Welcome to the #SockItToStigma 2024 Campaign!

Our annual #SockItToStigma campaign aims to shine a light on the stigma surrounding mental health and the harmful impact it can have on individuals. Mental health is often an unspoken topic, especially in the workplace, where fears of judgment and repercussions may hinder open discussions. This silence can lead to negative effects on productivity and work performance.

Stigma continues to deter people from seeking the help they need. It’s crucial that we collectively foster a culture that encourages open dialogue and empowers individuals to share their challenges without fear. As Peter Wingrove, Shawmind CEO, emphasizes, we all have a personal responsibility to create such a supportive environment.

Each year, we call on organizations and schools to join us in breaking the silence by donning their brightest socks throughout February. This vibrant display serves as a fun conversation starter, prompting discussions about the serious subject of mental health.

The goal of #SockItToStigma is to combat stigma within schools and workplaces, sparking conversations around mental health. We aim to encourage free and open dialogues between teachers and students, and among colleagues, fostering an environment where mental health and well-being can be discussed without judgment or fear.

By participating in #SockItToStigma, you demonstrate your commitment to fighting the stigma surrounding mental health. It signals that you are a supportive ally, someone approachable for advice and assistance, free from judgment or repercussion. This campaign has proven to be a lively, interactive way to initiate conversations about mental health.

How can your workplace get involved in #SockItToStigma?

Organizations are encouraged to actively engage in projects that demonstrate understanding and acceptance of the mental and emotional well-being challenges faced by their staff. One impactful way to do this is by organizing a fundraising and sock-wearing competition between staff or departments. Challenge each other to raise funds for the #SockItToStigma cause, supporting mental health training for schools nationwide. As a company, commit to matching the funds raised by employees.

Fundraising activities can be fun and shareable on intranets or social media, but the key ingredient is that the activity must be done while wearing your brightest, quirkiest socks!

1. Post a picture wearing your favourite socks on Instagram.

2. Tag us @shawmind_ and use these hashtags:

   – #SockItToStigma

   – #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek

   – #ShawMind

3. Consider starting a fundraising team on the #SockItToStigma Raisely.com page and challenge other teams!

 

We will support you on our social media and in any PR initiatives.

Let’s unite to break the stigma and create a culture of understanding, support, and open conversation around mental health. Together, we can make a meaningful impact!

How can your school get involved in #SockItToStigma?

Schools need to show that they are both understanding and accepting of the mental and emotional wellbeing challenges of their staff and the children under their care, and that they are there to support them as far as possible.

#SockItToStigma has proven in the past to be a fun, interactive way of getting these conversations started.

Use our #SockItToStigma Activity Pack as a starting point to do something fun together and to use the opportunity to speak about mental health, breaking the stigma around this serious subject.

All funds raised will be used to help fund our Integrated Esports Development Programme.

#SockItToStigma #MentalHealthAwareness #Shawmind

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Showcasing a community that’s leaving no one behind

What’s going on in Sheffield?

Shawmind moved to Sheffield in August 2023 and in 3 short months we already we have formed some fantastic partnerships with local organisations and the community here.

Working alongside some of the top sports clubs, we have been fortunate enough to be able to provide recognition to local organisations for the work that they are doing, as well as provide necessary sponsorship and support to other organisations who need it. Our most recent partnerships include Sheffield Steelers, The Steeldogs, B. Braun Sheffield Sharks and The Hatters.

In early October we were able to give a local mental health charity, MentalMate, and its members the Sheffield Steelers VIP suite in recognition of their fantastic work within the community: they are a mental health boxing club who opened their gym in April and provide free access to the training and coaching facilities for people in the community who struggle with their mental health. They are also there for those who find that boxing provides a form of relief and can also give access to mental health first aid. They work with families and children who are struggling, providing safe spaces and someone to talk to at every gym training session. They have just been nominated locally for a Health and Wellbeing Award for their work in the community, and they very kindly like and repost all our posts on social media which is helping to build our profile locally.

Recently, the Sheffield Sharks played their most formidable opponents, the London Lions. Tickets were eagerly snapped up for this, but again, Shawmind had been fortunate to be able to secure and provide 35 tickets to members of the community, and to the children in Royston Scout Troop, a small troop now looking to raise funds to build their own scout hall.

Within the next few weeks our CEO, Peter, will be delivering mental health awareness training to the Sheffield Sharks – these players are role models within the community to whom many young children look up, so having them understand, and more importantly able to interact with, children who are struggling will have big impact.

Lastly, since moving to Sheffield, we are proud to be supporting the Mi Amigo Restoration Project, a memorial that deeply resonates with our community still today. The restoration plans for the memorial are crucial in order to maintain the site and ensure that it is accessible to everyone who wishes to pay their respects to the air crew who selflessly gave their own lives to protect children and families of Sheffield.

We are working closely with RAFA and the UK Veterans Gamers Association to do a landmark fundraising event  in celebration of the unveiling of the Mi Amigo Memorial next year in Sheffield, supported by Meadowhall Shopping Centre who have allowed us an area upstairs to showcase our exhibition which will include elements from the Mi Amigo story and also that of our work with partners in pioneering mental fitness support within the online video gaming industry, as part of an educational enrichment programme.

It’s been a very busy few months but we are dedicated and excited to continue working with local communities, individuals and organisations to bring the best level of mental health awareness and fitness to Sheffield. We won’t stop striving to ensure that everyone understands the importance of mental health and wellbeing, and that everyone who needs support has access to that. We are small, but mighty organisation, building a community that will leave no one behind.

If you’re interested in the work we do and want to find out more or how we could work together, please get in touch via the contact form here and we will get back to you.

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How Schools can Tackle Student Issues With Social Media

Social media plays a massive role in the lives of children and teens, and it is important that schools are well equipped to tackle issues relating to social media.  

Improper social media usage can negatively impact children and teen mental health. Research shows, young adults who use social media are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.  

As part of our Headucation mission, we want to give schools the skills and knowledge they need to tackle social media issues and improve the mental health of young people.  

 

This post will be discussing: 

  • Social media and cyberbullying 
  • Social media and productivity 
  • Privacy and safety concerns 
  • School social media policies  
  • Social media educational assemblies  
  • Policies for addressing improper social media usage 

The impact of social media on student’s well-being and academic performance 

Cyberbullying and its effects on students 

With the rise in popularity of social media, schools have seen an increase in cyberbullying cases between students. Reports show that 1 in 4 children between the ages of 10-15 have experienced at least one form of cyberbullying in the UK.  

