We know that sometimes, our supporters are inspired to make the world a bit more kind – but aren’t sure about the next steps. What’s the best way to help? What should I be doing? The #GetKind program is here to help! Each month, we will have a new theme to inspire your kindness quotient. Please use the hashtag #GetKind so we can share these great ideas, all year long!
At the start of each new month, we debut a fresh #GetKind theme to give our supporters a springboard for their innovative and generous acts of kindness. Day after day, we receive photos and videos of you hard at work helping the downtrodden and setting marvelous examples for the community around you.
This month, our challenge is different. Rather than always concentrating on material goods and services that yield tangible results, we’re asking you to look deeper and focus your efforts on our theme of mental health.
Mental illness and health issues affect us all: the World Health Organization reports that, internationally, the number of people who are exposed to extreme stressors on a regular basis is remarkably high and that exposure to such stressors (i.e. war, terrorism, natural disasters, or resource shortages) may often lead to further damage to those especially vulnerable already.
But not everyone experiences the horrors of genocide or domestic terrorism; oftentimes daily routine causes high stress for our friends, neighbors, families — even ourselves. Small issues can snowball quickly and trigger adverse reactions.
So what can we do?
While we may not be qualified to give medical advice, we can still lend our support. Here are a few ways you can help those around you:
- Offer an ear. Often friends and family can be in states of anxiety or depression and need to feel like they’re heard and important.
- Support those who support others. Caretakers (nurses, doctors, social workers, firefighters, EMT’s, animal caretakers, emergency response teams) or those caring for others who are elderly or sick can develop compassion fatigue. Try to take a bit of weight off of their shoulders if you can by acknowledging all the hard work that they do.
- Educate yourself! Contact an organization that deals with a mental health issue and learn about it so that you’re better able to lend support where it’s needed.
- New mothers are often forgotten in all the excitement surrounding their new bundle of joy: postpartum depression affects about 13% of moms in the U.S. alone, so while they receive treatment from their doctor, remember that you can give support whenever possible. Cook a meal or two or offer to babysit their little one so they can get some much- needed rest.
- Says Regional Representative Sarah Cavanagh, a clinical psychologist who has been working in the field for ten years, “We all have mental health just like we have physical health and that mental health can go up and down, sometimes depending on what’s happening with our lives.” Don’t forget that situations and outside influences change the lives of those we love. Be aware of those who have been affected by crisis and lend a kind hand to hold when needed.
- Random acts of kindness are good for everyone! Make a stranger smile today and help lift spirits for the both of you.
- Loneliness affects many of us. Reach out and get to know someone who needs a friend.
- Don’t forget about your own mental health! It’s important not to lose sight of yourself while you’re busy planning kindness projects to help others. Take a relaxing bath, spend time with close friends or family, treat yourself to your favorite food, movie, or book — be good to yourself. You deserve it!
Make sure that if you need help or want to give help to someone that you check with a professional first and always defer to the advice of a doctor if you aren’t sure what steps to take next.
This month, we hope that you’ll join us in making mental health a priority. Help us #GetKind for the world and show others that kindness matters.
If you have an idea for an act in your community but need assistance with materials or funding, make sure to fill out one of our Act Proposal forms. We’re here to help!