In the News: Members of the Ipswich and east Suffolk clinical commissioning group (CCG), alongside those at the West Suffolk CCG, signed the Time to Change employer pledge.

This action signalled their commitment to promoting positive mental health in the workplace.
It comes after mental health problems were cited as one of the main causes of absence at work by Time to Change, a campaign launched in 2007 and championed by national charities Mind and Rethink Mental Health.
 
He said: “Our NHS staff are an incredible asset who work hard for the people across east and west Suffolk to commission the best and most effective health services.
 
“There’s no doubt working for the NHS can be challenging.
“This is why it is so important that we do all we can to promote good mental and physical wellbeing in the workplace.
He added: “Everyone benefits, and we are determined that over the coming months and years we will see happier staff who are feeling more fulfilled in their jobs.”
 
The CCGs have developed an action plan outlining how they will meet the new pledge’s requirements. The plan includes 24 separate actions, which the CCG will look to carry out. This includes offering mental health awareness training by Suffolk Mind to staff members, including line managers, so they can discuss issues with their staff.
 
Another action aims to make mental health discussion a bigger part of back-to-work interviews for staff returning from sickness leave.
Jo Loughran is the director of Time to Change campaign – and claimed the pledge will lead to greater staff retention across the NHS.
She said: “Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like the two CCGs taking the lead.
 
“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention.
 
“With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness, it’s time for businesses to make a change.”
Link to original blog: https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/mental-health-pledge-signed-by-suffolk-nhs-groups-1-5846059

In the Media: PR agencies tackling mental health in the workplace

 

The results from the recent PRWeek and PRCA survey reveal that there’s still a huge need for the industry to prioritise employee wellbeing and mental health. More than half the industry has suffered from mental ill health, and it’s troubling that so many cannot talk to their employers about these issues. And worse – so many more believe the industry is not accepting of people with mental ill health.

This is clearly unacceptable. It is high time the industry took this matter seriously. PR and comms can be exciting, fast-paced and rewarding, which is why the industry attracts so many talented people. However, it can also be very stressful, which is negatively affecting the mental health of our employees.

We can start by de-stigmatising mental ill-health and talking about it more openly. More importantly, we must encourage employers to have the policies in place to help staff who are suffering.

However, I am encouraged by the progress the industry has made. In 2017 we launched the PRCA Mental Health Toolkit, which has now been viewed nearly 10,000 times. This issue clearly resonates within our industry. In this toolkit, we featured employers who are leading the way in addressing the issue. I am constantly impressed by agencies which understand that making the workplace more diverse and inclusive is not only the right thing to do, but can have a positive effect on growth.

Mischief implemented a coaching platform based on a holistic approach to what motivates their employees, allowing staff to look at what’s important to them outside work.This features in all one-to-one talks with line managers.

Forster Communications also prioritises its employees’ mental health, by ensuring they can work flexibly, achieve personal goals and focus on their physical as well as mental health. It was named Britain’s Healthiest Workplace.

These agencies understand mental health can’t be treated as a singular issue; it’s part of a wider mission to make the industry more diverse and inclusive. That’s why we launched the PRCA Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines, in which mental health features prominently.

Beyond the confines of our industry, this is an issue for everyone at every level, and needs to be a national priority. Collaboration is key. The PRCA has worked with organisations such as Mental Health First Aid and keenly supported and promoted the work of organisations such as MIND and Business and Community in this field.

Which is why I was keen to sign an open letter calling for the government to change the law to protect mental health in the workplace and make Mental Health First Aid Mandatory in all workplaces. The letter was signed by 50 other business leaders across several industries. To date, the petition has been signed by more than 200,000 people.

There is clearly an appetite to talk about mental health and changes to the law to protect people with mental ill health. I am calling on the industry to take action: follow the example of exemplary businesses, use the resources available to you and, above all, make your workplace a space where employees can openly talk about these issues.

Francis Ingham is PRCA director-general and ICCO executive director

Link to original blog: https://www.prweek.com/article/1522530/industry-voice-mental-health-issue-everyone-every-level

 

 

This mum is on the run! (The London Marathon!!!)

We are incredibly excited to be supported by Sophia Thorne who has taken up the challenge or running the London Marathon for our service.
 
“Well, it’s now official……I’m actually going to run The London Marathon!!! Yes, I said RUN!!!!!! 2 years ago I started running using the couch to 5K app but I’ve never really classed myself as a real runner. I’m going to use this page to share my training (from 5k to 42k now!) and also promote the power running has on my own mental health and that of others I have met along the way.
I am running to raise money for The Tomorrow Project which is a local charity very close to my heart. The Tomorrow Project are a suicide prevention charity who not only offer support to those having suicidal thoughts but also are there for the families of those who have taken their own lives. I will share my own personal links with this in a later blog post.
Please follow this page, I’m going to need all the support I can get and know I will get this from the wonderful community around me. If you can spare any money after Christmas please sponsor me too if you can! Watch this space for updates! Soph x”
 
https://www.facebook.com/ThisMumisontheRun/
 
To donate: https://localgiving.org/fundraising/this-mum-is-on-the-run/
 
From the whole team, good luck Sophia!!! Thank you for helping us save lives. 🥇💙👟

In the media: Young people ‘turned away’ from NHS mental health support left to hit crisis point, MPs warn

The NHS is “failing” children and young people with mental health conditions by rejecting them for not having “severe enough” symptoms and then leaving them to reach crisis point, MPs have warned.
Currently only three out of 10 children are getting the treatment they need, and those that do access support face “unacceptably long waits”, a report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.
 