The impact of cyberbullying can be wide-ranging, and can impact various aspects of a young person’s life.  Compared to traditional forms of bullying, cyberbullying can often feel inescapable, as it can follow them home rather than being left on the playground. This can lead to further feelings of anxiety and depression.  

Some of the impacts of cyberbullying include: 

  • Depression 
  • Academic decline 
  • Social isolation 
  • Self-harm 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Suicide  
  • Anxiety  
  • Poor attendance  
  • Lack of sleep 

 

Distraction and decreased productivity 

Social media platforms have become an integral part of the lives of students, but they can also serve as significant distractions and hinder productivity in schools.  

Social media platforms are designed to be addictive and can easily consume a significant amount of time. Students may find themselves spending excessive amounts of time scrolling through their social media feeds, leading to a loss of focus and reduced time available for studying or completing assignments. 

Constant notifications and the fear of missing out can significantly impact a student’s ability to concentrate on their studies. The need to frequently check social media updates interrupts the flow of their work and reduces their ability to engage in deep, focused learning. Even brief interruptions can have a negative impact on concentration and productivity. 

Social media often presents a carefully curated version of people’s lives, filled with achievements, vacations, and positive experiences. Constant exposure to such “perfect” content can lead students to compare themselves unfavourably, leading to lower self-esteem and reduced motivation to focus on their own academic goals. This can further contribute to a decrease in productivity and academic performance. 

Privacy and safety concerns 

While social media platforms can offer valuable opportunities for communication and collaboration, they also present certain risks that need to be addressed.  

Sharing personal details can expose them to potential risks. It is crucial for students to understand the importance of safeguarding their privacy online and being mindful of the information they share. 

Students often underestimate the long-term impact of their online presence. The content they post or engage with on social media can create a digital footprint that may have consequences for their future. Inappropriate or damaging content can affect college applications, employment opportunities, or personal relationships and make them more vulnerable to online bullying. 

Students, especially teenagers, may be entering the phase of their lives where they are exploring romantic and sexual relationships. They should be educated on understanding the signs of grooming, the dangers of speaking to strangers online and sending inappropriate images of themselves, even if it is an expiring photo on snapchat.  

 

How can schools promote responsible social media use? 

Develop comprehensive social media policies 

Schools should develop comprehensive social media policies to ensure responsible and safe use of social media platforms by students. These policies should outline clear guidelines and expectations for students regarding their online behaviour and interactions. Students and parents should be encouraged to read the policy upon enrolment.  

The policy should include guidelines for appropriate content sharing, rules against cyberbullying and harassment, instructions for protecting personal privacy, and consequences for violating the policy.  

Given the fast-paced nature of social media, policies should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they are relevant and tackle current issues. Establishing comprehensive social media policies, schools can create a positive digital culture that keeps students safe. 

Consider the following when developing social media policies in school: 

  • Prohibition of cyberbullying, harassment, and any form of harmful or offensive online behaviour. 
  • Clear guidelines on appropriate content sharing 
  • Emphasising respect for others’ privacy, and obtaining consent before posting pictures. 
  • Guidelines for maintaining a positive and inclusive online environment, promoting respectful and constructive communication. 
  • Consequences for violating the social media policy. 
  • Encouragement of responsible digital citizenship. 
  • Guidelines for reporting and addressing instances of cyberbullying. 
  • Prohibition of sharing explicit, violent, or otherwise inappropriate content. 
  • Promoting self-care and responsible use of social media. 
  • Collaboration with parents and guardians to reinforce the importance of responsible social media use. 
  • Avoiding sharing the school they attend on social media. 

 

Conduct regular social media education assemblies and classes  

Schools should conduct regular social media education assemblies and classes to promote online safety and safe behaviour among students. These assemblies can feature guest speakers, presentations, and interactive discussions to address various topics surrounding social media. This includes, digital citizenship, cyberbullying, privacy settings, and the potential consequences of inappropriate online actions.  

It can also be difficult for parents to support schools in their efforts to tackle issues with social media if they don’t have the necessary knowledge. Schools should involve parents in social media education efforts.  

Hosting parent assemblies can help them understand the potential risks associated with social media use and provide guidance on promoting online safety at home. Schools should also keep in regular contact with parents, email resources and keep them up to date with any social media trends which can be dangerous.   

 

Topics to discuss in these assemblies with students and parents include: 

  • Importance of online privacy. 
  • Signs to recognise cyberbullying. 
  • Appropriate content sharing 
  • Impact of online actions on digital footprint. 
  • Identifying online scams. 
  • Identifying fake accounts 
  • Evaluating online information for accuracy and reliability. 
  • Developing critical thinking skills to navigate social media. 
  • Strategies for managing screen time. 
  • Building positive online relationships. 
  • Online etiquette and respectful communication. 
  • Promoting empathy and understanding in online interactions 
  • Encouraging reporting mechanisms for inappropriate online behaviour. 

Policies for reporting and addressing inappropriate content promptly 

Schools should have a policy in place for students to confide in teachers and staff members about if they are experiencing cyberbullying or dealing with any social media issues, whether that be procrastination, addiction to social media or they have seen something upsetting.  

Policies should also extend to parents who want to address any concerns or need support with monitoring and keeping up to date with social media.  

 

Shawmind has a mission to improve teen’s and children’s mental health across the nation. We want to provide early intervention to prevent a further mental health crisis. If you want to support Headucation, please donate or choose to do one of our mental health courses. Alternatively, you can book Headucation for your school.  

 

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The Impact of Technology on Children’s Mental Health: How to Limit Screen Time

As our society becomes more reliant on technology, it is important that carers and parents control the amount of time children and young people spend using screens. 

Recent studies have shown: 

  • 30% of children and teens who used the internet for over 3 hours a day were diagnosed with depression. 
  • Excess screen time inhibits young children’s ability to read faces and learn social skills, two key factors needed to develop empathy. 
  • Children with more than one hour of daily screen time were more likely to be vulnerable in all five developmental health domains: physical health and wellbeing, confidence, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development and communication skills compared to children reporting up to one hour of screen time/day.   

It is important that children’s time spent using technology is limited, and it is the responsibility of parents and carers to reinforce rules. This is to ensure that young people’s mental health is cared for to prevent mental illness and mental health problems following them from childhood to adulthood. 

