How easy do you find it to switch off? Science says it may depend on your age group.

According to market research conducted in 2015 by Mintel, young adults aged between 16 to 34 are the ‘most stressed’ age group, and experts are pointing the blame directly at this group’s high levels of social media exposure. The average UK home now owns 7.4 devices which are connected to the internet. When broken down, that’s an average of 1.7 smartphones, 1.3 laptops and 1.2 tablets, one games console, 0.6 desktop computers and 0.5 connected TVs per household. These high levels of connectivity are making it harder for us to disengage.

Technology has transformed our 9 to 5, giving us better opportunities and communication tools, but it’s also made it harder to unwind. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to enhance your downtime and reduce stress.

  1. Retrain your brain. When bored or stressed, it’s easy to crave a quick fix in the form of clicks and likes, but breaking this habit will mean your happiness isn’t dependent on the number of shares your latest tweet received. If you crave social interaction, spending time (in person) with family and friends will give you a long-term boost, and get you away from the screen.
  2. Take a walk – and leave your phone in your pocket. Research by the University of Essex has found that exercising in pleasant surroundings has a greater effect in reducing blood pressure than hitting the gym and plugging into another screen. Green spaces and fresh air, ideally close to water, were shown to significantly improve self-esteem and enable participants to relax more effectively in the evening.
  3. Treat your commute as ‘me-time’ not an opportunity to work remotely. Professor Mark Cropley, author of The Off-Switch, advises: “The shortest route to changing your thought pattern is to find a task that is the total opposite to your work and completely absorbs the mind. For an accountant who looks as a screen for ten hours a day, for example, cycling home – a physical activity where you have to be aware of traffic around you – is ideal.”
  4. Practise mindfulness. Limit distractions such as the TV, radio or flicking between apps and take the time to focus on your food, notice your surroundings and tune into how you are feeling. Identifying feelings of stress and when and why they occur will enable you to take control of them. If you feel stressed, meditating on an object, taking in its texture, appearance and smell can help you remain calm.
  5. Read a book in bed – not your tablet. Oxford scientists have declared that we now get up to two hours’ less sleep than we did 60 years ago, and this could be due to our use of bright screens at bedtime, which prevent our brains from releasing melatonin, the hormone that tells our bodies it’s night time. Turning off your tablet an hour before bedtime, can help keep our body clock in check. “Make sure you read with traditional lighting, so called ‘warm’ light with more energy in the red end of the spectrum,” adds psychologist Lynn D. Johnson.“That convinces the brain it is sundown and time to quiet down.”
  6. To aid sleep further, take a bath. Not only does soaking in the bath encourage you to put down your smartphone, but the hot water will raise your body temperature slightly so that when you get out the quick cooldown mimics the natural temperature drop triggered by the brain before sleep. To get the most out of your bath, practise meditation, read a good book or listen to music rather than switching on Netflix. Essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus are also renowned for their calming, therapeutic effects. Focus on your breathing, and cherish the opportunity to have time and space all to yourself.

For the full article https://uk.lush.com/article/how-pull-plug-stress

It’s OK to have a bad day

(A really wonderful blog post by Orlagh Grace at Orlaghslittlecorner.wordpress.com)

I feel there is so much pressure to make everyday a ‘good day’ a ‘productive day’ a ‘I did something amazing today day’. But reality is it’s OK not to have a good day everyday. Cause life is tough sometimes, and somedays can feel like the whole world is crashing down on you with no way out  (and crying about it can be a good thing! You gotta let it all out every now and then!).

You are allowed to have a bad day. Cause sometimes that’s the day where mistakes are made and lessons are learnt, or its sometimes when problems arise and you learn to become stronger and more equipped at dealing with them.

Whatever a good day is to one person is different to another person. So make your day whatever kind of day it needs to be. Be happy if your feeling the happy vibes, and vice versa. And if you need to talk and someone asks if you are alright -then talk (it can help so much)! Don’t feel pressured to make everyone believe you’re having a good day if you’re not.

And I totally get it; that social media is a killer, everything looks so much better on people’s insta, or snaps or fb pics. But you gotta know that most of that stuff, is just the stuff people want you to see. What you need to know is that, that person is actually living a life which has many ups and many downs- just like everyone else. And even if they don’t advertise it that way, it doesn’t mean its ‘peachy’ for them all of the time. But I know that seeing all these productive, ‘something amazing happend’ and super good posts all the time makes you wonder ‘why is my day not like that?’.

Reality is your day may not be like that and may not be a ‘good day’ kinda day. However having said what I have said, I do like to try and look for positives in every situation. I am a believer that “not everyday is a good day, but there is something good in everyday.” Truthfully you have got to look super hard sometimes, but there will (99% of the time) be some way you can pull something positive from whatever situation or day you’ve had.

So when someone asks you how your day was, a friend, parent, partner -whoever, be truthful cause it’s ok not to have a good day everyday. But also make
sure you can evaluate your day and differentiate the negative parts from the positive! Grow from every experience you have .

