Are you Surviving or Thriving? #MHAW17

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week #MHAW17, Harmless Training Team have delivered a number of sessions, including

  • Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training in Nottingham
  • Level 3 Advanced Working with Self Harm in Derbyshire
  • Presenting at Mental Health Today Conference in Cardiff
  • Mental Health First Aid Lite (MHFALite) in Nottingham
  • A workshop on Self Care and Resilience in Nottingham
  • Training for Managers – Mental Health in Nottingham

Wow! That was a busy, but imperative week.

The workshop for Managers took place on 11th May. Due to the stigma surrounding mental health, what better way to try and tackle this, than providing training on how to support staff in the workplace, experiencing mental ill health.

Within the workshop we discussed a range of things, however some key points we covered were;

  • What are some signs and symptoms of depression in the workplace
  • How can we reduce stigma in the workplace and in wider society
  • The benefits of supporting staff in the workplace

There were lots of in depth discussions about what is currently being done in various settings around the city, to support staff in the workplace, experiencing low mental wellbeing or mental health conditions.

But what about our Managers? What about their wellbeing? Are they surviving or thriving? They look out for their staff on a day to day basis, what are they doing to ensure they are looking after their own wellbeing?

As it is #MHAW17, I decided I would ask them to write up and share some of their self care activities that they have upcoming. Activities that ensures they are looking after and supporting themselves, just as they support others in the workplace.

An enormous thank you to the Lush Nottingham team

Thank you to the NOTTS Lush team for their wonderful workshop that kick started our Mental Health Awareness Week of events. The event was full and the feedback sung their praises.

To coincide with this years Mental Health Foundation’s theme of ‘surviving to thriving’ we decided to carefully construct a week of events focussing on #SelfCare. With creativity during the event perfect to nurture our emotional wellbeing, and then with being able to take the bath products home made the work shop perfect for #SelfCare.

The group made strawberry swirl bath products and were treated to hand and arm massages, a very relaxing day!!

“Kneading the ‘dough’ for the Lush product was super therapeutic and I also enjoyed swirling the pink and white dough together to make the classic cone shape for the Comforter Bubble Bar – taking it home was a bonus as it has filled my house and car with its wonderful aroma! Many thanks to Lush and the Harmless team”

Here are some photos of the event:

Thank you again to the lovely team and we hope to work with you again in the future.

Reach out to a friend

At Harmless we are asking everyone to reach out to a friend this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, because it really is the small things that make the biggest difference. Imagine what we could achieve if we all came together? Join us in raising awareness and challenging stigma and discrimination.

http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/index.php…

#HarmToHope #Harmless

 

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2017: Why is it so important and how you can get involved?

Mental health awareness week is so important because despite 1 in 4 of us experiencing problems, the topic is still surrounded by a lot of stigma and discrimination. Just as we all strive for good physical health, our mental health and wellbeing should be equally important.

So many people in the UK are struggling without help and it’s only through raising awareness, education and communication that we can challenge stigma and start to have these conversations. It’s so important to talk.

As a society it’s so important to challenge the stigma and discrimination because it doesn’t matter how old you are, your gender or even your job: mental health doesn’t discriminate, anyone can be effected. With 1 in 4 of us being effected at some time in our life, it’s important to consider the wider impact on friends and family, because actually that would mean most of society will be effected in some way.

How to get involved

At Harmless we have carefully constructed a week of events (8-14th May) to coincide with this years Mental Health Awareness Week & it’s theme: surviving to thriving. We will be having our own focus on self-care and have teamed up with LUSH, Hotpod yoga, Super+Super and Cafe Sobar.

We are also holding an open day for anyone to pop in for a coffee, meet the team and find out about what we do. During the day we are also putting on two workshops around emotional health and wellbeing, resilience and internet safety.

Throughout the week we will be challenging stigma and discrimination in a positive and productive way, all whilst raising life saving funds for Harmless services.

If you’d like to get involved you can go onto our website, Facebook or Twitter pages for more info. Or email chloe@harmless.org.uk

The role of friends and our mental health

A few days ago my friend sent me an article titled: “To the friends who loved me unconditionally when I hit rock bottom”, and I’ve been thinking about it since. What kept coming to mind was the powerful and often unappreciated role friendships play on our lives.

“Thank you for all the times that you showed me warmth, the random hugs that you graced me with because you knew something was up even if I didn’t tell you anything”.

For me, this particular line really resonated, it shows the real importance of true friendships and the fact that sometimes they ‘just know’. Friends love you unconditionally, even at times when you don’t love yourself. They reassure us that life does get better, there is hope and they will always be by our side to remind us. I for one am truly grateful for my friend and was really touched when I was sent this article.

After reading this article it led me think about how many people don’t feel able to talk to someone, the devastating effect this would have and what we can do to change it.

Yesterday Professor Louis Appleby released new statistics stating that in 2016 there were 4,540 suicides in England. These statistics make suicide the leading cause of death in young people in the UK and also shows those over 45 are at greatest risk. With the rate of suicides at 4,540, that’s 4,540 more deaths than there should have been. This ultimately shows is the need for support, the need to challenge stigma around mental health and that starts at home.

Let friend’s know it’s okay to talk...you’re there for them to listen, without judgment.

Being open around mental health challenges stigma in a positive light and may be all a friend needs to be comfortable in asking for our help.

When someone is struggling with their mental health they may become distant, cancel plans and want to see us less than usual. However, this is when friendships play a key role and is exactly when maintaining friendships are so important.

The mental health foundation says: If you’re the friend of someone with a mental health problem, you may be concerned about them. The most important thing is to tell them that you’re still their friend. If your friend is comfortable with being touched, a hug shows that you care about them and that you accept them whatever problems they are having.

“My friend asked me questions, didn’t just assume things, she really wanted to know.”

Take your cue from your friend. Are they comfortable with questions or would they rather talk about something else? Don’t promise things you may not be able to deliver. How can you help them best?

If you’re the friend, the most valuable support you can provide is just being there to talk and listen. People really appreciate that their friends have made time to contact them, visit them and invite them round.

These are five steps that research shows can help people with mental health problems:

■            Assess risk of suicide or self-harm

■            Listen non-judgmentally

■            Give reassurance and information

■            Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help

■            Encourage self-help strategies.

Because we understand the importance of self care & thriving we decided to create a week long agenda, during mental health awareness week, to support the community around us. You don’t need to be a service user to attend, every individual is welcome. Here at Harmless we understand that mental health doesn’t discriminate, so neither do we.

“Self-care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health”.

At Harmless we encourage self-care every day, not only to our clients but to our delegates and our team. We understand the importance of self care…and after all, thriving starts with self care!

All our workshops are held in a safe, non judgmental environment, perfect to make new friends or support an already blossoming friendship.

Click this link to book onto one of our activities for Mental Health Awareness Week 2017: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=99