Shawmind aims to support the mental health of children from an early age to equip them with the skills they need to build resilience and look after their own and others’ mental health. If you want to know more about supporting children’s mental health, read on.  

Understanding the Impact of Technology on Children’s Mental Health 

What are the positive aspects of technology for children? 

Before we address the negative aspects of technology on children and teens mental health, it is important to understand some of the positive impacts of technology and how it can be used as a tool for good. 

Technology can be used as a learning tool. With endless resources and information, any topic to want to learn about can be studied using the internet. 

Platforms such as YouTube offer various tools to encourage children to explore their creative side, including art, composing music, and designing video games. 

Also, due to the globalisation of the internet, technology allows children to foster a global awareness and cultural understanding. They can engage in virtual tours, explore other cultures and connect with people across the world.  

Finally, it is important to understand that technology is here to stay. Although many aspects of a technology-reliant future seem scary, future careers will require candidates to be proficient in today’s emerging technologies. 

What are the negative impacts of technology on children? 

Sedentary lifestyle 

Excessive screen time can lead to reduced physical activity which increases the risk of obesity and other disorders. Excessive screen time as opposed to playing outdoors, socialising with friends and partaking in activities can also hinder cognitive development.  

Sleep disturbances and fatigue 

The blue light emitted by screens and the engaging nature of technology can disrupt children’s sleep patterns, leading to difficulty falling asleep and fatigue during the day. This can impact their overall well-being and cognitive functioning. 

Impaired social skills and relationships 

Spending excessive time on screens can hinder the development of social skills, such as face-to-face communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence. It may lead to difficulties in forming and maintaining meaningful relationships with family and friends. This can negatively impact a child’s mental health.  

Unrealistic expectations 

Content on social media is specifically curated to appeal to our senses, promote an ideal lifestyle and develop insecurities to sell products. This can impact the way children and teens see their life and their bodies. Constant exposure to “perfect” content can cause self-esteem issues, which can lead to eating disorders and poor mental health. 

Reduced attention span and cognitive abilities  

Constant exposure to fast-paced digital content can decrease children’s attention span and make it challenging for them to concentrate and focus on tasks that require sustained attention. This can impact their academic studies and their ability to find enjoyment in non-technology based activities.  

Risk of online dangers and cyberbullying 

Excessive technology and social media usage increases the exposure to online dangers. This includes inappropriate adult content, cyberbullying, and online predators. Children may become victims of harassment or engage in risky social media without proper guidance. 

Impaired academic performance 

Excessive technology usage can negatively impact academic performance as it can distract children and teens during study time.  

Dependency and addiction 

Excessive use of technology can lead to dependency and addiction-like behaviours, where children feel a compulsive need to be constantly connected to screens. This can result in withdrawal symptoms when technology use is restricted and difficulty in self-regulating screen time. 

Vision problems 

Staring at a screen for too long can negatively impact the health of our eyes, especially during the developmental stages of children and young people. Children are at risk of developing digital eye strain and short sightedness with excessive screen time.  

The Role of Parents and Caregivers in Monitoring Children’s Technology Usage 

Setting healthy boundaries for screen time 

As a parent or guardian, it is important to set healthy boundaries with technology. We encourage you to establish these boundaries as early as possible in your child’s life to get them accustomed to the healthy boundaries. However, it’s never too late! 

  • Establish age-appropriate guidelines for screen time limits. 
  • Create a technology use plan with specific rules and routines. 
  • Enforce the guidelines consistently. 
  • Encourage alternative activities beyond screens. 
  • Provide access to books, art supplies, and outdoor spaces. 
  • Be present and actively engage in quality family interactions. 
  • Regularly reassess boundaries as children grow. 
  • Maintain open communication. 

Encouraging alternative activities and hobbies 

Children get bored, so rather than waiting for them to reach out for that iPad, consider encouraging these alternative activities to technology usage. 

  • Engage in outdoor play. 
  • Encourage reading books 
  • Foster imaginative play. 
  • Encourage arts and crafts. 
  • Promote board games and puzzles for cognitive stimulation. 
  • Encourage participation in sports. 
  • Support musical activities. 
  • Engage in nature exploration and gardening. 

Leading by example 

Children model the behaviour of their parents or adults in their lives. It is also important for adults to limit their screen time, especially in front of children and teens. Show them how to have fun without technology! 

How much screen time is considered appropriate for children? 

It is important to follow expert guidelines when setting screen time limits for your child.  

  • Under 2 years old: Children under 2 should have zero screen time, except for limited video phone calls with family or friends. This is the perfect opportunity to foster interests and hobbies with your child without technology. 
  • 2-5 years old: No more than one hour per day accompanied by a parent, carer or sibling. 
  • 5-17 years old: No more than two hours per day. This doesn’t include homework.  

Are certain types of screen activities more detrimental than others? 

As mentioned earlier, technology can often be a force for good. Educational content that is age appropriate can be beneficial to cognitive development in moderation, such as YouTube educational content and education TV shows. However, some screen activities like social media can be dangerous, and should be limited.  

Parents should always monitor the amount of time children are spending on technology no matter the content being consumed. 

 

Shawmind has a mission to improve children and teen’s mental health across the nation. We want to provide early intervention to prevent a further mental health crisis. Do you want to support Headucation in schools? Please donate or choose to do one of our mental health courses. Alternatively, you can book Headucation for your school.  

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How We Can Improve Men’s Mental Health in the Workplace

Shawmind is on a mission to improve the mental health of young people across the UK. This Men’s Mental Health Week, we want to highlight the importance of men’s mental health at work.  

1 in 8 men in England will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives. Many men struggle to open up to their peers about their mental health struggles. 

If you’re an employer and are interested in providing better mental health support in your workplace, consider our workplace mental health training. If you want to learn how to improve men’s mental health in the workplace, read on.  

What are some mental health issues that can affect men at work? 

Men can experience a range of mental issues in the workplace. Some of these can be due to personal circumstances, while some can relate to circumstances in the workplace. Some of these mental health issues include: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Work-related stress 
  • Burnout 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Imposter syndrome 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Anger management issues 
  • Sleep disorders 
  • Social isolation and loneliness 
  • Low self-esteem 
  • Relationship difficulties 
  • Emotional exhaustion 
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Feelings of inadequacy 
  • Mood swings 
  • Irritability 

These feelings can be due to social pressure on men to earn more, and with the rising economic pressures in the UK, these issues could rise significantly. It is our aim to raise awareness so workplaces are well equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to provide effective mental health support for men in the workplace.  

