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19 May, 2019
News Story


This year, Mental Health Awareness Week fell on the 13th to 19th of May. At Caritas Anchor House, residents and staff were encouraged to take the time to focus on their wellbeing.

Starting back in 2001, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place each May, where people are encouraged to focus on one aspect of mental wellbeing.

So far, the awareness week has raised awareness of topics like stress, relationships, loneliness, sleep, alcohol and friendship. This year is focussing on body image, and how we feel and think about our bodies.

This comes after a survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and directly impact our mental health. As a result, Caritas Anchor House organised a series of varied activities to encourage residents, community members and staff, to improve their feelings about their appearance and health.

Activities included two ‘Mindfulness in the Park’ sessions run by our Mental Health Specialist and Volunteer, where one resident said, “It was nice to get out and do meditation with the staff and other residents. I felt more relaxed after meditating.”

We hosted yoga sessions in the park for female residents, helping them to feel confident in public spaces and work on both their physical and mental wellbeing through gentle exercise. In addition, we hosted Table Tennis games on-site open for all.

Residents were also encouraged to get involved with local events taking place in Newham, including the Mental Health Citizens Assembly, to help our residents build bridges and connections in their community.

Elif, our Mental Health Specialist, said, “It’s been a great Mental Health Awareness week. The engagement we’ve seen with our residents has been really positive. We hope that the techniques and importance of mental health we’ve focussed on this Mental Health Awareness Week will continue to be used throughout the year.”

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You can also donate to help change the lives of people experiencing homelessness and mental health issues. To do so, please click here to visit our JustGiving page.

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