In light of the Megan Markle interview that was aired early last week and the Caroline Flack documentary that was aired yesterday evening. It personally made me realise that each and every one of us can be affected by mental health at one stage in our lives, no matter the ‘role’ that we play within society.
Research has shown that the number of people who seek mental health support increases after a celebrity discloses their own experiences with a mental health condition. It is important now more than ever that people around us feel comfortable and at ease speaking out and receiving the help that they require.
As we should all be aware, COVID has had a huge impact on mental health in and out of the workplace. We have each faced our own unique and individual challenges that I believe none of us could have ever prepared for considering a global pandemic. The hardest part is sometimes equipping yourselves with the correct knowledge, skills and confidence to both look after yourself but also those around you.
It was reported during the uprunning to Christmas in December 2020 that over half (54%) of the adult UK population felt anxious or worried in the previous two weeks due to the pandemic. Almost a quarter of people (23%) reported feeling lonely within the previous two weeks.
So what can I do to help?
- Take mental-health refresher courses
Courses are being held up and down the country and even online. These courses help equip senior employees with the correct skills, knowledge and confidence to support those suffering with mental health within the workplace. These can be simply found by googling “Mental Health Courses”.
- Check in with friends/family/colleagues
This is one of the simplest, cost free and affective ways to combat mental health. Check in on those around you. Pick up the phone, be a helping hand or just listen to their worries.
- Recognise those who may be affected the most by having a small social bubble
It is important to identify those that may feel the most vulnerable. Perhaps a friend working long hours from home, a family member that is living alone or even elderly neighbors. Check in on them, see if there is anything you can do to help.
Again, this does not cost a penny, just listen! Even if you do not have any advice to share, a problem shared is a problem halved after all.
- Always be kind
A mantra that has continued to spread awareness and has created a ‘togetherness’ with society. Be mindful of others feelings, as my mum always used to say, if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!
- See warning signs of struggle
Here is just a small list of some of the signs and symptoms that someone close to you may be suffering with their mental health.
- Sleep or appetite changes
- Mood swings
- Problem thinking
- Increased sensitivity
- Unusual behavior
Supply the following details to helplines and professionals
NHS 111 – Simple and easy to remember – Highly trained advisors that are supported by healthcare professionals are on the other side to speak to you.
SOS Silence of Suicide – 0300 102 0505 – Monday – Sunday 4pm until midnight.
Mind – 0300 123 3393 – 9am – 6pm – Monday to Friday.
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