How do you tell if a male employee is struggling mentally? 

It is commonly known that men often withhold their feelings and struggle to open up about their mental health. This can make it particularly difficult to identify which men in the workplace are struggling with mental health problems. Here are some indicators that may suggest a male employee is experiencing poor mental health: 

  • Noticeable changes in behaviour, such as increased irritability, mood swings, or withdrawal from social interactions. 
  • Decreased productivity or performance issues that are inconsistent with their usual work standards. 
  • Frequent absences or tardiness without valid explanations. 
  • Expressing feelings of fatigue, exhaustion, or lack of motivation. 
  • Increased reliance on substances like alcohol or drugs. 
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions. 
  • Noticeable changes in appearance or personal hygiene. 
  • Social isolation and a reluctance to engage in workplace activities. 
  • Expressing feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness. 
  • Sudden weight loss or gain. 
  • Increased instances of unexplained physical complaints, such as headaches or stomach aches. 

 

Mental health training and education for managers and leaders 

It’s important to approach these observations with empathy and sensitivity. If you suspect a male employee may be struggling, a mental-health trained member of staff should approach the individual on a 1-1 basis, and support should be given if possible. Remember, an employee cannot be forced to disclose their mental health to the organisation, so if the person is unwilling to open up, don’t force the issue. 

If you want to improve mental health in the workplace, it is important to have a mental health trained staff member on site. Check out our workplace mental health training courses. 

Create a supportive workplace environment 

Workplaces should make a conscious effort to create an inclusive environment and tackle the mental health stigma. It is important to encourage open communication and for staff members to support each other and look out for each other’s mental wellbeing.  

These positive workplace relationships can be developed through fun workplace do’s and activities that foster and develop friendships, so men feel more comfortable opening up to their peers.  

Employees should also undergo workplace mental health awareness courses to understand signs of poor mental health in themselves and their colleagues, and know the workplace’s roadmap of who to share their concerns with if they are worried about their own or a colleague’s wellbeing.  

Senior team should lead by example  

When it comes to male mental health, destigmatising is key. Men may often feel weak if they open up about their mental health, however, if they see other men doing it, our experience suggests that they are then more likely to confide in someone about their own mental health struggles. 

This is why it is important for leaders and managers to openly prioritise mental health and well-being, demonstrating that it is valued within the organisation. This encourages employees to follow suit and take their mental health seriously. In fact, mental wellbeing should be baked into the organisation’s strategy, so that it flows into everything the organisation does. 

Offer flexible working arrangements 

Since its rise in popularity due to the pandemic, it has been reported that hybrid working improved the mental health of some employees. Not only is this beneficial to employees, who get to stay at home with their families, exercise, practice self-care and get efficient sleep, it also benefits companies due to increased productivity as mental wellbeing increases. 

Encourage a good work-life balance  

A toxic attitude to work-life balance can severely negatively impact the mental health of employees. Male employees are particularly susceptible to being overworked due to social attitudes towards male work ethic and the pressures of men to be successful breadwinners, which can lead to intense stress. 

It is essential for companies to promote a healthy work life balance and ensure employees aren’t working too much. It is important to foster positive attitudes towards hobbies and personal commitments, so employees can look after their mental health.  

Be inclusive and reject toxic masculinity  

It is important for companies to recognise that men come in different shapes and sizes, with varying interests and hobbies! Narrow attitudes towards men can often constrict their personality and can lead to mental ill health conditions. 

Part of men’s mental health week is to raise awareness around toxic standards of masculinity and how this can impact the mental health of men. Here are some examples of toxic masculinity in the workplace that can negatively impact men: 

  • Suppression of emotions 
  • Hyper-competitiveness 
  • Male “banter” which can border on bullying 
  • Stigmatisation of seeking help 
  • Workaholic culture 
  • Narrow definitions of success 
  • Dismissal of work-life balance 
  • Macho culture 
  • Lack of support for work-family integration 
  • Sexual / gender, racial, religious, intellectual, socio-economic or cultural discrimination 
  • Strong drinking culture / substance abuse 

Workplaces should tackle aspects of toxic masculinity and ensure that all men feel included in the workplace. If a guy doesn’t want to go for a beer after work, or prioritises his family commitments over staying late, he should not feel ashamed or demasculinised.  

It is important to consider all aspects of masculinity and ensure everyone feels included and valued.  

Provide male mental health resources  

Employers can consistently forward male mental health resources to all employees that may be educational and informative, and useful to break down stigma.  These can help improve male mental health and wellbeing at work and make men feel that their mental wellbeing is valued in the workplace. 

Ensuring the conversation around mental health is consistent and ongoing fosters an environment that is mental health positive, which allows men to feel more comfortable to speak about their mental health issues.  

Recognise their achievements and efforts  

Everyone likes to feel valued in the workplace. We encourage workplaces to celebrate employee’s accomplishments and acknowledge their efforts to promote a positive work atmosphere. Recognising their value and contributions can boost morale and well-being. 

 

If you want to support mental health across the UK, please donate. If you want to improve mental health in your workplace, consider our workplace mental health training courses.  

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10 Ways to Support a Young Carer in Your School This Carers Week

Shawmind is on a mission to raise the levels of mental health awareness and understanding in schools. This Carers Week, we want to raise awareness and highlight the challenges young carers may experience, and how schools can offer effective support. 

Reports estimate that there are around 800,000 young carers in the UK. We want to help schools provide effective support for the mental health, wellbeing and education of children and especially young carers across the UK. 

If you want to support the mental health of young carers in your school, find out more about Headucation. 

Identifying young carers in the school  

Before implementing practices to support young carers in your school, it’s important to identify who they are. Your school should have a system in place to identify who the young carers are so they can be offered the proper support they need.  

Some signs someone may have caring responsibilities to look out for include:  

  • Regular lateness 
  • Change in hygiene/appearance  
  • Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive or angry, withdrawn or quieter 
  • Tiredness 
  • Low attention span  
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Low attendance  
  • Not completing homework 
  • Feelings of anxiety 
  • Parent/guardian uses disabled parking space  
  • Lack of parent/guardian attendance to parents evening/other school events  
  • On pupil premium/free school meals  
  • Low mood/mental ill-health  

If teachers or staff notice the above signs, it is an indication that the child needs to have a meeting with the young person to get to the bottom of the issue.  

