Mental-Health-Awareness-Week-Kindness-Header

Mental Health Awareness Week: Being kind online

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (18th-24th May 2020), and the theme this year is ‘kindness’.

In recent months, we’ve seen big changes to our day-to-day lives due to the coronavirus. It’s been a worrying time for everyone; and those who already live with mental health problems are facing extra challenges.

However, among all the worry, we have seen so much love and support in the offline world. Communities across the country have come together. So many people have shown wonderful acts of kindness which should be celebrated. But what about the online world?

The online world

During a time when movement is restricted, the online world has had a positive impact. People have been able to stay connected with friends and families; learning has continued online; and many people are able to work from home thanks to the internet.

Sadly though, there are still people hiding behind screens and keyboards not being so kind; online (cyber) bullying still exists.

What is online bullying?

Online (Cyber) bullying can be defined as: using information and communication technologies to display deliberate, repeated and hostile behaviour to hurt, harass or harm others.

From harassment and stalking, to impersonation and exclusion, there are many forms of online bullying. But just a small action online can also be classed as bullying too. For example, leaving a hurtful or rude comment on someone’s status or sharing something online about someone else.

Potentially, vast numbers of people can witness a cyber-bullying incident take place. There is the relatively new phenomenon of something ‘going viral’ to deal with. This is the way in which the internet can be used to spread an act of bullying to thousands, even millions of people.

Being bullied online can have a detrimental effect on a person and their mental health. It can affect a person’s self-esteem, confidence and social skills. In many cases people who have been bullied have left school, work and social networks to escape their bullying.

As we’ve seen in recent months, the media is full of high-profile cases of people taking their own lives. Often due to them suffering from cyber-bullying and the spreading of their humiliation. This is a clear indicator of just how dangerous cyber-bullying can be.

Think before you type

Extend the kindness we have seen so much of in the offline world, to the online world as well. Try to consider the impact your words may have and think twice before posting. Remember, cruel words, nasty texts, messages and emails are all weapons – and weapons can hurt and kill.

Think twice before you post anything online because once it’s out there you can’t take it back. It is very easy for any comments or posts you make online to be taken out of context and these could be damaging to you in the long term. You can read more about digital footprints and how this can affect your life both online and offline.

BulliesOut

One of our nominated charities of the year, who we’re supporting through our #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign, is BulliesOut.

BulliesOut provides anti-bullying help, support and information to individuals, schools, youth settings and the workplace. They have some useful tips for staying safe online and they have lots more information on their website.

To learn more visit bulliesout.com.

bullies-out-against-online-bullying

#HostEnvironmentalPledge.
Getting serious about the environment we live in.

To become more ‘environmentally friendly’, Host is launching the #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign to encourage responsible behaviour and drive sustainability across our sites throughout the UK and Ireland.

It’s a simple campaign! If we can reduce our overall utilities (electric, water and gas) consumption by 1% then we will donate £10,000, 2% reduction means £20,000, 3% is £30,000 and so on, to 3 charities; BulliesOut, Plastic Patrol and World Land Trust.

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