World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2016

occupational-health-tree-300x180The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress.

“In a global context, there is a need to ensure that when crisis events occur part of the humanitarian response is appropriate and timely mental health support… But of course, crisis events are not just limited to the events we see on the news. Every day, and all around us, people often experience personal crises, from potentially losing a loved one, going through a stressful situation at work, or experiencing a serious physical illness.

There are also people who sadly experience abuse and/or violence, all of which increase stress and the likelihood of developing mental health problems. We need to be conscious of the need to provide the right support when people experience the stress of traumatic events, both in the global context and on an individual level.”  Source:  Mental Health Foundation

Mental ill health can be isolating; relationships with others help to provide perspective, support and can boost self-confidence and self-worth as well as encouraging good lifestyle choices.

“The principle of first aid is that all or any of us may need to step in to help when someone needs it, and to help them to see if they need professional help.  All of us may need to build confidence to do this with the people we are close to, our family, friends and colleagues.

Some stats from the Health & Safety Executive from October last year showed that mental health has overtaken musculoskeletal disorders as the most common reason for absence from work.

This is why it is so important that we talk about mental health in our workplace and ensure that staff are aware of the help and support we are able to provide.

Starting a conversation about mental health doesn’t have to be difficult….

  • If you know a colleague, family member of friend is struggling, just asking how they are can make such a difference
  • If you are struggling with mental health issues, try and keep in touch with family and friends, however much you feel that it would be easier to be alone
  • Confide in a colleague or line manager
  • Contact the University’s Employee Assistance Programme – telephone counselling is available 24/7, face to face counselling is available further to assessment
  • Request a ‘Mini Mental Health MOT’ appointment directly with the Occupational Health Service by phoning ext 3187 for a confidential assessment
  • Ask your line manager or HR Officer for a referral to the Occupational Health Service if you think your work is being affected
  • Visit your General Practitioner to discuss treatment options

The following publications from Mind may be useful for further information:

How to be mentally healthy at work

Information and guidance for helping someone else

How to increase your self esteem

How to cope with loneliness

1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. With this in mind, perhaps the university will give further consideration to implementing the mental health 1st aid course. Those trained members of staff will then be well placed to deal with and support staff and students experiencing mental health issues.

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