Building awareness and understanding 

Supporting young carers starts by building awareness and understanding of their circumstances. It is important to highlight what a young carer is, what their responsibilities are and how this may have an impact on their education and mental health.  

This way, staff and teachers are fully equipped with the knowledge of what a young carer is so they can provide the necessary support. Students should also be aware of what a young carer is so they can provide support to their peers. 

Providing emotional support 

Being a young carer can be an emotionally difficult and isolating experience. Many young people across the country are juggling being a carer with their social lives and educational responsibilities. This can have a significant impact on their mental health, and it is important to consider their wellbeing from a holistic lens.  

Schools should implement support and counselling services like Headucation, or groups for the young carers in their school. They should have at least one trusted, dedicated staff member who they can confide in and express themselves to.  

It is also worth setting up a club for the young carers in the school to meet up regularly, so they can find solace in individuals who are experiencing the same struggles as them and avoid being lonely. This is important for them, as many young carers often neglect their social lives, which can impact their mental health. Also, they can support each other emotionally and develop meaningful friendships, develop resilience and learn new skills.  

Academic support and flexible learning 

Young carers may often neglect their education due to their carer responsibilities. If teachers notice a decline or plateau in academic performance, it is important to provide academic support to help them through their challenges. This could include:  

  • Flexible deadlines and homework extensions 
  • Individualised learning plans 
  • Regular communication and check-ins 
  • Additional academic support and resources 
  • Homework clubs and study groups 
  • Academic mentoring 
  • Time management skills 
  • In-class support and accommodations 
  • Liaising with support services 
  • Celebrating achievements 

This can significantly help a young carer with their academic responsibilities. It is also important to have regular check-ins to keep up-to-date with their lives and tailor the support accordingly.  

Collaboration with carer support organisations 

It is important to recognise when your institution needs professional advice and guidance when it comes to supporting your carers. There are many organisations and charities that can support you and provide advice so you can take the right steps when providing a young carer with support.  

You could speak to your local council to find any local carer support organisations, and remain in consistent contact so they can keep up to date with your school, and you can keep your school’s wellbeing policy up to date.  

Providing respite and relaxation opportunities 

It is important to highlight the challenges young carers face and recognise their struggles. Where most young people finish school and go home to a place of relaxation, young carers may have a long list of duties that are waiting for them when they come home. Being constantly mentally and physically active can impact their mental wellbeing, leading to fatigue and exhaustion, compounded by the demands made of them emotionally by the adults in their care.  

It is important for schools to support the mental health and wellbeing of young carers, and provide the opportunity for respite and relaxation if they feel they are physically or mentally exhausted. Teachers should be trained to recognise signs of exhaustion and offer relaxation opportunities and mental health days.  

Young carers who need a break could be taken out of non-compulsory classes or provided with time to relax with a book in the library or take a peaceful walk on the playground with the supervision of a staff member. This can help them unwind and recuperate in time for their more important lessons.  

Young carers should also be taught how to practise self-care, prioritise their wellbeing and stress management techniques such as mindfulness practices, so that they can use it when they are at home. This ensures that they are looking after themselves and building resilience.  

Engaging with parents and guardians 

Schools should be in regular contact with the parents or guardians of young carers, and understand any home circumstances that could impact them, or raise a safeguarding concern if warranted. Regular contact allows for schools to tailor the support and care they offer each young carer to ensure they are making their lives as easy as possible.  

Schools should also regularly update parents or guardians on the support they are providing, and offer any resources or information to parents that can support the young carer.  

Addressing attendance and punctuality issues 

Young carers can often have a hard time being punctual or attending school. This can be due to their carer responsibilities overtaking their time, or their exhaustion from an irregular sleep schedule due to nights of caring. 

Schools should implement strategies to address attendance and punctuality challenges some young carers may have. They should also do welfare checks on any absences to ensure the child is okay, and offer any support, or raise a safeguarding concern if appropriate. If a child is absent frequently, entice them to come to school by offering relaxed learning techniques, as they may not realise they need a break from being at home.  

Evaluation and continuous improvement 

Schools should regularly reflect on the effectiveness of their support strategies and implement any necessary changes or alterations if aspects of the strategies aren’t working as effectively as they should. 

Collecting feedback from young carers within the school will allow schools to adapt accordingly and implement necessary changes, ultimately supporting the wellbeing and educational needs of the young carers.  

Celebrating and recognising young carers 

This carers week, celebrate and recognise the achievements, resilience and challenges young carers face. It is important to recognise their contributions and selflessness as they care for their families and communities.  

Recognition of the contributions they make can uplift their spirits, boost their self-esteem and make them feel valued by their community.  

  

Shawmind has a mission to improve children and teen’s mental health across the nation. We provide early intervention to prevent a further mental health crisis in the next generation. If you want to support Headucation, please donate or choose to do one of our mental health courses. Alternatively, you can book Headucation for your school.  

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Step into Mental Fitness: Celebrating National Walking Month

It’s National Walking Month! As part of mental health awareness to boost the mental health of people across the nation, we want to highlight the mental health benefits of walking, 

Did you know? Studies show that there is an 18% reduction in depression amongst adults who get just HALF of the daily recommended physical activity.  

 

This blogpost will discuss: 

  • The benefits of walking for mental wellbeing 
  • How to fit walking into your routine 
  • How to get kids involved in walking 
  • How to practise mindfulness when walking  

 

Benefits of walking for mental health 

You might know walking as good for your physical health, but did you know it has many mental health benefits too? Here are some of the mental health benefits of walking you can benefit from this National Walking Month: 

Reduced risk of depression and anxiety 

Many studies have shown that there is a strong link between exercise, walking and a reduction in anxiety and depression. It is important that we get regular fresh air exercise on a daily basis to prevent depression and anxiety.  

Improved sleep 

Studies have shown how there is a strong link between sleep and exercise. Those who exercise on a daily basis tend to get better quality sleep throughout the night. This has a positive impact on both physical and mental health by reducing negative moods and promoting overall well-being. 

Stress reduction  

Exercise and walking releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals, which can help reduce stress. Also, walking in nature can be relaxing and calming, especially if you practise mindfulness, which can reduce stress and make you feel energised.  

