Self-harm

Self-harm can be a sensitive subject for discussion for anyone at risk of self-harm behaviours. Reading about the subject, and especially the methods used, can be a trigger for self-harm behaviours. We appreciate that this brochure may have a number of triggers for those who are suffering, and whilst we want people to read this brochure to improve their understanding, we do not want to put anybody’s well-being at risk. Therefore, if you are feeling highly emotional, or think that you may be at risk from selfharm, we advise that you read this brochure at a later date, when you are feeling less vulnerable. If you feel any aspect of this brochure has negatively affected your mental wellbeing, then we encourage you to follow up with your regular healthcare provider as soon as possible.

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Social media and mental health

Over the last decade, the rise of social media has been hard to avoid; in fact the vast majority of people reading this brochure will use at least one form of social media on a regular basis. For many people, social media is seen as a largely positive thing as it allows people to keep up to date and in touch with people that they may not see as regularly as they may like. Whilst there are many positives to social media, there is also increasing evidence that  extended social media use can be detrimental to a person’s mental health. In this brochure we will outline some of the positive and negative impacts of social media.

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COVID-19: Top mental health tips

Below are some tips and advice for helping yourself, your staff and your family to navigate the fallout from the current crisis. The list is not exhaustive, but aims to help you to maintain good mental health throughout. If you are running an organisation, be that a school, a business or CIC, the only advice we would give you is to continue to maintain open channels of communication with your teams, suppliers and stakeholders. No-one wants to be out of the loop at the moment, so show your teams that they are valued and keep in touch.

If you want to start a conversation with us today to discuss the ongoing support of your team with regards to mental health and wellbeing, something that is affecting more and more people as this crisis continues, then please get in touch with us. We have several online training courses that could help you.

  1. Stay connected – keeping in touch with people will help them and you to know the current situation, both at work and home. Set up a WhatsApp group, use Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts to maintain regular contact with the people you usually see every day. Calls to family who are far away will also help you feel reassured about their safety and will likely help you feel calmer about things.
  2. Stay safe – following Government-led advice and your own common sense should help you reduce your risk of catching and then spreading Covid-19 among friends, family and colleagues.
  3. Maintain your health – there are already challenges when it comes to food and household supplies, so make do where you can. If you’re on mediation make sure you have plenty in stock and call on a friend or neighbour to collect it if you become unwell when it comes time to collect your next prescription.
  4. Exercise – we are not suggesting that you suddenly train like an Olympic athlete, but getting outside and getting some fresh air will do wonders for your mental and physical health. Play that yoga DVD you got for Christmas in 2018, jump on your bike and simply take a stroll around the garden (if you have one).
  5. Meditation and calming techniques – find time in every day to sit and let your mind rest. There are several apps which have offered free subscriptions in the coming months to help people manage the anxiety caused by Covid-19, so make use of them.
  6. Sleep and rest – trying to relax, rest and have a full night’s sleep might become tricky as your waking mind replays all of the news, difficulties and new challenges you will face. Talk through your concerns with your partner, a friend, a colleague, the likelihood is they will be feeling something similar. By ordering your thoughts you might be able to let go of somethings that are out of your control and focus on the things you can.
  7. Plan your day – working from home or staying at home with the kids is going to be new territory for some. It will take a few days to get into the new routine and it will likely feel odd. Give yourself a break. Set up a plan for yourself, your work or your family, like the one below:

My daily plan:

  • Wake at usual time
  • Yoga (15 minutes)
  • Shower and dressed (not back into your PJs)
  • Healthy breakfast
  • Give the kids activities or set off school work
  • Work 9 – 12
  • Lunch with a walk around the block or play a game in the garden with the family
  • Give the kids activities or set off school work
  • Work 1 – 5
  • Meditation
  • Watch cartoons with the family
  • Dinner
  • Gym, walk, chores
  • Read a book, relax to some music
  • Bed
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Loneliness

This guide provides information about what is meant by loneliness, highlights how people are affected and what effects being lonely can have. It then looks at the options people have to reduce their feelings of loneliness.

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Prenatal Mental Health

Although the majority of perinatal research focuses on mental health problems in the postnatal period, the beginnings of a shift to recognise the mental health problems women can experience in the prenatal period is emerging … Prenatal meaning before birth, and postnatal meaning after birth.

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Mental Health during pregnancy and the post-natal period

Mental health during pregnancy and the post-natal period is often treated as a taboo subject, especially by those who are suffering. Some people think that having a mental health problem is a reflection on their parenting ability. Others fear that reporting their concerns will lead to the removal of their new child by social services.

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Stress

We have all at some point in our lives felt the effects of stress, it is an unavoidable part of life. Whilst we are all familiar with what it feels like, we may struggle to accurately define what we mean when we say stress. This is unsurprising as stress is not officially an illness in itself and has no medical definition.

Though there is disagreement amongst healthcare professionals regarding whether stress itself can be responsible for symptoms or is solely a reaction to symptoms, there tends to be agreement in mental health fields that stress can cause mental health problems and be the result of mental health problems.

Stress is the brain’s reaction to excessive pressure or high demands. Emotional and mental health related symptoms include depressed mood, irritable and aggressive mood, sleep disturbances, anxiety, fear, and withdrawn behaviours/social detachment.

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Positive mental health as an employee

We now spend a great portion of our adult lives either in the office or completing work related tasks at home, instead of taking the time to relax and recuperate. Spending this much time on work related tasks increases the impact that working life has on our mental health. Therefore it is important that as an employee you find a way to improve your mental health at work and encourage your employer to make necessary changes for the good of their workforce.

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Depression

We will all, at times, experience low moods and sadness in our lives. Often we are aware of why we feel this way and it is a response to something upsetting, stressful or frustrating happening to us; however, there are times that we may not be able to pinpoint why we feel sad or low.

Usually these feelings pass in a short amount of time and we are able to move on with our lives. But unfortunately, for some people, they either do not stop or frequently reoccur. In these cases, the person is likely to be suffering from depression.

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