Being kind to ourselves

Hi, I’m Ian – a Therapist with Harmless. The perspective I’d like to share is the importance of being kind to ourselves during this time. This is a scary situation, and if you’re feeling anxious or down, remember that those are completely normal responses to fearful situations. But also keep in mind that our emotions are influenced by our thoughts – if we’re preparing ourselves for the worst outcomes or dwelling on the things we don’t have, then we’re naturally going to feel more fear or sadness. But if we focus on the fact that every second brings us closer to the end of the lockdown and the virus, and that by isolating we’re potentially saving lives, these thoughts can help us keep calm and focused. Have compassion for yourself, and remember that this won’t last forever.

Best wishes,

Ian

One of our Therapists, Rani, talks about helping to get some perspective on our thoughts

Rani talks about helping to get some perspective on our thoughts during the current lockdown situation.

A reflection on loss and self-care

There are so many times in life, (particularly when we are going through things that are hard to deal with) when we wish the world would just stop and that we could get off for a while. Life has a pace that sometimes makes it difficult to reflect on whether we are where we want to be or whether we are on the road to achieving what we want. This is often because we really don’t give time or energy to self- reflection or self care.

An example of this for me was when I lost my dog Boe in January after he became ill with cancer. Two hours of my day for 15 years had been allocated to dog walking, suddenly when my dog had gone this time was quickly absorbed by other things, ironing, shopping, housework. Not only did I find myself doing no exercise but I also missed the time that I spent just being mindful of where I am and enjoying the day.

When I was asked why I didn’t still walk my answer was I was now busy with other things, but in truth nothing that really pertained to me and only me. I have now started walking again because I realise that this time was not only important to Boe but really important to me and my well being, a time when life slowed up for a while and I could smell the roses. It was my time to just be, in the guise of exercising the dog.

Having had this light bulb moment I have to ask, how hard is it for most of us to just be, and sit with only that. I know that this is really tough especially when we have been through something difficult or traumatic, or if we are suffering with poor mental health, but there really is some value in slowing life down to the point where we have to consider our real priorities and look at where we are in the here and now. My own intention is to find some real value in this time, we will probably never experience life in its simplest form again, at least in my lifetime, so I’m turning on the blues and taking it real slow.

 

Helen,

Suicide Bereavement Support Officer

We can help

At the moment, our daily activities and routines look very different and this can leave us feeling unsettled and unsure.

If you are struggling at the moment, our suicide crisis pathway is open and offering both face to face and remote support. If you’d like support, get in contact and a member of the team will be in touch to arrange a session with you.

Email: crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk
Referral line: 0115 880 0282 – please note, we ask that you leave us a voice message and a member of the team will get back to you within 1 working day

We are here

In difficult times, Suicide Crisis Service *OPEN* and accepting new referrals

The Tomorrow Project offers support to those in suicide crisis. It is:

  • direct access
  • a primary care service
  • open to all ages
  • a short term service offering emotional and practical support
  • continuing to offer both face to face and remote sessions
  • operating in Nottinghamshire

Accepting self and agency referrals – all responded to within 1 working day

Email: crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk

Referral line: 0115 880 0282 – please note, we ask that a voice message be left and a member of the team will respond within 1 working day.

Please share this information with your colleagues, friends and family so those who need our support know about this vital service. We are here.

A message from Sofia to all key workers – especially all her colleagues at Harmless and The Tomorrow Project

As a classed key worker working in this time, I’m finding it really hard to switch off sometimes when I go home from the office.

I worry for my clients that are isolating and hoping that they’re okay without face to face sessions for the time being. Then I get a little stressed that I’m not sleeping when I should be because I’m too busy worrying about things I know I’ve done my best in handling.

And then something occurred to me the other night during one of those stressing moments…

…I’m probably not alone in this feeling, in fact I think a lot if not all my colleagues will be feeling the same.

Change is stressful, especially change that was unexpected and out of our control. But we’re all doing our best and I’m extremely lucky to be a part of a team that cares so much. When I first started my role I was told that our CEO Caroline looks closely at personality in the people she hires, and it really shows! I work with some of the most caring, big hearted, supportive and creative people. They’re always there to give you advice, reassurance, laughter and a helping hand. It’s a difficult time but I’ve watched how changes have been made to work within government guidelines and how everyone has adapted to the new ways and pushed to go above and beyond. From providing a great service, to blogging and vlogging. They’re all doing a great job!

