The Green Ribbon Campaign runs from Monday 18th May to Friday 24th May and is part of This is Me, a mental health initiative that aims to change attitudes towards mental health in the workplace and support organisations to create healthier and more inclusive workplace cultures. You can read more about the campaign here.
Claire Wassall, Head of Health & Wellbeing here at Cavity focuses on 5 areas for Mental Health support for you and your workforce. Each area of support contains downloadable resources to assist you in providing the right kind of support to raise awareness through The Green Ribbon Campaign and build employees’ skills through Wellbeing in the Workplace.
1. Mental Health First Aid
The Mental Health Charity “Mind” reports that at least one in six workers experiences common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. Businesses should not only be aiming to reduce mental health problems but should also be encouraging positive Mental Health throughout their company. One way to start looking at Mental Health in the workplace is to look at Mental Health First Aid, which is as important as Physical First Aid. Mental Health Fist Aiders are the go-to person in the workplace for anyone who maybe experiencing or going through some form of mental health issue. Mental Health First Aiders are not Counsellors, but they can act as the first point of contact for employees, where they will listen and then guide that person toward the relevant help and support that they need. Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress alongside enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgmental listening are skills which a Mental Health First Aider will possess alongside the knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them towards further support. By having a Mental Health First Aider you are offering a support pathway to your employees and breaking the stigma around being open and transparent around Mental Health.
2. Reaching Out & Finding Help
There are many resources and support services out there for you. Sometimes the prospect of Counselling can sometimes feel too scary, however that does not mean there isn’t other ways you can reach out for help and support. Confiding in a friend, someone who is close to you or someone you trust, could just be enough to express and talk about how you are feeling. There are many online platforms alongside telephone services which offer confidential listening support. All these avenues are there, to help anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, alone and like there isn’t anyone to talk to, knowing that there are many different ways you can reach out for support can be helpful. Below are a list of support services available including ways to find a fully trained Counsellor or Therapist in your local area:
3. Self-Compassion and Self-Care
Self-compassion is where we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend. When we see a good friend suffering, we offer compassion to them in a way of understanding and kindness, rather than judging them harshly. Self-compassion is about acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time as you would a good friend. Recognising your own suffering or pain and asking the question “what can I do to comfort and care for myself right now” would be a good example of being self-compassionate.
Self-care should not be seen a selfish act nor should it be something, we force ourselves to do. Self-care is something we choose to participate in, which we know will help and support our mental, emotional, and physical health. Self-care is there to support and comfort us either mentally, emotionally, or physically. In summary – Self-care comes through being compassionate to yourself. Understanding how your feeling and being kind to yourself creates the pathway towards self-care.
Kristen Neff is a leading expert in self-compassion – Click the link to watch a TEDx talk by Kristen Neff on “The difference between self-compassion and self-esteem”. There is also a 5-part video series where Kristen Neff covers self- compassion by looking at Kindness, Common Humanity and Mindfulness.
4. Mind Plan & Helpful Resources
When we have good Mental Health, we can relax more, achieve more and enjoy are lives more.
Below is a quiz, which asks 5 questions, once you have answered these questions you will receive a personal “Mind Plan” to help you deal with stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in control.
Complete the quiz by clicking here and by clicking the below headers for more information from the NHS and Anxiety UK.
5. Well-being podcasts to listen to in lockdown
There are so many great podcasts out there right now, but some do focus on Wellbeing and here are a few suggestions for those of you who might like to just sit down, and relax and listen to some inspirational, very real and supportive conversations.
There are a few podcasts which have looked at and covered Covid-19, take a look and see which catches your imagination.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin: There is an episode on ‘Coping During Covid-19 – how to stay happier and calmer in difficult times,’ and we could all do with the answers to that.
How To Fail with Elizabeth Day: Explores why moments of failure can actually lead to ultimate success. Four special episodes have been recorded specifically designed to help you through lockdown and covid-19
Unlocking US – Brene Brown: Join researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most broken-hearted.
Not Perfect with Poppy Jamie: The not perfect podcast explores what it is to be human. From mental health to money matters, happiness and heartbreak, science to sadness. A Covid-19 Anxiety Special: The science behind anxiety and how we can manage it was recorded on 18.03.20 and features in these series of podcasts.