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A collection of poems about loneliness, and resources to help, organised by the Winning Minds Matter team for Mental Health Awareness Week ’22.

For the past four years, the Mental Health Foundation has chosen a theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) – past years’ have been body image, kindness and nature. The human experience is infinite and getting more complex by the day, so it’s nice to have something to focus on and connect with.

This year, the theme is loneliness. Whether in ourselves, our friends, our Princess Dianas or our pets – or even our encounters with strangers – we all know how it can be.

Enter our poetry collection: a series of words, thoughts and feelings from Nelson Bostockers, inspired by MHAW’s theme for 2022. Thank you to everyone who contributed, and to the Mental Health Foundation for orchestrating such an important national event. Not only did we raise awareness and spark much-needed conversations, but we also got to hear some beautiful poetry written by people we work with every day.

It was very hard to choose, but here’s a small selection that we think is lovely:

Loneliness can strike
When I’m all by myself or
In a busy place
Fiona Rush

Sometimes, it’s fine, sometimes you’ll shine
But we can’t be our best all of the time,
It’s OK to be mad, and sometimes sad,
Just remember it’s never that bad.
Little by little you learn to grow,
Like the spring after the snow,
As summer shines, most of the time,
Just remember you’ll be fine.
Stand up tall, even if you feel small,
And if you’re staring at your phone, give someone a call,
Time after time we forgive and forget,
Never believe your future is set.
You are only human it’s how we were made,
But time to time we head into the shade,
Your happiness is paramount,
So when you can make every moment count.
Ash Scott

Does it sound like a buzzing current, a loose cable
Harmonising with you every day?
Or a tube train, wailing along a route
You so often commute?
The daily score of bots, create storms of online chatter
Rumbles on like your mind doesn’t matter.
But if you’re feeling alone
Pick up the phone
Friends in green bubbles
They know what to do when you’re in trouble.
Blur the lines between lonely
And the loved ones you see
Because balance is necessary
It’s alright to be sad,
That’s how you’ll know when you’re happy.
Rowley Sadler

Thanks everyone. For the Mental Health Foundation’s recommended resources and helplines for dealing with loneliness, and anything else on your mind, please visit this page.