What is Mental Health?

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week

Even if you consider yourself mentally healthy, it doesn’t mean you are exempt from mental health issues.

Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it is just as important as good physical health, so we need to take care of it.

We all have mental health and it is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened.  Most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us.

Everyone is different.  You may bounce back from a setback, while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time.

Your mental health does not always stay the same.  It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life.

There is a stigma attached to mental health problems.  This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and do not talk about them much. Many people do not even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it is healthy to know and say how you are feeling.

Many people that struggle with mental health feel like they are living 2 different lives.  One that their friends, family see and the other that they feel.

Holding Difficult Conversations

Knowing what mental health is the first step, but how does this work in practice?

What do you do when someone comes to you with a mental health problem?

Having a conversation with the individual may be difficult but it is important to act quickly:

  • Avoid interruptions – switch off phones, ensure colleagues cannot walk in and interrupt.
  • Speak calmly
  • Do not ASSUME
  • Ask simple, open, non-judgemental questions.
  • You should display open body language- do not cross arms and maintain good eye contact.
  • Assure the individual the conversation will be kept confidential
  • Allow ‘space’ and time to talk by using open questions
  • Be empathetic
  • Be encouraging, not critical
  • LISTEN actively and carefully
  • Always follow up, especially on agreed actions or support.
  • Focus on the person, not the problem.

Remember: It is a big step for an individual to seek help and if they approach you it demonstrates that they trust you.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID 19)

Everyone has been affected by Coronavirus (COVID 19) in some way, and many of us will feel vulnerable and anxious about the impact it is having on our lives.  It is more important than ever to look after each other and our mental health and well-being. The ideas below may help:

TIPS

  • Keep in touch with loved ones
  • Talk to someone
  • Relax
  • Get some fresh air
  • Eat well
  • Stay active

AVOID

  • Social Media – misinformation
  • Junk food
  • 24 hr news

QUARTERLY CHALLENGE – WELLNESS HOUR

We challenge you to spend 1 hour out of you day doing something YOU enjoy. This can be walking, reading, talking to family and friends, cooking, having a relaxing bath etc. The possibilities are endless. Reflect afterwards, how did you feel? Is it something which could be incorporated into your normal week?

SUPPORT LINKS:

999 – NHS Emergency

Bereavement support – https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/other-services/Bereavement

Gov.UK – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

Rethink – https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/covid-19-support/

Samaritans – https://www.samaritans.org/

SHOUT – 24/7 crisis text service – https://www.giveusashout.org/

Stepchange – https://www.stepchange.org/

Support Groups – https://mentalhealth-uk.org/partnerships/projects/support-groups/

 

Key workers that are working on the frontline also have access to resources such as:

MIND’s Blue Light Support – https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/campaigns/blue-light-support/

Police Care UK / Police Federation – https://www.polfed.org/our-work/covid-19/

The Firefighters Charity – https://www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/

Open Change (health and social care workers) – https://www.openchange.co.uk/

 

KEY AWARENESS DATES THIS QUARTER

  • 1st – 7th June – Volunteers week
  • 8th June – Bike week
  • 10th June – Healthy eating week
  • 15th June – Loneliness awareness week
  • 24th June – National school sports week
  • 26th June – National writing day
  • July – National picnic month
  • July – Good care month
  • 1st July – Talk to us campaign (Samaritans)
  • 12th July – National simplicity day
  • 12th July – Love parks week
  • 7th August – Playday 2020