Increased self esteem 

Walking can make you feel really good about yourself! When you set a goal to walk every day, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement, which can boost your self-esteem. Also, walking is the perfect opportunity to self-reflect and practice gratitude.  

Improved cognitive function 

Walking is good for the brain! Studies show that those who walk regularly have improved memory and a reduced risk of cognitive decline such as dementia. John D. Omura a et al conducted a study which found that cognitive decline is almost twice as common among adults who are inactive compared to those who are active. 

 

How to fit walking into your routine 

Start small 

Some people can walk marathons, and some can just walk around the park. Either way, it’s best to start with what you feel comfortable with. Stick with what you can do, if you push yourself too much you might give up! 

Set realistic goals 

It’s good to set goals, but make sure they’re realistic. If you struggle making time for walking, start by setting a goal of only walking on weekends, or only walking to work on warm days! This way, you won’t get put-off by your goals. Whatever your goals are, make sure they work for you and your lifestyle.  

Incorporate walking into your daily routine 

We all have busy lives and packed schedules, so rather than working your routine around walking, try working walking into your routine. Rather than driving to the shops, you could walk. You could walk to pick the kids up from school, walk the dog, walk during your lunch break or even walk to work.  

Walk with a friend or group 

If you’re dealing with loneliness, walking with a group, friends or family can be a great way to combat loneliness and boost your mental health and wellbeing. If you’re feeling lonely, reach out to people you know and ask if they want to go on a walk. Alternatively, find walking groups in your community, you could ask your local Facebook group if anyone wants to start one! 

Listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks 

Walking can be the perfect time to get some ‘me time’. We all like a little bit of time to ourselves, so be sure to listen to your favourite music, podcasts or audiobooks. This can make you feel more motivated to walk and enjoy the time you spend on your walks.  

Explore New Areas 

Walking the same route can get a tad boring! Make sure to switch it up by exploring new neighbourhoods and parks in your area. Remember to be safe and take a friend with you! 

 

How to get kids involved with walking 

Set a good example 

Parenting starts with setting a good example! If you show your child that you enjoy walking and walk regularly, they will see it as a fun activity. This way, they will want to incorporate it in their lives, even when they are older. 

Establish walking in their routine 

Whether you want to walk to school, walk after school or walk after dinner, it is important to make walking a normal part of your child’s routine.  

Music or dance walk 

Pick a safe and suitable location, such as a forest trail or a park, and put some of yours and your child’s favourite dance songs. Now it’s time to have a little boogie along your walk! This can make walking more fun and enjoyable.  

Walking challenges 

Children love a little bit of competition. If you give them a walking challenge, they will feel motivated to hit their targets. You can set them a goal of 2000 steps a day to start with. 

Mindful walks  

Mindfulness is a great practice for children, and what better time to practise mindfulness than on a pleasant walk. There are so many sensory experiences to soak in, and walking is the perfect time to reflect and be in tune with your body.  

Make walking fun! 

Here are a few things you can do with your kids to make walking more fun: 

  • Play ‘I Spy’ or a scavenger hunt 
  • Play follow the leader 
  • Bring friends along 
  • Get them to photograph their surroundings 
  • Bring snacks 
  • Find an item from each colour of the rainbow 
  • Stop at local monument to learn about local history 
  • Teach them about nature 

 

How to practise mindfulness on walks 

Mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, improve cognitive function and increase our overall mental health. Here are a few ways you can practise mindfulness on your walks: 

  • Pay attention to your senses, focus on what you can see, feel, smell, touch and hear. 
  • Take slow, deep breaths. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth. 
  • Walk slow and deliberately, paying attention to each step you take. 
  • Focus on the present moment. 
  • Practice gratitude. 

 

Shawmind has a mission to improve mental health across the nation. We want to provide early intervention to prevent a further mental health crisis. If you want to support our mission, please donate or choose to do one of our mental health courses 

 

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How to Encourage Positive Behaviour on Social Media for Children

Just like how you teach children how to behave in school or in public, teaching them how to behave online is no different. Our lives have become increasingly digitised, and online etiquette is becoming more and more important. Research shows that 87% of teens are active users of social media.  

As part of our mission to raise awareness for young people’s mental health problems through our Headucation classes in schools, we want to equip parents with the skills and knowledge they need to educate children and young people on how to act positively on social media.  

This article will be discussing how parents can play an active role in teaching their children how to act positively on social media.  

 

Respecting opinions 

In the past, we were limited to the opinions of our social group and the discourse of our local community. With the rise of the internet, we are more connected than ever before. We have access to opinions from people from every corner of the globe.  

Although this can be a force for good, it requires a level of maturity to respect other people’s opinions, respond to disagreements critically or keep scrolling if you disagree. 

Respecting others’ opinions means acknowledging that people have different views, beliefs, and perspectives on various issues. It also means recognising that everyone has the right to express their opinions without fear of being ridiculed or attacked. 

It is important that we teach children about the diversity that exists on the internet, and how she should respect people’s opinions without being rude or disrespectful.  

 

Encourage empathy and understanding 

Encouraging empathy and understanding is another vital aspect of positive online behaviour. This means helping your children put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand how their words and actions can impact others.  

Children can often forget about the fact that on the other side of the interaction is another human being. The shield of anonymity that digital interactions have can be a slippery slope into bullying and rude behaviour. 

It is important to foster empathy so they learn early on about proper internet etiquette.  

 

Educate them on cyberbullying 

Many children may not be aware of the harmful impacts of cyberbullying. Although many parents teach the protocol for if they feel they are a victim of cyberbullying, many parents forget to teach their children not to cyberbully others. 

It is important that the conversation on cyberbullying goes both ways. This way not only are they protected, but other children are protected too. This also teaches them about empathy and respect for others online.  

 

Encourage them to share positive and uplifting content 

Social media can be a cause for good, and it is important to have conversations with children about how they can be a positive role model online. As a parent, it is important to monitor the type of content your child shares online, it is also important to encourage them to share positive and uplifting content. 

 

Some ideas for positive content that they can post include: 

  • Any creative work they have done 
  • Posting positive comments  
  • Sharing positive news stories 
  • Supporting positive causes 
  • Sharing photos of their pets 
  • Happy family moments 

 

Encourage them to be supportive and look out for others 

To foster a positive online community, it is important to teach children how to be supportive and encouraging of their online peers. If a friend has posted something positive, teach them how to comment something supportive.  