The committee found that children who are denied NHS support are currently not kept track of and are not routinely directed to other services that could help them.
“NHS services are turning away many children and young people because their condition is not considered severe enough to warrant access to overstretched services, even though it can later deteriorate to a point of crisis,” the report warns.
NHS plans set out in the Forward View for Mental Health committed to boost treatment by 2022 but would still leave two thirds (65 per cent) of those with a diagnosed mental health condition unsupported, MPs said.
 
On Monday the NHS published its long-term plan for revolutionising services over the next decade, including a commitment for an additional 350,000 young people to access counselling.
However, the report warn action is needed immediately and these ambitious plans are hamstrung by a workforce “roadblock” and the “inability” to recruit mental health nurses – made worse by the removal of the nursing bursary
 
“Provision is far below required levels and many people who do get help face long waits for treatment. This can be devastating for people’s life chances, their physical health, education and work prospects.
 
“We will be keeping a close eye on the real-world impact of the measures proposed in the government’s 10-year plan for the NHS.”
Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said the government must be “more ambitious” about mental-health funding because “too many children are failing to receive any support at all”.
She added: “The NHS 10 year plan will improve access to CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) for more children, but until the government can guarantee that all children will get the specialist help they need, every year thousands of children will still miss out on treatment.”
 
Link to original blog: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/mental-health-crisis-nhs-counselling-waiting-time-children-mp-public-accounts-committee-a8721646.html

New Year, New Training Dates – book now!

Start the New Year with Mental Health training
 
Let’s Talk Training…
 
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) 2 day course – 22nd & 23rd January 2019 in Nottingham. Click here to book
  • Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, 2 day course – 13th & 14th February 2019 in Lincoln. Click here to book
  • Self Harm training, Level 2 (Intermediate), one day course – 11th March 2019 in Nottingham. Click here to book
  • Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, half day course – 15th March 2019 in Nottingham. Click here to book
For more info please contact training@harmless.org.uk or phone 0115 880 0281
 
Click the link below for more information or to book onto any of our courses:

Support our services through co-op local community fund

The funding round started on Sunday 28th October 2018 and from this date Co-op members can choose Harmless to give their 1% to when they spend on selected own-brand products and services.

The funding period will run for 12 months until the 26 October 2019.

Pop into local east midlands Co-op to support our life saving service

https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/19362

From Harm to Hope, Friday 1st March 2019

Harmless’ third national self harm conference will be held on Friday 1st March 2019, Self Harm Awareness Day. This year’s theme is: ‘our young people: intervention & early intervention for improved outcomes’.

JOIN US
£150 per delegate place*
Or
2 delegate places for £200*

Conference details:

The theme of our conference is Our young people: intervention & early intervention for improved outcomes. 

Harmless recognises that self harm affects a broad range of individuals, facing many diverse experiences; reducing the number of individuals that self harm requires contributions from across society and includes education, prevention, intervention and postvention work.

This exciting new event will bring together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of self harm and practitioners & academics in the field of self harm in an ethos of joint working and shared experience.

Our conference is themed around five strategic areas:

  • Collaborative partnership,
  • Service user representation,
  • Effective practice,
  • Driving change &
  • Overcoming stigma and discrimination.

Delegates can expect to take away from the conference a range of knowledge, inspiration and practical applications for the implementation in real life personal and professional situations. Learning from some of the leaders in the field, delegates will have access to interactive sessions that can drive change in the field of self harm.

Speakers:

Dr Nav Kapur

Dr ​Alys Cole-King

Prof. Siobhan O’Neill

Dr Sarah Cassidy

http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/self-harm-conference-2019

Thank you Co-op Old Sawley

Thank you to The Co-op Old Sawley for their continued support of our service across 2018.
 
The team are looking forward to working together over the new year, 2019.
 
Did you know we are also part of the Co-op Local Community Fund?
 
The funding round started on Sunday 28th October 2018 and from this date Co-op members can choose Harmless to give their 1% to when they spend on selected own-brand products and services.
 
The funding period will run for 12 months until the 26 October 2019.
 
Pop into local east midlands Co-op to support our life saving service
 
https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/19362

IN THE MEDIA: ART AS MEDITATION – A LESSON IN MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness—the practice of focusing on the present moment while calmly observing your thoughts and feelings—can reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and deepen empathy with others. Here at the Rubin, we offer meditation sessions, workshops, and talks exploring many facets of the subject.
 
