Lockdown. Isolation. Two words that have become synonymous with how we are currently living. And with these- the accompanying feelings of fear, loneliness, anxiety and boredom. It is the perfect recipe for some sort of upset to anyone's mental health. And this is concerning is because mental health issues have been on the rise in the UK anyway. In 2016, an NHS survey reported that 1 in 4 people in the UK experience some sort of mental health concern each year and in England, 1 in 6 report that they experience a mental health related issue each week like anxiety or depression. Archbishop Justin Welby called on the government last weekend to invest in mental health services with this ensuing mental health crisis in mind: to be brave and courageous in setting out a vision of what society could be post lockdown. A society which is healthy, just and fair- where the overall health of people (no matter what their background, or social status) is treated as equally important.

At Meadow well Connected we also ask that the Government invests in the health and wellbeing of us all for the future. We hope that the Coronavirus crisis gives the Government the opportunity to reflect on what is important. And one of the most important things is this: kindness. We have seen how being kind in our communities, to families and friends, to ourselves and the environment has helped us all flourish even during times of great need and trauma. And kindness will be an important part in helping us as a community and society overcome any future mental health related concerns. Kindness impacts each person's wellbeing in a positive and life-changing way. For instance, a study by the University of British Columbia, found that kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than average. Added to that, being kind gives us energy, boosts our immune system, reduces feelings of pain (due to endorphins released by being kind) and makes us happy! Mental health care professionals agree as kindness has been chosen as this year's theme for Mental Health Awareness week (18th-24th May). So over the next few days via our facebook page, we will give practical ways we can all be kind to ourselves and others, in the hope of bringing positive change and wellbeing to ourselves and the people around us.

If you are feeling low, or anxious or need to speak to someone about anything you are worried about, please phone North Tyneside charity, Anxious Minds, on: 0191 262 0305 or join their facebook group. You could also contact your local GP. It is important you communicate how you are feeling to someone and get the help and support you need.