Column by the leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Toby Savage.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May), and I want to highlight some of the excellent support that’s available both locally and nationally.

Our mental health is something which we all need to pay attention to and it has become especially important for us all to manage our mental health and wellbeing at this challenging time. The continued lockdown conditions have been difficult for everyone, particularly the vulnerable and those with care responsibilities for others, and that it is important under such testing times to ensure our own mental health remains strong.

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness and as we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic it is really important to be kind to others but also to ensure we are kind to ourselves.

Despite the ongoing restrictions to our everyday lives, there are lots of ways you can show acts of kindness and often it’s the small things that really make a difference. Doing one small thing every now and then, from simply smiling at someone to leaving a note for a neighbour, will make a big impact to someone’s day.

We have created a handy online resource which includes lots of ideas to help with your wellbeing and to help you stay connected to those who matter at

This includes our ‘10 ways to be kind’ guide and you can also take part in our 30-day challenge which has lots of suggestions of how to stay mentally healthy while maintaining social distancing. Why not give one of the suggestions a try this week.

If you need support with your mental health at this difficult time, want to talk to someone or want to find out what support is available, call 0333 577 4666 or email between 11am to 7pm Monday to Friday, or between 12pm to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

Alternatively, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership have a 24-hour helpline for anyone who needs help or is worried about someone they know, please call 0300 303 1320.

For more general information and advice about maintaining healthy lifestyles and wellbeing, visit our One You website