Libraries share a little kindness for mental health week

This story was published 12 May 2020

North Yorkshire libraries will be playing their part in helping people to change the way they think and act about mental health during Mental Health Awareness Week from 18 to 24 May.

Mental health awareness graphic

The national campaign aims to raise awareness of mental health and inspire action to reduce the stigma faced by people experiencing a mental health problem.

This year’s theme is kindness, celebrating the thousands of acts of good will that are so important to mental health.

All libraries will promote their Reading Well mental health collections of books, many of which are available to borrow free as e-books and e-audiobooks.

Libraries will also post examples of random acts of kindness on their Facebook pages and recommend “feel good” books that may offer comfort and solace.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “We should all feel able to talk about mental health without fear of judgement. Having these all important conversations can make a big difference. The more we talk, the more lives we can change. Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time, and this week is a great opportunity to get as many people as possible thinking and talking about mental health. I would encourage everyone to get involved and check out what their local library is promoting.”

Find full details of all events here or your local library Facebook page.

Mental Health Awareness Week events at libraries

Boroughbridge Community library

  • Links to local wellbeing blogs and support groups
  • Videos from MIND website

Harrogate library

  • Posting videos of the Thursday night clapping for carers from various streets in Harrogate.
  • Posting craft videos linked to the kindness theme, such as making bird feeders.
  • Friday, 22 May, story time will have a kindness theme and the craft will be the long-distance hug.

Knaresborough library

  • Links to local wellbeing blogs and support groups
  • Videos from MIND website

Northallerton library

  • Virtual display of a daily poster, using resources from the Mental Health Foundation, that will cover a range of mental health topics, including kindness, exercise, diet, relationships and diversity, and link these to resources on the digital catalogue, including books from the Reading Well collection.
  • 18 May, make a rainbow video craft session, how to make a rainbow using felt.
  • 19 May, Lego 30-day challenge.
  • 20 May, step-by-step rock painting relating to a symbol of joy or hope.
  • 21 May, looking at books and audiobooks that discuss the benefits of walking.
  • 22 May, pre-school story time, sharing a book on kindness

Ripon library

  • Links to local wellbeing blogs and support groups
  • Videos from MIND website
  • Promoting the Compass youth befriending service.

Scarborough library

  • Facebook video of the Shirley Fields weekly art club
  • Video on how to access on line resources

Selby library

  • 21 May, 10am-11.30am, virtual coffee morning including sharing information about Reading Well and other mental health support, and staff and volunteer top tips for looking after mental health.  

Skipton library

  • Posting on Facebook to the Skipton Writing Group’s writings about kindness.
  • Attaching rainbows and hearts to the Skipton library and posting photos of it on Facebook

Stokesley Community Library, The Globe

  • Highlighting relevant books and magazines from the digital library that people can access from home.

Thirsk Community Library

  • Posting details of online resources linked to wellbeing.
  • Asking for customers to send in pictures they find relaxing which will be shared online