Now go out and have your day-whatever day it may be!
Be positive. Be kind. Spread some good vibes

Click here for the link to Oralghs website for loads more wonderful posts to brighten your day. 

Creating a safe place for those who need it

Sometimes, people want us to tell them outright why they self-harm or have thoughts of suicide. We could present them with research, evaluations, meta-analyses or literature reviews into risk factors etc., but this is often not helpful for someone experiencing a crisis. While we work with these resources in mind with research and clinical best practice baked into the foundations of the service through safety planning, risk management, safeguarding as well as providing our many excellent CPD accredited training courses, here, we provide people with a safe place to explore their self-harm and suicidality for themselves, free of fear of a negative response, fear or panic.

More often than not, the process of helping someone understand for themselves facilitates not only recognition of why they self-harm or feel suicidal, but presents a turning point that that person identifies for themselves with our continued support. After all, while we’re a service that prides itself on its ability to support people who self-harm or have thoughts of suicide, each person is the expert of their own lives and minds. It’s our hope (and privilege) that people entrust their feelings with us so that we can help them manage self-harm and suicidal thoughts in a way that fits them.

Indeed, Harmless has recently presented at Parliament, represented itself on various national news platforms with the support of some of our clients, and won several awards for our efforts in understanding and preventing self-harm and suicide. While we do not evaluate ourselves on the size of our trophy cases or how many news outlets we speak to, it emphasizes that we are a service that people can rely on for information and support around self-harm and suicide; our clients, families, and professionals alike. With Harmless having just reached its 10 year milestone, I’m proud to work in a service that has gone from strength to strength over the past decade in supporting people who self-harm or have thoughts of suicide.

Many thanks,

Bevan Dolan, Suicide Crisis Project Worker

Announcing our first confirmed workshop for our forthcoming conference, From Harm to Hope, on 1st March 2018 at the Nottingham Conference Centre.

Each year World Mental Health day provides an opportunity “for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide”. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is mental health in the workplace.

In keeping with this year’s theme, our first confirmed workshop will be held by Pam Burrows – People Booster. This workshop will be introducing the concept of an organisational C.A.R.E. model focusing on the sustainability of your organisation by the maintenance of workforce wellbeing. The workshop is ideal for those wanting to focus on their own wellbeing in the workplace and strategies for driving wellbeing across our workforces.

Delivered in her usual engaging, funny and dynamic style, this workshop will offer food for thought, alongside useful strategies for you to take away.

If you would like to book tickets to our conference, or would like more details, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-harm-to-hope-self-harm-conference-tickets-38725331509

The Hen Chow ‘Farm and River Route’

On Sunday 15th October, I was privileged to be part of the 2nd Hen Chow ‘Farm and River Route’, a 2.5 mile route to help raise funds to improve mental healthcare for young adults.

We had the option to run, walk or ride (yes you heard it right, you could ride in an amazingly cool tractor-trailer). But whether you chose to walk, run or grab that cheeky ride, it did not matter. It was also not important if you were wearing your best running kit, yours jeans or you were pushing a baby pram. It only mattered that you were there, and that was something that we all shared in that moment. Everyone that participated (and there were so many!) knew they were part of something special. Yet, that was done with the natural ease of something you do every day – step by step, we create momentum, we move. We go forward.

There is an old Chinese saying that goes something like this – walk alone, and you’ll go fast. Walk together, and you’ll go far.

And we did. Once again, everyone came together on that morning, showing that just as being kind and compassionate, we can also be the driving (no pun intended, I will however remind you again of the amazing tractor available) force behind change.

Thanks for reading,

Ana

Project worker for Harmless & The Tomorrow Project

 

Self Harm Conference – 1st March 2018 – Tickets now on sale

From Harm to Hope – Self Harm Conference

 

Thursday 1st March 2018

Nottingham Conference Centre

 

£150 per delegate, or 2 for £200*

 

Click here to book tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-harm-to-hope-self-harm-conference-tickets-38725331509

We are pleased to announce that Harmless’ third national self harm conference will be held on Thursday 1st March 2018, Self Harm Awareness Day. This year’s theme is ‘self harm: suicide prevention starts here’.

As in previous years, the conference will be shaped around the following five strategic areas:

Collaborative partnership,

Service user representation,

Effective practice,

Driving change,

Overcoming stigma and discrimination.

 

Our conference gathers together leading academics and experts in the fields of self harm and suicide. Speakers already confirmed:

Professor Louis Appleby, who leads the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England.

Dr. Alys Cole-King, a Liaison Psychiatrist and Specialist in suicide prevention.

We will be confirming all speakers, workshops, and our agenda closer to the event. Please book early to take advantage of our ticket offer.

Click here to book tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-harm-to-hope-self-harm-conference-tickets-38725331509

 

*Excluding Eventbrite booking fees. We also offer discounted tickets for charities and students – to book these please call our office directly on 0115 880 0280.

