The power of kindness: Uniting hearts for mental health awareness

As May unfolds, so does Mental Health Awareness Month – a time dedicated to illuminating the importance of mental well-being in our lives and our community. We’re often weighed down with challenges, uncertainties and adversities – resulting in our mental health needs being put on the back burner. During May, we remember that nurturing our mental health is not just a personal responsibility but a collective one. At UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge, we use this month as a reminder that together, through acts of kindness and understanding, we can make profound differences in the lives of others and ourselves.

Kindness is a universal language that transcends barriers of culture, language and belief systems. It is the simple – yet profound – gesture of extending warmth, compassion and empathy to those around us. In the realm of mental health, kindness acts as a beacon of hope, illuminating the paths of those navigating their inner struggles.

This past weekend, our team members were out and about in our communities handing out ‘Let Kindness Bloom’ cards. This project, led by our Community Engagement Committee, is aimed at spreading kindness. Each card includes a heart made from seed paper for individuals to plant and then watch the flowers bloom. Cards were handed out by our team members at local libraries, churches, daycares, sporting events and more. We’re continuing to spread kindness, one seed at a time and make our community a more beautiful place, both inside and out!

When we extend kindness, we create safe spaces where individuals feel seen, heard, and valued. A kind word, a supportive gesture, or a compassionate ear can serve as lifelines for someone battling their own storms. In fostering an environment of acceptance and understanding, we dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health, replacing it with a culture of empathy and inclusion.

Our team at UnityPoint Health – Berryhill Center provides comprehensive mental health services – the only in our region – with programs for children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Our team not only provides a confidential Employee Assistance Program but is also in schools and visible in our community. By developing connections rooted in empathy and compassion, we create communities where individuals feel supported in their journey toward healing and growth.

Kindness isn’t solely confined to grand gestures – it thrives in the normal everyday moments of our daily lives. Whether it’s a smile exchanged with a stranger, a listening ear offered to a friend or a gentle touch of reassurance. If you visit our hospital, you’ll notice team members wearing new t-shirts ‘Here’s to the Kind Ones’ – serving as a reminder that a small act of kindness can create a ripple outward.

As we navigate through each day, let us remember the transformative power of kindness. Let us extend a hand to those in need, lend an ear to those who yearn to be heard, and offer our hearts to those who seek solace. Let us unite our hearts in kindness, knowing that together, we can illuminate the darkest of nights with the radiant light of compassion.

Leah Glasgo is the president of UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today