So I wanted to write this blog to let them all know how proud I am to be apart of our teams and how amazing they all are, so if they are stressing they know they’re appreciated and that they’re doing a great job.

 

Sofia,

Suicide Bereavement Support Officer

Say hello to Laura, the new suicide crisis support officer

Hi! I’m Laura, and this week I joined the Harmless team as a Suicide Crisis Support Officer for the Tomorrow Project. I’m so excited and grateful to be a part of such a fantastic team, and I’ve been welcomed so wonderfully by everybody.

I first heard of Harmless in 2014, when I actually used the service as a client. I stopped using the service in 2015, and in January 2020 I returned to Harmless as a voluntary intern, for which I have been writing an essay about trauma. I have really enjoyed writing about such an important subject, and I’m still continuing to write it from home. As of Tuesday this week, I officially joined the suicide crisis team as a support officer. This week has been a whirl of learning lots of new things, getting to know my colleagues, and being extremely grateful for how my life has turned 180 degrees from 2014 to now. I hope that my summarised story serves as a hopeful reminder to anyone who needs it, that recovery really can happen.

I have come to Harmless after working as a support worker in a low-secure forensic mental health hospital. The hospital specialised in supporting people with personality disorders. Before this, I studied Psychology in Education at the University of York, and spent a lot of time volunteering for Nightline, a listening service for students. These experiences have strengthened my already-existing passion for supporting anyone and everyone with their mental health, and I’m sure that working at Harmless will strengthen that passion that even further.

Introducing one of our Support Officers, Sarah

“Hi, I’m Sarah.

I have recently joined the team as a new Support Officer for Harmless.

I have a background as a support worker specialising in working with survivors of domestic abuse.

It’s an unusual time to start a new role but what has been clear from my first day is that keeping the service available for people in need during these unsettling times has been the priority for all staff. I’d also like to say thank you to the team as they helped me settle in and answered my many questions!

I believe that being open and talking about how you are feeling can be hugely beneficial to anyone struggling with their mental health, however I also believe we live in a society that does not make it easy for people to do so. Breaking boundaries and challenging stereotypes is a start to helping people and letting others know they are not alone.

I joined Harmless because I really admire the work they do and the beliefs of the organisation. I like the saying ‘be who you needed when you were younger’ and feel proud to work for an organisation supporting people in need and challenging the stigma around self harm and suicide.

I am looking forward to working for Harmless and offering practical and emotional support to people in need.”

Starting a new role in times of community crisis – Introducing Stacey, our new Suicide Bereavement Support Officer

I’m Stacey and I’ve recently joined the wonderful team at Harmless in the role of Suicide Bereavement Officer on the Tomorrow Project, supporting those who have been affected in any way by suicide.

 

Taking up my new role at the beginning of March 2020 gave me just a short time before the Coronavirus pandemic started to affect us all both individually and as an organisation.  The team is working incredibly hard to ensure continuity of service, but as someone who has a hereditary lung condition my intensive induction training will now be continuing from home for the foreseeable future.

 

The commitment and dedication at Harmless towards both staff and service users has been truly inspiring, and in these challenging times everybody has pulled together – I feel privileged to be able to say I am part of that team.

 

I come from a varied background although my most recent role has been working as an Independent Funeral Celebrant for the last 7 or so years.  I have officiated over 1000 funeral services and part of this role involved visiting families, hearing their stories and offering support.  Sadly there are a percentage of those families who have been affected by suicide. It is their incredible stories and courage that inspired me to take on the role of Suicide Bereavement Officer.

 

On a personal level my number one self-care measure has to be getting back to nature.  Most weekends will find me at my happiest sat looking out over a river, lake or pond feeding the ducks whilst the sun shines through the trees (weather permitting). On a rainy day Netflix is most definitely my second choice!

 

And so life continues in temporary isolation for so many of us.  I am relying on social media for some interaction (there are some great groups and sites out there offering support) researching and learning everything there is to know about my new role, before the day comes when we are safe and I can actively support the team and service users as we look to hope and recovery.

Stacey.