And one of the best places to experience mindfulness is right in our galleries, while you’re looking at art. Of course, it helps most pieces in our collection are from Buddhist and Hindu traditions that emphasize meditation and mindfulness.
 
That said, you can practice mindfulness while viewing any art, at any museum, not just at the Rubin, because art and mindfulness have a lot in common. Much like mindfulness, art invites you to step into the present moment, unplug from your everyday concerns, and focus deeply on the object in front of you. Engaging mindfully with art can help you experience and appreciate it more fully. It might also help you gain some of the broader benefits of mindfulness. Here’s how:
 
Step 1: Let distractions fall away
 
First, put your phone away. The selfies, feeds, and messages can wait. Now it’s time to go deep with an artwork. Next, let your everyday thoughts drop away as you engage with the art. This can be hard to do, as anyone who has meditated knows. That’s why in meditation practice people often focus on their breath, so they have a substitute for the endless train of thoughts rattling through their brain. The same general approach works with art as meditation: Do you best to focus on a single piece of art and nothing else.
 
 
Step 2: Observe your reaction to the artwork
 
What is your first impression? Does the artwork make you feel anything? Some people experience a feeling of serenity when they gaze upon a Buddha. Art can stir up plenty of other feelings too. Maybe the mysterious expression on the face of a Renaissance portrait at the Met makes you feel curious or amused. The rhythmic splotches on a giant Jackson Pollock canvas at MoMA could arouse emotions you can’t quite name. Or you might feel no discernable emotion at all; that too is an emotional reaction. Whatever your initial reaction might be, notice it without judging it.
 
 
Step 3: Take in the details
 
 
Do any details of the art catch your eye? It can be something as simple as the graceful curve of a deity’s arm in a sculpture at the Rubin, or a surprising combination of colors in a painting. Why does this particular detail intrigue you? It might reveal some deeper meaning about the artwork, or it might simply delight your eye. There is no wrong answer. Let your curiosity be your guide as your gaze naturally roves across the art.
 
Step 4: Repeat with another artwork—and take your time
Try to take a deep dive like this with every artwork you see. On national Slow Art Day, we encourage people to spend 10 whole minutes looking at a single piece of art. This might feel like too much, and that’s okay. The main point is to slow down and focus. If you need help focusing, try an audio guide, like this audio tour of the Rubin’s Masterworks exhibit, which gives you some historical background on each piece.
As you take a slow ride through the museum, you might find that the chattering, distracting thoughts you needed to deliberately push away at the beginning of your visit have now naturally receded. Has anything else in your mental state shifted? You might feel more relaxed, more expansive, more…something.
 
Link to original blog: http://rubinmuseum.org/blog/art-as-meditation-a-lesson-in-mindfulness?fbclid=IwAR3k1hJO77ZrG9wwTvNC5oZUSSfX8LvA2Z2Vx-ANF6PlI1i_2capYsvaHXU

5 New Year’s resolutions for your mental health

 

The New Year can be a great excuse to take stock and work out what to improve in the months ahead.

If you do decide to choose a New Year’s resolution, try and pick something manageable. Choosing to make small, positive changes can benefit your confidence as they’re easier to keep up. Plus, they enable you to focus on doing something rather than giving up.

We’ve come up with some small, practical ideas that can benefit your mental health over 2019…

  1. Try meditating

Meditation is a fantastic way to give your mind some time out and a chance to calm. Try to slot in one or two sessions a day – even if it’s only for five minutes.

You may find apps such as HeadspaceInsight Timer or Stop, Breathe & Think helpful for getting started and learning the techniques that work for you. These apps make meditation accessible to anyone.

  1. Start a gratitude diary

Each day try to write down 1-3 positive things that have happened. These could be as small as “I had a laugh with a colleague” or “I ate a nice meal”.

This is a great way of training yourself to look at the positives of each day, which will help your mental wellbeing.

  1. Try something new or develop an existing skill

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument? Or perhaps you want to work on your conversation skills?

Taking up a new hobby or making a pledge to improve a skill can be a great confidence-booster! It can also be a good way of meeting new people and giving you something to look forward to in the week.

However, it’s important to avoid putting pressure on yourself to be ‘perfect’ – remind yourself that no-one can master a skill straight away, learning takes time and making mistakes helps you improve.

  1. Make time to chill out

If you’ve fallen into the habit of staying late at work, you may decide to pledge to leave on time. This gives you the chance to recharge ready for the next day – being tired and run down won’t help your mind or your productivity.

Similarly, you could promise to block out some time each week for some “you” time. Do something that relaxes you, such as listening to music or having a soak in the bath.

  1. Get support if you need it

Why not commit to seeking support in the New Year?

Reaching out is not always the easiest thing to do, but we are here, and we want to help. You can refer in to us through a variety of different ways, you can call us on 0115 934 8445, e-mail us at bereavement@tomorrowproject.org.uk,  crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk or info@harmless.org.uk  . Or ask your doctor to get in touch with us, ask a friend, message us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even if there’s someone you know who is struggling and you’d like to find out what support is available then please let us know.