This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week focuses on the theme of #Kindness. 

We asked our staff and patients at Nightingale Hospital to share what kindness means to them; in a general sense or in relation to their mental health battles and recovery. Here are some of the responses we received…

What Nightingale Hospital staff and patients said:

  • “In my work kindness is essential and non-transactional. It is connecting to an individual and their needs on a completely human level and providing them with the space and tools to take action on a path to recovery, allowing them to feel safe and understood.”
    – Dr Frankie Connell, Consultant Psychiatrist

  • “I think it is imperative that as clinicians treating individuals with addiction, that our approach should draw on the basic and fundamental human quality of kindness, to those that are trying to find their own recovery pathway. By doing this, we allow our patients to value themselves again and not feel judged, which is essential for a successful and sustainable outcome.” Dr Jonathan Beckett, Consultant Psychiatrist 

  • “Kindness comes from the heart and touches the heart. Kindness cuts right to the soul. The fact that kindness can be so healing shows just how deeply connected we are. Acts of kindness never get forgotten.”  Dr Andrew Parker, Lead Consultant Psychiatrist for Addiction Services at Nightingale Hospital

  • “Kindness in mental health to me means giving others involved in our journey (friends, family, professionals and users of services) the benefit of the doubt and room to make mistakes. Practically, this might mean thinking the best, not the worst, of people when using social media platforms. An example of kindness is asking how each other’s families are at this time.” Dr Chi-Chi Obuaya, Consultant Psychiatrist 

  • “Spread a little kindness, everywhere you go. Let that little kindness from your heart flow. Reach out with kindness to all in need, smile at others with kindness, spread the kindness seed. Be kind today!”

  • “Kindness to me in relation to mental health battles and recovery – is remembering others hardships and asking if they are okay and letting them know you are there for them. A recent act of kindness received by me was my neighbours giving me and family baked cakes knowing I work in a hospital. A recent act of kindness by me: A close of friend of mine suffers from depression and I message him every day asking if he is okay and if I can support in anyway – I also do shopping for my 80 year old neighbour who lives alone and shielding.”

  • “Kindness is: non-judgemental, accepting our own and others imperfections, understanding it’s okay to be not okay.”

  • “Kindness in terms of my mental health: Kindness always begets kindness. It’s a beautiful circle. I have to make a reminded effort to be kind to myself. To limit and control judgements I make of myself and celebrate the countless blessings and gifts I have bestowed on me. Being kind to myself in this way makes me more likely to extend that same kindness to others -non judgemental kindness that encourages Harmony and support for one another. This in turn makes me feel positive,helpful and smile. So the circle of kindness is beautiful. Building a kinder society that supports everyone’s mental health #kindness without judgements – everyone’s on their own journey, let’s support and champion each other.”

  • “Kindness means being willing to give someone a hug even when your not feeling that well yourself. Kindness means patience and tolerance even when faced with resistance. Kindness is that emphatic smile someone gives you when you need some reassurance that the world is not such a bad place.”

  • “Kindness to me is about people genuinely wanting the best for others. It’s about displaying warmth and affection with a desire to see others happy and content.”

  • “Kindness is when someone takes the time to just check in and see how you are.
    Kindness is thinking about how someone else might be feeling and what they might be struggling with and getting in touch with them.
    Kindness is sometimes nothing more than a smile.
    Kindness is needed now more than ever – to ourselves and to each other.”

  • “Kindness is doing for others. Putting someone else’s needs above your own. Doing something to help someone else. Supporting someone. Doing something nice when someone is struggling.”

  • “Kindness means treating others as you would want to be treated, showing respect, and remembering that everyone is going through something. Choose kindness!”

  • “Kindness is the ability to use our gratitude to keep our attitude focused on helping mankind.” – Peter. K

  • “When someone has the time to reflect upon their own story, listen, and empathise.”

  • “Having empathy, listening, treating everyone as equal, patience, love.”

  • “Doing the right thing with no ulterior motive other than the greater good.”

  • “To engage without judgement or criticism.”

  • “The doctors and nurses at Nightingale.”

  • “Kindness is that small amount of strength it takes for one human being to recognise the pain of another, and not ignore it.”

  • “Kindness to me is magic. It heals wounds and brightens days. It brings people together and reminds us that we are more similar than different. Giving without expecting anything in return. Choose kindness always.”

  • “Kindness is an investment, and good karma is the return.”

  • “Kindness to me means doing the things for the cause and not the applause.”

  • “Kindness means building bridges, instead of walls.”

You can find more resources by the Mental Health Foundation on #Kindness here:

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