World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10th October. The theme this year is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’.
World Mental Health Day is about raising awareness of mental health and driving positive change for everyone’s mental health. It is also a chance to talk about mental health, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to get help if you are struggling.
The Mental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading charity for everyone’s mental health. The Mental Health Foundation drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families and individuals to live mentally healthier lives. They state: “We know mental health is a universal human right. But despite this, some people face more barriers than others to good mental health. That’s why we focus our work on those at greatest risk.”
Mental health at work
Colin Mitchell, our Head of Health and Safety, and Team Mental Health First Aider, discusses our Be Active Programme, and how our colleagues can seek mental health support.
“At Active Care Group we are absolutely committed to the wellbeing of everyone in our organisation. In May we ran a Be Active programme for Mental Health Awareness Week where we challenged all our colleagues and people we care for to be as active as possible, and it was such a great success. Colleagues conducted outdoor meetings, went for lunchtime walks in nature, walked the distance in miles from England to Magaluf, and even had a yoga teacher show them relaxation techniques!
“Being active is so important to our mental health. Even if the weather isn’t great, try and get out there and be active. Remember what the great Billy Connolly said, ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong choice of clothing!’
“The wellbeing of all our colleagues both physically and mentally is hugely important to us. We want everyone to be safe at work and also feel psychologically safe in the workplace.
“We have useful information and resources on our intranet that our colleagues can use to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. The intranet has information on menopause, men’s health, and much more.
“Our colleagues can always talk to one of the group’s trained Mental Health First Aiders in complete confidence. We listen to and support our colleagues, as well as signpost them to organisations who can offer expert advice and guidance. We also have the Hub of Hope which provides a long list of support services in the area someone lives in. Our colleagues can enter their postcode and it will bring up local services in their area.”
Tips for talking about your mental health
The Mental Health Foundation have some tips for talking about your mental health.
- Choose someone you trust to talk to
This might be a friend, family member or a colleague. Or you might be more comfortable talking to someone you don’t know, for example, through a support helpline.
- Think about the best place to talk
It’s important to choose a place where you feel comfortable enough to open-up. You might want to choose somewhere private where you’re less likely to be disturbed. You also might want to talk while you do an activity, like walking together.
- Prepare yourself for their reaction
Hopefully, you will have a good experience when you open-up to someone. But there’s a chance that they may not react in the way you hope. This may be for different reasons, like they may be worried or not fully understand at first. If that’s the case, try to give them time to process what you’ve told them. It might help to give them information to read to help them understand. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself and practise self-care.