Similarly, if they see any negative or dangerous content, teach them how to report it and when to speak to an adult about what they have seen. This helps create an environment where children feel positive about their time on social media.  

 

Teach them how to deal with negative comments or interactions positively 

Of course, the internet won’t always be a positive environment, and it is important to equip children with the skills and knowledge on how to deal with negativity in a positive way.  

It is important to help children understand that not everyone will like them. Teach them that not everyone will like them or agree with them online, just as in real life. Help them develop a thick skin and understand that negative comments are not a reflection of their worth. 

If they feel they are being bullied online, teach them to speak to a trusted adult immediately and block any negative accounts. Similarly, teach them not to respond to negativity and this can often escalate the situation.  

 

Monitor their social media use 

It is important for parents and carers to monitor young people’s social media accounts. Make sure to check their: 

  • Comments 
  • Watch history 
  • Liked photos 
  • Followers/following list 
  • Direct messages 
  • Privacy settings 
  • Content they have uploaded 
  • Time spent on social media apps 
  • Location settings 

Encourage Offline Interactions 

Excessive social media consumption can be damaging for children’s mental health. To promote good mental health, be sure to set time limits on the amount of social media time your child is allowed per day. It is important to make sure they participate in offline activities such as sports, art classes and family time.  

 

 

 

Shawmind has a mental health awareness mission to improve children and teen’s mental health across the nation. We want to provide early intervention to prevent a further mental health crisis. If you want to support Headucation, please donate or choose to do one of our mental health courses. Alternatively, you can book Headucation for your school.  

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How to Ensure Safe Use of Social Media for Children’s Mental Health Awareness

Where once it was simply just a platform for adults to share pictures with friends, now, almost all ages have had an experience with social media at one point in their lives.  

Whether its toddlers watching YouTube, tweens on Snapchat, teens on TikTok or adults on Facebook and Instagram, social media has become an integral part of our society. 

Research shows that 87% of teens are active users of social media. With a growing child/teen demographic, it’s time for parents and teachers to equip children with the skills they need to handle social media in a responsible way.  

Evidence shows that there is a growing link between social media and depression and mental health problems. We offer Headucation in schools to improve the mental health of children. At Shawmind, we are dedicated to improving young people’s mental health, so we’ll be discussing how to ensure children are using social media safely. 

 

In this article, we will be discussing: 

  • The risks associated with social media 
  • Tips on how to use social media safely for parents and carers 
  • How to use safety settings on different social media platforms 

 

What are the risks associated with social media? 

Cyberbullying 

For as long as social media has been around, cyberbullying has been a prominent issue that impacts children on social media.  

With a digital shield of anonymity, many online bullies feel reduced responsibility, empathy and accountability when interacting with their victims.  

 

Cyberbullying comes in many different forms, including: 

  • Threatening messages 
  • Spreading rumours  
  • Creating fake profiles of someone 
  • Account hacking 
  • Hurtful comments 
  • Distribution of private photos without consent 

 

Online predators  

It may be easy to protect your child and identify predators in real life, but it can be a lot more difficult online.  

There are an estimated 500,000 active online predators each day. Many predators may use fake profiles on online chatrooms to gain a child’s trust to solicit inappropriate pictures, videos and conversation, and arrange in-person meetings to further exploit the child.  

Although this can typically be a stranger, the online groomer can be someone the child knows or has met in real life, who is pretending to be their age online. They typically target children aged 12-15, with over 50% of the victims of online sexual exploitation in that age bracket.  

 

Exposure to inappropriate content 

Although many platforms have age restrictions and content policies, young minds can still be at risk of premature exposure to adult materials. This can be anything from sexual to violent materials.  

This is concerning for children and teenagers who do not have the sexual or mental maturity to handle such content.  

 

Unrealistic aspirational content 

Aspirational content on social media refers to the highly curated and often unrealistic content that people post online to portray their lives in a positive light.  

This can include seemingly flawless bodies, beautiful people, luxurious locations, perfectly styled outfits, expensive cars and shopping trips and a cool group of friends.  

While many adults may be able to see past the glossy images, many children and young adults may struggle to accept that their life does not match up to the perfectly curated lifestyle they see some influencers living.  

This can lead to a young person having unrealistic standards of beauty, beauty, success, or happiness. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and depression, and can lead to serious conditions like eating disorders. 

 

Tips for parents to ensure safe social media use for their children 

Although it can be difficult to keep up with technology, as a parent, you play an important role in ensuring that your child uses social media safely.  

 

Encourage open communication between parent and child 

Parents should have an open and ongoing conversation with their child about social media use. They should discuss the risks and benefits of social media and establish clear guidelines and expectations for safe use. 

It is important to discuss the risks associated with improper social media usage. Not only is it important to educate them on how to avoid the dangers of social media, it is also important to educate them on how to be respectful to other people on social media.  

 

Parents should discuss these rules with their child: 

  • Only allow your child to sign up for social media if they meet the minimum age requirement for that platform. 
  • Ensure your child seeks your permission before registering for a social media account. 
  • Set limits on screen time. 
  • Customise privacy settings for ultimate security.  
  • Teach children not to share personal information or inappropriate content.  
  • Children should be taught not to engage in cyberbullying 
  • No meeting strangers in person: 
  • Parents should have access to their accounts and passwords. 
  • Parents should regularly check their child’s social media. 

 

Teach children how to recognise risks online 

Parents should have conversations with their child about online safety and how to recognise and respond to potential risks, such as cyberbullying or online predators.  

Children and young people should be encouraged to reach out to a trusted adult like a teacher or parent if they experience or witness any unsafe behaviour online. 

 

Educate children on their digital footprint 

It is important that parents encourage children to be mindful of their digital footprint and to think twice before posting or sharing anything online.  

They should be reminded that anything they post online can be permanent and can have long-lasting consequences. 

 

 

Establish a healthy online/offline balance 

We have to face it, society is becoming more reliant on technology, and it is important that children know how to live their lives online in the most appropriate and safest way.  

However, it is also important to educate them on the dangers of excessive social media usage. Living in the real world and experiencing new things is important for cognitive development and mood improvement. Find a healthy online/offline balance and try to do outdoor activities as much as possible.  

