Celebrating Kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

19 May 2020

4 mins
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 - theme of Kindness
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 - theme of Kindness

Every year, Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) shines the spotlight on a specific aspect of mental health and the this year's focus is the timely theme of Kindness.

We're living in uniquely uncertain times due to coronavirus/COVID-19, but within that, we've seen understanding, support and hope prevail more than ever across communities. Kindness towards ourselves and others has the power to improve our own mental wellbeing; it can help tackle ever-increasing levels of inequality and help the most vulnerable in society, and is therefore a crucial idea for young people to explore.

As ever, film can be a perfect avenue to explore issues with young people - particularly those around mental wellbeing - as the medium is able to convey notions like kindness in so many varied and accessible ways. To demonstrate, we've rounded up three of our favourite youth-made, kindness-related Film of the Month entries.

  • Dangerous Dancer - A friendship is jeopardised by bullying, but the bullies ultimately learn the power of kindness when the victims are given the chance to express themselves.
  • It All Starts with You - One girl is sucked up into the 'Internet Time Continuum' that reveals a future of the internet where people are kind, share content, and have opportunities to contribute to the online community. When returning home, she realises that this future is only possible when each individual makes an effort to achieve such an ideal world.
  • School Daze - Once again focusing on the theme of bullying, the film explores one person's victimisation - but also the potential for kindness to win-out when people join together around it.

Meanwhile, I'm the One is another youth-made short - one that was nominated for Best Film (12-15 Years) at the 2020 Into Film Awards. The film encourages a greater empathy towards others by revealing the insecurities that each person in a small town holds beneath their apparently "normal" exteriors. Watch the film below.

The Mental Health Foundation has also provided numerous ways for young people to become immersed in Mental Health Awareness Week, including launching a Kindness Matters guide, and presenting a series of a series of kindness stories from various walks of life

For those interested in delving further into mental health awareness through film, be sure to check out our Mental Wellbeing page where you can find our resources around previous Mental Health Awareness Week themes such as Stress and Body Image.

Following the hugely successful first edition, our Moving Minds 2 project is scheduled to run later this year, and so keep an eye out for further opportunities - along with our ongoing Film of the Month competition - for young people to engage with mental health issues through filmmaking.

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