Today, 1st February 2024, is Time to Talk Day.
Time to Talk Day is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation. Its main purpose is to encourage everyone to come together to talk, listen and change lives.
Mental ill health costs UK employers £34.9 billion each year. In the latest HSE statistics released 2022/23, it shows 875,000 workers suffered work-related stress, depression or anxiety. A staggeringly high amount but thankfully 39,000 less than last year. The more we know and understand, the more we can prevent, manage, and treat ill health.
Not only does February bring Time to Talk Day, there’s also Children’s Mental Health week week commencing 5th February 2024 and this year’s theme is “My voice matters” which is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves. Children and young people who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem. They need to be able to say – and believe – “My Voice Matters”.
The more conversations we all have, the better life is – even the simplest conversation has the power to change lives.
Talking about mental health isn’t always easy.
Don’t bottle things up – take time out of your day to talk to someone with an empathetic ear to get their perspective on things. It could be a friend, family member or colleague but between you, you may be able to develop solutions to any problems.
Mental health is an integral element of our overall health. It should be accepted and acknowledged so that we can learn how to prevent, manage, and treat it in the same way we do with physical health.
What is stress?
Stress is our body’s response to a harmful life event or threatening situation, regardless of if the threat is genuine or not. Stress can affect people in a variety of different ways and severity, so what may be perceived as a stressful situation by one person, may be of little concern to another. Subsequently, some individuals are better able to handle stress than others.
It is one of the great public health challenges of our time, but it still isn’t being taken as seriously as physical health concerns. Stress is a significant factor in mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia, and digestive pr4oblems.
Although we should state that not all stress is bad. In some cases, small amounts of stress can help you accomplish tasks, stay focused, be energetic and help you meet new challenges in the workplace. It’s what keeps you on your toes to prevent accidents or costly mistakes!
Our bodies are able to handle small amounts of stress, but we are not equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress without ill consequences. If you think you handle stress pretty well then share your coping techniques with those who don’t and try to act more considerately around people who appear to be stressed.
Loneliness has a huge impact on physical and mental health. We all play a part in connecting to other people and our community which is fundamental to protecting our mental health. Reducing loneliness is a major step towards a mentally healthy society.
All it takes is a simple conversation – letting someone know you care for them can reduce their feelings of loneliness. It is the feeling we experience when we don’t get the social connections we need or want. The feeling of loneliness can be absolutely crushing, taking away your sense of self-worth and belonging.
Mental Health Resources
There are simple steps you can take to look after your whole self. You can use the ‘My whole self MOT’ from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England. You can use this MOT to check in on your own and others’ mental health and wellbeing. It includes simple steps you can take to look after “your whole self” along with useful links to further information. The NHS have devised a quick 5 question quiz to help improve your mental health and wellbeing.
We are a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England Training Instructor centre providing various levels of Mental Health First Aid courses.
Our next 2-day Mental Health First Aid course is 6th & 7th February and is aimed at those who want to gain the necessary skills to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support. Successful completion of this course qualifies the delegate to be a Mental Health First Aider and is valid for 3 years.
We also have blog features on our website providing guidance.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggests organisations include mental health into their Health and Safety strategy – we can help you comply with your statutory duties and undertake stress assessments.
If you have any questions or would like any further information on Mental Health in the workplace, please do contact us.
Whether you choose a single place on our open course or training for an entire staff team, our choice of courses provides delegates with essential managing mental health knowledge.
Life is so busy these days. Make sure you always find the time to have a conversation to support Mental Health.