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Kindness was a key theme of last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and continues to be important during the coronavirus pandemic. Kindness is defined as “doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference” and is believed to be a central aspect of good mental health. Over the past few months, local communities and frontline workers around the world have shown incredible acts of kindness and compassion, putting their own mental and physical health on the line for others. Children’s mental health charity, Place2Be, has been celebrating kind acts in school communities by awarding virtual “Kindness Cups” online.  The awards recognise the children, teachers, parents/carers and other individuals who have made a positive difference through their kindness during the pandemic. The charity suggests also that being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others, and at this stressful time it is important to have self-compassion and to take care of ourselves. The UK has some amazing charities and helplines such as Shout, The Mix and The Samaritans which are supporting people who might be struggling with their mental health. Heads Together, a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aims to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health. The charity has joined forces with Instagram and has created a guide to kindness with tips and inspiration on how kindness can be incorporated into everyday lives.

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