Linda O’Sullivan comments, “The remedy for loneliness is connection, but the stigma that surrounds admitting you’re lonely can prevent people from asking for help. This barrier, combined with a mental health condition, can be doubly difficult to overcome.  

It’s important to remember that there are organisations like Dorset Mind that can help you regain your confidence and self-esteem with a wide range of support and activities. It takes immense courage to take that first step and reach out for help. But the positive impact of doing so can far outweigh suffering in silence.” 

The week’s activities

To start the week’s activities, Weymouth’s famous Clock Tower is being lit up in blue to honour this important week in the mental health calendar.  

As the week unfolds, Dorset Mind will host and co-host a series of exciting events. The charity is teaming up with AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, Poole Dolphin Centre and Liz Lean PR, Verwood Youth Club; and charity partners Meyers Estate Agents in Ringwood/Verwood, b4b marketing and Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting. 

The charity is also co-hosting a Leaders’ Wellbeing Summit with Light On and Dorset Chamber. Spearheaded by local businessman Andy Coleman and the charity’s ambassadors Ty Temel and Craig Mathie, the workshop and networking event aims to bring together local business leaders to establish a minimum standard of workplace wellbeing in Dorset.

Online highlights to expect this week include a roundtable film and an enlightening series of blogs. They all give a deep insight into people’s encounter with crippling loneliness. Topics such as motherhood, divorce and marriage feature, along with working on the frontline during the pandemic and a young person’s experience. 

Dorset Mind’s Training Manager, Marie-Clare Gale features on two podcasts from charity partners. She speaks about loneliness and relates it to the workplace. Dorset Mind is also co-hosting an ‘Instagram Live’ with Patrick Hester and Dan Godwin of Meyers Ringwood and Verwood, who will address the loneliness they experience as Estate Agents and share how they deal with the stress that comes with being in their highly pressured field.   

The importance of raising awareness

Dr Andrew Mayers, Patron for Dorset Mind and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University adds, “We know that the enforced isolation that was experienced through the Covid pandemic meant that many people experienced loneliness. For some, this loneliness had a dramatic impact on their mental health. I was reassured by how we responded to that at Dorset Mind, through support across Dorset. 

I am delighted to see these events across this week, raising awareness about mental health, but especially with a focus on how loneliness can impact on many areas of our lives, but also reminding everyone that there is hope. By reaching out getting that support, we can help reduce the impact on mental wellbeing.” 

Find support

Follow Dorset Mind’s social media channels to keep up to date with their Mental Health Awareness Week activities.  

Dorset Mind delivers mental health education, training, and 1-2-1 and group support. It can support adults and young people who face loneliness across Dorset. Help the charity fund their vital life-changing services by emailing them at: partnerships@dorsetmind.uk.  

Alternatively, visit Dorset Mind’s website to find out what support they offer: https://dorsetmind.uk/help-and-support/

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