 

How to utilise safety features and settings on social media 

TikTok 

Restricted Mode 

This feature filters out content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Parents can enable this feature by going to the “Me” tab, selecting “Settings and Privacy,” and then choosing “Digital Wellbeing.” 

Privacy Settings 

Parents can set their child’s account to private so only approved followers can see their content. To do this, go to “Settings and Privacy,” select “Privacy and Safety,” and then turn on “Private Account.” 

Family Safety Mode 

This feature allows parents to link their own TikTok account to their child’s, giving them control over their child’s settings and screen time. 

 

Instagram 

Private Account 

Similar to TikTok, parents can set their child’s account to private so only approved followers can see their content. To do this, go to “Settings,” select “Privacy,” and then turn on “Private Account.” 

Comment Controls 

Parents can limit who can comment on their child’s posts or turn off comments altogether. To do this, go to “Settings,” select “Privacy,” and then choose “Comments.” 

Story Sharing 

Parents can control who can share their child’s story by going to “Settings,” selecting “Privacy,” and then choosing “Story.” 

 

Facebook 

Privacy Settings 

Parents can set their child’s account to private, meaning only approved friends can see their content. To do this, go to “Settings,” select “Privacy,” and then choose “Who can see my stuff?” 

Restricted List 

Parents can add people to their child’s restricted list, meaning they won’t see their posts unless they’re public. To do this, go to the person’s profile, select “More,” and then choose “Add to Restricted List.” 

Messenger Kids 

Facebook offers a separate app called Messenger Kids, designed for children under 13. Parents can control their child’s contacts and monitor their messages. 

 

Twitter 

Privacy Settings 

You can set your child’s account to private, meaning only approved followers can see their content. To do this, go to “Settings and Privacy,” select “Privacy and Safety,” and then turn on “Protect Your Tweets.” 

Mute and Block  

You can mute or block other Twitter users to prevent them from interacting with their child’s account. To do this, go to the person’s profile, select “More,” and then choose “Mute” or “Block.” 

 

Snapchat 

Privacy Settings 

Parents can set their child’s account to private, meaning only approved friends can see their content. To do this, go to “Settings,” select “Who Can,” and then choose “My Friends.” 

Snap Map 

Parents can enable “Ghost Mode” on their child’s Snap Map, which hides their location from others. To do this, pinch the screen on the Snap Map and then select “Ghost Mode.” 

Report Abuse 

Parents can report inappropriate content or behaviour on Snapchat by pressing and holding on the person’s name or snap, selecting “More,” and then choosing “Report.” 

 

 

Shawmind has a mission to improve children and teen’s mental health across the nation. We want to provide early intervention to prevent a further mental health crisis. If you want to support Headucation, please donate or choose to do one of our mental health courses. Alternatively, you can book Headucation for your school.  

 

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How Stress Impacts Your Overall Wellbeing

We all experience stress at some point in our lives. Although some stressful periods can come and go, it is important to consider that excessive stress can have an impact on our overall well-being.

In 2018, 74% of adults in the UK felt ‘unable to cope’ from high levels of stress. During this Stress Awareness Month, as part of our mental health awareness aim, we want to raise awareness about the impacts of stress.

We’ll be discussing the long term and short-term effects of stress, as well as some signs you should consider which indicate you are experiencing stress.

What are the short-term effects of stress?

Body aches

Excessive tension in our body can lead to stress headaches, also known as tension headaches. Some individuals experiencing stress may also get stomach aches and muscle aches.

Although painkillers can relieve the discomfort, the only way to properly cure these issues is to destress.

Poor sleep quality

During periods of stress, our brains are overworked and we may be constantly thinking about the stressors in our lives. Unfortunately, this can negatively impact the quality of sleep that we get. We may find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Quality sleep is one of the most important things for our physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to a number of complications.

Mood fluctuations

Stress can impact our mood. We may experience a range of negative emotions along with stress. This includes anxiety, sadness, irritability, anger and even depression.

Difficulty thinking straight

Stress can negatively impact our cognitive function. When we’re stressed, a large portion of our thinking capacity is focused on our stressors. During periods of high stress levels, we can find it difficult to remember things, concentrate or make decisions.

Decreased immunity

Stress can impact our immunity, meaning we are more likely to contract viruses and infections. Fighting off any illness may take longer than usual due to the low immunity.

What are the long term effects of stress?

Cardiovascular diseases

Stress can increase blood pressure which can cause an individual’s heart to work overtime. Over a long period of time, this can have detrimental impacts to a person’s cardiovascular health, leading to complications such as hypertension, heart disease and stroke.

Digestive issues

Stress releases hormones in the body that can cause our organs to function differently. Chronic stress can lead to issues such as IBS, stomach ulcers, acid reflux and more.

Reproductive complications

Stress can interfere with reproductive health through hormonal imbalances. An individual experiencing chronic stress can deal with fertility issues and menstrual irregularities.

Serious mental health issues

If left untreated, stress over long periods of time can lead to serious mental illnesses that can be more difficult to treat. Examples of this are depression, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders and more.

Obesity

Stress can increase the level of cortisol in the body, which can increase insulin resistance, which leads to high blood sugar levels and fat storage. Furthermore, many stressed people may overeat and under exercise which can lead to obesity.

Alezheimers

Prolonged stress can lead to cognitive decline which puts individuals at risk of developing Alezheimers.

What are two warning signs of stress?

It is important to pay attention to the warning signs of stress so you can address the issue before it becomes serious. If you spot these signs in your behaviour or someone else’s, it is time for a stress management intervention to improve mental health.

  • Body Pains
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Sadness
  • Feeling overwhelmed.
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgement.
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Isolating oneself
  • Procrastinating
  • Neglecting responsibilities.
  • Substance Abuse
  • Changes in social interaction

How to reduce stress

If you’re feeling stressed, it is important to tackle the issue and deal with the stress before it becomes too late and you experience some of the long term side effects. It is important to relieve stress early, so if you spot any of the above signs, it is time to prioritise your mental and physical health and get to the root of the problem.

A few things you can do to manage stress and boost your emotional health is to stay physically active, indulge in hobbies, socialise with friends and family and practice mindfulness.

Shawmind is an early intervention charity. We’re on a mission to improve mental health awareness. Our ‘Understanding Stress’ course can give you the skills and knowledge you need to manage stress.

As a charity, we rely on your donations to provide schools with mental health education. Please consider donating here.

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