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World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. The first celebration began in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global health organisation with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘mental health for all’. October 10th is a great day to show support for better mental health. To remind everyone to look after their wellbeing.
1 in 6 reports experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England. World Mental Health Day is especially important this year. The months of lockdown, loss, and loneliness have affected many in different ways. Having a great significant impact on our mental health. Prioritising mental health right now is as important as ever.
We wanted to make sure we shed awareness on the prominence of the day. Aiming to bring everyone together, focusing on doing little but effective things to help better our mental health. Working from home over the past few months has been an unusual change that has taken a burden on everyone. The normal routine of speaking with colleagues and being around a fast-paced atmosphere was taken from us. This change in pace can cause low moods, a feeling of loneliness, and motivation to be hard to come by.
The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has led to uncertainty, changing people’s everyday structure. Creating new challenges for many of us. A lockdown change eases, our working lives will change again from the start of lockdown.
There can be a lot of mixed feelings about going back to work. Worries about public transport and social distancing. There may be emotions of frustration. However, it must be understood that reconnecting back with work takes time. Try and find what support is available to you through work and use things like employee assistance. If you are a manager, check in with your teams and be aware of the mental health challenges of returning.
Our mental health is just like our physical health, everybody has it and we need to take care of it. It is estimated that 1 in 4 will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. Many people find going to work well for their mental health. It can give employees a sense of identity, contact, and friendship with others, a steady routine, and opportunities to gain achievements.
One of the best things to do for mental health is to have open conversations with someone trustworthy. This could be a close friend, colleague, or family member. Expressing what you're feeling, that challenges, and what it could be that is causing low feelings. Getting advice from someone can give a refreshed perspective on situations. Helping an individual break through a difficult time.
At work having regular, daily contact with people can help create a stream of honest conversations. Acknowledging and understanding the uncertainty and stress that the current climate involves. Whether people are in the workplace, or at home. Having regular communication with all staff is needed to make sure no one is suffering in silence. Work may provide access to support services; managers should make sure that these are advertised and well.
Encouraging people to plan for how they will manage under self-isolation or quarantine. Reassure people to discuss their plans with line managers. This way those working from home and those in the office keep in touch and not feel dismissed or out of the loop.
Self-care is a great way to relieve the stress of family life, work, or other obligations. Every day does something that you enjoy that makes you happy and relaxed, away from distractions. This could be cooking your favourite meal, watching a film, or just having a sit-down. Taking time to yourself and to take a moment is important. Find ways to give yourself something to look forward to each day.
Exercise is a great way to release stress. It keeps the body and mind healthy and happy. If you are suffering from a mental health disorder, exercising for a short period of time each day is a great way to feel better. Feel-good Endorphins are released when you exercise that can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. This could be taking the dogs out for a walk, doing yoga, or riding your bike. Moving around from sitting at a desk all day is vital to help the body and the mind.
The recognition of World Mental Health Day is necessary to remember that mental health issues are common. Most people will experience mental health challenges at some point in their lives. Having open and honest conversations about the state of your mental health at work and home are critical. One conversation can help find the steps needed to reduce stress, anxiety, or depression in the workplace. Helping to enhance a more positive mindset with the right information and support in place to keep employees happy at work and home.
If you need support, there are organisations that can help you.
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You may also be interested in these AVA modules.