 

Self Harm Conference: From Harm to Hope – Now inviting submissions for speakers and workshops

Self Harm Conference: 
From Harm to Hope

Thursday 1st March 2018
Nottingham Conference Centre

We are holding our third annual national self harm conference and are currently in the process of putting together a strong programme.

We are inviting submissions for session proposals to be considered for inclusion in the afternoon workshop conference programme, and also for speakers during the plenary sections of the conference. Contributions should align with at least one of our 5 themes:

  • Collaborative Partnership,
  • Service User Representation,
  • Effective Practice,
  • Driving Change,
  • Overcoming Stigma & Discrimination.

Please see below for details of how to be a part of this day.

 

We are now inviting submissions for both session proposals to be considered for inclusion in the workshop programme, and for speakers during the plenary sections of the conference (All workshops will be an hour in length and plenary sessions will be 20-30 mins in length).

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for our conference, please register your interest at admin@harmless.org.uk, or by calling us on 0115 880 0280.

Event details:

The overarching theme of this year’s conference is ‘self harm and suicide prevention starts here’. This event will bring together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of self harm, professionals and practitioners in self harm prevention.

Guidance for session proposals:

The conference is themed around five key areas; Collaborative partnership, service user representation, effective practice, driving change & overcoming stigma and discrimination. Proposals put forward must relate to at least one of these areas. Subjects for each area are noted but proposals do not need to be limited to these subjects. Sessions can include presentations of services, projects or activities, presentations of academic research or hosted discussions.

Additional Information:

All proposals received will be reviewed by a panel of Harmless members which will agree on the final programme of sessions. As there are only a limited number of slots available, we regret that it may not be possible to accommodate all proposals received.
Session proposals will be assessed against the following criteria
Proposals must:

  • Demonstrate some evidence-base and where appropriate, show that services, models of working or projects have undergone an evaluation.
  • Demonstrate good practice,
  • Set out ways in which other individuals or organisations can potentially adapt or learn from your work or set out how learning from your work can benefit others and their service users,
  • Demonstrate collaborative working.

Sessions should interactive wherever possible.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for our conference, please register your interest at admin@harmless.org.uk, or by calling us on 0115 880 0280.

JAY-Z Stresses Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Following the death of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, JAY-Z has urged fans to tackle mental health issues head-on.

The 99 Problems hit maker got to know Chester and his Linkin Park bandmates during the recording of their 2004 mash-ups album Collision Course, and he was saddened to hear of the singer’s suicide last month, just weeks after the tragic loss of his close pal Chris Cornell.

JAY-Z, who recently paid tribute to the rocker at his V Festival show in the U.K., touched on the topic during the second part of his Rap Radar podcast interview, which was released on his Tidal streaming service on Friday (Aug 25).

“Not only do we have to watch our physical health and what we’re doing with our bodies, but also mental health,” he said. “A lot of people go through trauma and you’re too embarrassed to get help for it…

“A lot of times, we tend to be like, ‘They were selfish. It’s like, no they weren’t; they’re sick, they’re in pain. I can’t even imagine that kind of pain, especially unchecked. We’re not dealing with that because it’s not the cool thing to do.”

He continued: “I think that we can use it and hopefully, as a society, we use that to go forward. People can start getting help for what they’re going through, talk to somebody…”

“These losses could be lessons. Someone somewhere could be looking at Chester and be like, ‘Man, I wasn’t feeling so good and I need to get some help or I need to talk to somebody about it.'”

If you would like support or information, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@harmless.org.uk.

Harmless appear in national news

Harmless have appeared in numerous news stories surrounding the sharp rise in recent reported cases of self harm in young girls aged 13-16.

A few of our clients and our CEO, Caroline Harroe, have taken part in various national news stories around this recent statistic.

Yesterday we filmed a piece for Sky News which has featured on the Sky News channel and online at various times throughout today.

You can watch this news story at this link: http://news.sky.com/video/girls-self-harming-more-due-to-social-media-11087600

We have also been filming today for ITV national news which was broadcast on today’s lunchtime news bulletin. This story will also feature on ITV Central News at 6pm this evening. Make sure you tune in!

Harmless and the Tomorrow Project head office has now moved, please note our new address and new phone numbers.

We have now embarked on a new journey in our new premises. Our new address is as follows:

1 Beech Avenue, Sherwood Rise, Nottingham, NG7 7LJ.

While we will be seeing clients at the new offices, we will also continue to see clients at NCVS. Clients should speak to their Therapist or Project Worker to confirm the location of their appointment.

As part of this new venture, we have also taken on new phone numbers, please note that any messages left on our old numbers will no longer be monitored.

Harmless & Tomorrow Project (Admin only):     0115 880 0280

Let’s Talk Training:                                                 0115 880 0281

Tomorrow Project Suicide Crisis Line:                 0115 880 0282

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.