This Mental Health Awareness Week is exploring the impact of loneliness on our mental health and the difference connecting with others can make. There are many ways you can get involved, support the campaign and build meaningful connections.  

Loneliness affects many of us at one time or another and we know that it can be both the driver for and a product of poor mental health. Sometimes if you’re already feeling low or stressed, it might make it harder for you to reach out to people or speak about how you’re feeling with others.  

If you’re looking after someone, this also might have an effect on how often you can see friends or take time for yourself. But it is so important that you try to prioritise your own mental health and wellbeing.  

How to combat loneliness: 

  • Remember you are not alone: come along to our training sessions  

If you’re looking after someone, you might feel a bit alone or isolated at times. Why not come along to one of our training sessions. We have a variety of mental health training from building Emotional resilience to communicating effectively with the person you care for. 

Find out what’s on here.  

We have a list of local carers groups happening across Dorset on our website, to find one that suits you visit our Support groups page. 

Rethink Mental Illness – have specific support for unpaid carers who look after someone living with mental illness throughout the Dorset Council area. They provide one to one and group support on a wide range of topics as well as group activities and outings so that our attendees can meet other carers in their local area. 

Find out more on their website. 

  • We’re here to talk – sign up to our Here to Talk befriending service 

One of our friendly volunteers will phone you regularly, to check in on how you’re doing and have a chat about anything you’d like to talk about. Our Here to Talk volunteers are all fully trained, and DBS checked. Many are  former carers themselves, but all are great listeners regardless of their own life experiences. 

Befriending isn’t counselling and your volunteer will follow your lead in what you’d like to chat about. Carers tell us that it’s nice to have someone to chat to that isn’t a friend or family member, as it allows them to really open up and talk about things they might not normally with people they know. 

Find out more and how to sign up here. 

  • Join an online community  

Joining an online community can be a great way of connecting with others for mutual support, stay connected with others and meet new people.  

Mental Health UK has an online community called Clic, which is a free online community here to support everyone with their mental health. Clic is moderated 24 hours and has a range of mental health resources and information too.  

Carers UK has a forum for carers to join free where you can talk to other carers who understand what you are going through and who can support you through everything caring has to throw at you.  

More support: 

If you need more support, you can find further local support, chatlines and services on our mental health information hub pages. 

Remember you are not alone, we care because you do.  

You can call us free at Carer Support Dorset on 0800 368 8349.