Every year, Mental Health Awareness Week marks an important time to raise awareness about, and increase conversations around, mental health. Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s theme is ‘loneliness’, focusing on its impact on our mental wellbeing and practical ways that we can address it.

The Mental Health Foundation talks about how living through multiple lockdowns and other restrictions on social interaction through the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many people have experienced varying degrees of loneliness in the past few years, which makes this year’s theme even more important. Earlier in the year, Place2Be shed light on the mental wellbeing of young people during Children’s Mental Health Week, suggesting that loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic had a detrimental effect on their mental health. During this week, we shared key resources with our tutors to empower them to support the mental health of their tutees, and hosted a CPD session with Lorna Colter from Place2Be, who offered practical strategies and tips on incorporating wellbeing checks into tuition.

To provide further support to young people, we have also been working with one of our sister charities, TLC: Talk Listen Change since 2018. Our collaborative project, the Right Angle project, is a combined package of tuition alongside counselling, offering young people therapeutic and emotional support to complement their academic development. In March 2022, ImpactEd published the Right Angle project Summary Evaluation Report, which suggested a correlation between wellbeing support and academic performance.

Mental health is important to us all year round, and we know that tutoring has helped our tutors and the young people we work with to build meaningful connections, in turn tackling loneliness. We care about the wellbeing of our tutors and staff, which is why for our tutors, our Quality Team hosts regular drop-in sessions, inviting discussions on topics related to tutoring or beyond the classroom. Moreover, we have recently provided mental health first aid training to some of our office staff team, so we are better equipped with the tools we need to promote positive mental health.

For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked some of our Full-Time Tutors and our Brand Ambassadors to reflect on the theme of loneliness and how tutoring has helped them to build connections. We’ll be updating the ‘Blogs’ section of our website throughout the week, so keep your eyes peeled.

If you’d like to know more about the mental health services and resources available in your area, or get involved in mental health work, you can find a list of various organisations below. This list is not exhaustive but should provide a good starting point for you to get more information.

National organisations

Greater Manchester