Here’s a beautiful way of looking at “kindness”, the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. This post comes from North of England network committee member Catherine French (Sacco Mann). It’s relevant, of course, not just to our relationships during the Covid-19 crisis, but to the meaning we can give to one another’s lives at all times.

You can read some of the other reflections that the North of England network have gathered for Mental Health Awareness Week here, and in their LinkedIn group discussions.

Catherine writes:

Kindness means….sharing our experiences – both positive and negative – and being considerate of the different challenges we all face, as well as the impact they have on each of us.

The diagram below, “Who do I want to be during Covid-19”, is a great example of sharing: I received it from a friend of mine who is a counsellor, and who was very happy for me to share it further. It breaks down different emotional stages but offers us practical steps and some sense of structure without the pressure of a time frame.



In my experience, I have been in all 3 zones within the space of an hour! Many times….and I’m sure that will continue. Having spent the first 6 weeks of lockdown on my own at home with work and 2 dogs for company, it was only when my partner returned home that I realised how challenging that had been. I had thought I had been “fine” (with the odd wobble) and had developed a routine to keep myself well occupied, “controlling the controllables”. With hindsight, the kindness of others, as well as their different perspective (and consideration) of my situation, propped me up just as much as that routine: a timely reminder that we can all benefit by helping each other, whether we feel we need it or not.



Page published on 20th May 2020
Page last modified on 20th May 2020

Comments: (1):


Very interesting and I particularly like the graphic provided by your 'counsellor friend'. Hopefully, once we are able to 'come out' of this very unusual period lots more people will have at least an appreciation of what for many of us is just 'life as usual' and everyone will be just that little bit kinder to those around them.

Debra Smith

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