World kindness campaigner gives tips to boost mental health

By Samara Siviter, 16, and Tamsen, 13

An international kindness campaigner has given a blunt message of hope in Children’s Mental Health Week – ‘kindness is good for you’. 

The inspirational Jaime Thurston, founder of 52 Lives, told Jill Dando News reporters at The Priory Learning Trust (TPLT) that kindness is the most important thing.

“Kindness lifts your own mental wellbeing well-being and makes you feel good. It improves people’s mental and even physical health.”

Jaime Thurston

In an interview for the Good News Post to coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week, she said that kindness is one of the best things that people can do for their mental wellbeing.

She said: “Kindness lifts your own mental wellbeing well-being and makes you feel good. It improves people’s mental and even physical health.

”Being kind is so much more than just a ‘nice thing to do.’ When we’re kind, when someone is kind to us, or even if we just witness kindness, it releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. 

“Kindness reduces stress, relieves anxiety and helps to unlock the happiness inside of us. It’s a very simple way to improve our mental health.” 

In the Jill Dando news interview, students aged 9 to 17 were involved in the Jaime interview on Zoom. Reporters in schools across Somerset for the TPLT interview people across the world as wide-ranging as the Prime Minister in Downing Street, to astronauts in NASA.

Jaime’s phenomenal charity has almost 100,000 global supporters, bringing kindness and smiles to those most in need. They take difficult situations that people are enduring, and bring practical help, kindness and hope to them.

She also set up a School of Kindness with resources to help millions of people and also has a free Kids’ Kindness Club.

Jaime added her encouragement for what children can do in this mental health week.:“Treat children with kindness … especially when they’re behaving ‘badly.’ Teach them to be kind to themselves, encourage them to be kind to other people, and tell them stories of kindness.”

Jaime is originally from Australia and began her career as a journalist, before moving to the UK, where she worked for a Member of the European Parliament, a wildlife charity and an organisation that supported families of prisoners. 

Jaime lives in Berkshire with her partner Greig and her three children, Abbey, Max and Joseph.

She is the author of ‘Kindness – the little thing that matters most’ and ‘The Kindness Journal.’  

She was named Clarins Woman of the Year 2016 and has also received a Points of Light Award from the UK Prime Minister and a Richmond Community Award for her work. 

She was named in The Independent’s Happy 50 List in 2018, an alternative Rich List that celebrates people who make life better for others. 

Jaime’s work has also been promoted by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in celebration of organisations that create a sense of togetherness and community.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron said: “52 Lives has touched many more lives than just those of the people it helps each week. Jaime has given people around the world the chance to help others who are less fortunate. 

“Household items many of us take for granted and small donations when they are put together really can change a life.”