Did you know that Blue Monday was originally created by a holiday company? It is a theory based on upon the weather and post-Christmas debt, with no actual research behind it.
Mental health is an every day focus for thousands of people every day across the UK. With 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health challenges, there is a good chance that you or someone in your team is struggling today.
So let's talk about it! A positive thing about the Blue Monday PR stunt is the awareness it raises and the opportunity it brings to talk about mental health. We got together with Paul Thompson, Training Lead at Springfield MIND to find out more about what we can be doing to take care of ourselves and provide support to others around us.
Who are Springfield Mind and what do you do?
MIND are national charity that campaign for better mental health. Springfield MIND is One of 132 local minds that work in the community to support local people who are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.
What actually is mental health?
The vast majority of people in society still have a negative perspective on mental health. In reality, we all have mental health and just like our physical health sometimes it’s really good, sometimes its average and sometimes we reach a crisis with it.
MIND believe mental health is;
- How we think, feel and behave
- How we cope with the ups and downs of everyday life
- How we feel about ourselves and others
- How we see ourselves now and in the future
- How we deal with negative life events
- Our self-esteem and confidence
- How stress affects us
How do you know if someone need support?
That's a great question, here are a few things to look out for;
What can I do if I spot someone who needs support?
You don’t need a be an expert to talk about mental health. Part of the reason why as a nation our mental health concerns are on the rise is due to the resistance to talk about it.
- Ask twice – sometimes we say we are fine, when we are not.
- Listen, simply being there will mean a lot.
- Resit the instinct to ‘fix’ – its not for you to suggest solutions, or provide the answers to questions raised.
- Remind them that you care, that they are important and that their feelings matter and they deserve to get the support they need.
- Signpost professional support – GPs, EAP, MIND, Samaritans can offer assistance, guidance and treatment. Make sure the person you are speaking to knows that this support is available to them.
- Don’t just talk about mental health, take the opportunity to chat about everyday things.
What can I do to look after my own mental health?
Just like your physical health, your mental health need regular care and focus. You cant support anyone around you, if you are not taking care of yourself!
What support is out there?
Your local GP will be able to advise on the support available in your local area, so its a good idea to start there. The Samaritans have a 24/7 support hotline 116 123 for anyone, whether you need support yourself or advise on how to support someone else.
Mind have an info-line call 0300 123 3393 and helpful advice booklets mind.org.uk. Alongside the Rethink Advice and Information Service 0300 5000927.
You could sign up to a Springfield MIND training course. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course which teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. Find out more here...