To lead us into “World Mental Health Day” we have Jo Fleming, Health & Safety Advisor at The Heath, with a personal message of introduction.

I asked my sister Sue, to share some thoughts on HeathLive. Sue has shared a number of articles during the pandemic and I am so proud of her. She is always willing to take time out of her busy life (as a counsellor in mental health for 20 years) and support us here at the Heath.

Here is a photo of myself, Sue and our other sisters – hard to believe that this was on 29th February and a few weeks before the lockdown!

I feel quite saddened myself to know that I have only seen one of my sisters since then but I am looking forward to us all being together, laughing and drinking, at our special Italian restaurant soon.

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

What is this day…This weekend (10th October) marks World Mental Health Day, a day designed to encourage authorities to take action and create lasting change within mental health care.

Each year a topic is chosen by the world federation for health the organisation behind the day started in 1992. 

The theme this year is ‘mental health for all’.

They aim to raise awareness in the global community around mental health with a unifying voice through collaboration with various partners companies and governments.

We know that a level of anxiety, depression and isolation due to the impact of Covid-19 on our world is high right now. Around the world there is struggle to find solutions and come together as nations, to find a vaccine. 

Some countries and even in the UK, some cultures and communities are denied basic access to Mental health. This movement believes it’s a human right, and promotes mental health services a reality for everyone everywhere. 

What can I do…? Wear green…? Go online and buy a green ribbon to wear or make one…, share the digital sticker that you can find on social media platforms. Talk openly to those around you about the subject and day. Donate to a mental health charity of your choice – Mind, Time to change, Young minds, Heads together UK, Samaritans, to name just a few.

Check up on friends and use this acronym (W.A.I.T.) when supporting others.

Watch out for signs distress, withdrawal, excessive quietness, irritability

Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts” asking does not encourage it

It will pass, give hope and assure thoughts, feelings, will pass

Talk to others, encourage your loved one to seek help

If this is you, remember you are not alone even if that’s the feeling, reality is people around you care – colleagues, friends, family, neighbours, Doctor.  Talking does help.

Approach your company ask about the services they may have on offer like access to employee assistance programmes which provide time limited counselling.  Bring about the talk with employers, the subject mental health awareness. Don’t allow the stigma to keep those in need silent. An employer who is open enables a culture of sharing. 

What can I do to improve my mental health…

  • Tell someone how you’re feeling 
  • Stay active 
  • Eat well to feed the brain
  • Drink sensibly to reduce mood swings
  • Keep in contact with friends
  • Do something you love
  • Take time out even if it’s a ten minute break to look out the window and breath
  • Spend time in nature
  • Focus on your strengths and abilities make a list
  • Look outside of self to help others
  • The power of giving, volunteering can raise worth and bring meaning.

Don’t be ashamed of your story it will inspire others. Take care of you and yours.

Enjoy your weekend all. Sue