This year Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme is kindness.
Following this theme we will be promoting the importance of being kind to yourself during this difficult time. We recognise the huge personal impact that current circumstances are having on members of staff right across the organisation. Everyone will be facing different emotions and challenges both in relation to our working lives and our home lives. It is really important that we are there for each other and that you reach out when you need help and support, whatever that might be – emotional, psychological or financial support – or just someone to talk to after a difficult day or night.
We will be sharing information on the free mental health services available to you as well as advice and guidance on looking after your wellbeing.
Complete a quick and easy Wellbeing plan.
The wellbeing plan put together as part of the ‘Now We’re Talking’ mental health campaign includes eight boxes which the individual can fill in themselves. These boxes include ‘things I can do to relax and calm myself down’, ‘things I can do to distract myself’ and ‘fun activities I can do’.
Kate Beed, Head of Training and Consultancy at Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind (CPSL) Mind said: “The idea of the wellbeing plan is to help people get creative and think about things they can do that are good for their mental wellbeing.
“As part of the plan, you write these ideas down so you have access to them at any time. This means that when you’re feeling anxious, you don’t even have to think – you can just turn to your plan and find some activities that will help. The activities can be as simple as focusing on your breathing or distracting yourself with a 30 minute activity like watching your favourite TV show.”
Talk to someone about your worries:
Health Assured: You can call the free 24-hour Health Assured helpline on 0800 783 2808. Health Assured are there to listen and to provide advice and signposting if necessary to other services.
Chaplaincy Staff Support Line: The CUH Chaplaincy team is offering a listening service as part of the range of support CUH are putting in place for staff during this time. It is a confidential service to help staff members unburden the pressures we are currently facing, process the emotions and experiences we are encountering, and reduce the emotional impact it has on us and our home lives. You can contact the Chaplaincy Staff Support Line on 01223 217769 (08:00-16:00).
Health Assured and the Chaplaincy Staff Support Line are just two of the services provided to support staff during this time. Further details on the range of staff welfare and support services, including other psychology and counselling services, are available on the emotional and mental wellbeing pages and on the CUH Covid-19 staff portal.
You matter, your health and wellbeing is important. Make sure you take time to rest and relax by doing something you enjoy.
Follow our self-care tips below:
1. General self-care:
Take time for the things that bring you rest and joy, be it allowing yourself to have your favourite chocolate bar, reading a book, doing a face mask or participating in a hobby take the time each day to do something for just yourself.
2. Self-compassion and embrace uncertainty:
No one can control everything so its important to except changes beyond your control and when things go wrong. Give yourself the same compassion and support you would give a friend or loved one. Being kind to yourself, although difficult is an important part of self-care.
3. Beware of your own critical eye:
Try to change the way you think about yourself and your actions, when you catch yourself being negative try to adjust what you are thinking to ‘what could of gone better?’, ‘what you have learned from this?’ and most importantly ‘what you did well’. Its often easier to see the negatives than the positives, so celebrate little wins, or successes as often as possible to help you build a positive mind set.
4. Look after your mental wellbeing:
Working in healthcare is hard and there are times when you will feel there is nothing you can do, or you cannot control the situation. Be kind to yourself and your colleagues. There are times when our psychological wellbeing is so challenged that self-care is not enough. If you are finding things difficult, consider talking to your line manager or someone you trust about the impact of your work. You may want a referral to the free CUH Psychological Wellbeing Service or call the over the phone counselling service Health Assured (call 0800 783 2808).
5. Look after your physical health:
Don’t forget to listen to your body. If you have any health concerns or feel unwell make sure you take care of yourself and seek treatment or rest as needed. Look after your body and appreciate everything it does day in and day out to support you. You only get one body so treat it well and give yourself a massage, a hot bath, a moment to rest or complete your preferred form of exercise to keep your body strong and fit.
Information on all the mental wellbeing support available to staff can be found on our website section emotional and mental health.