Are you a mental health box-ticker or a changemaker?

I have mixed feelings about Mental Health Awareness day. For some management teams within schools and workplaces, the reaction will be to finally bring Dorothy in for that half day of Mindfulness or book a bunch of people on that Mental Health First Aid course (whether they like it or not).

Then there are the schools and organisations who work with us to take the issue of Workplace wellbeing more seriously. They start by working with us to really understand the issues taking place for staff within their organisations and the opportunities for how they can create change at a universal and targeted level. We work together to achieve complete organisational ‘buy in’ and a clear, deliverable plan for culture change and sustainability. There is a Mindfulness strategy sitting alongside key components such as changes to mental health policy, working patterns, nutrition, physical exercise, crisis support or whatever else we find to be a barrier affecting the wellbeing of staff.

Genuine co-production sits at the heart of all of the above. Employees/learners are given the opportunity to become champions, driving forward initiatives long after we have departed, including for example social action projects benefiting both them and their local community.

Employees can engage face to face with these champions or continue their learning digitally.

Everything is measured qualitatively and quantitatively in real time, proving Social Return on Investment and how lives have genuinely been improved and exactly what is was that made the difference.

So on this special day ask yourself this about buying in your next Mental Health related service.

Do you want to be a box ticker or a changemaker?

#boxtickerschoosedorothy #changemakers-choose-us 

#TimetoTalkDay2018

The number of people who are affected by mental health is rising. In 1990, 416 million people suffered from depression or anxiety worldwide – these numbers rose to 615 million in 2013 (World Health Organisation, 2016).

Current figures state that each year in Britain an estimated one in four adults will experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem, though only 230 of every 300 who need help will actually visit their GP.

Mental illness is extremely common and exists in different forms, each of which can have an adverse effect on your well-being.

It’s easy to think there’s no right place or time to talk about mental health. But the more we talk about it, the better life is for all of us.

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Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.

There’s no right or wrong way to get involved – every conversation about mental health helps to make it a normal subject for people to talk about.

Too often, it’s left to people with mental health problems to talk about mental health. It’s treated as a taboo subject – something to only be spoken about in quiet corners. But mental health affects us all, and everyone should feel able to talk about it.

Time to Change recommends the following tips for starting a conversation:

We know talking about mental health is not always easy. But starting a conversation doesn’t have to be awkward and being there for someone can make a huge difference.

Start small

Many people find talking in person daunting, intimidating, and that’s understandable. But it doesn’t need to stop you from starting a conversation altogether. You could make a quick phone call, send your best mate a text, or leave a note for a parent.

Find a good time & place

Find a place with an informal atmosphere, perhaps in a café or over a coffee as it shouldn’t feel like a formal interview. Or alternatively, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic?

Ask questions

There are lots of misconceptions around mental illness, so asking questions is an important way of learning. Just remember that potentially, discussion might make someone feel uncomfortable. Ask open questions such as “how does this make you feel,” to get the best responses.

Be open and honest

Being open and honest with other people can help to build trust. Just remember though, don’t feel pressure to share anything that you are not comfortable with. Also, use positive body language and encourage the person to continue with small verbal comments like ‘I see’ or ‘what happened next?’. This will let them know that you are paying attention to what they are saying and actively listening to them

Treat them the same

When someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, they’re still the same person as they were before. This means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, act the same with them.

By Reece Hobson.

About Exam Results – the strain on young people’s mental health!

About Exam Results – the strain on young people’s mental health!

With A-level results day taking place last week across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and GCSE results day today, there may be some of you who are well on your way to pursuing whatever you wish to in the future. However, for others, you may find yourselves rethinking those plans that you had in mind. Whatever situation you find yourself in, it always helps to take some time out and reflect on your future goals.

Children and Young People’s Mental Health — The Role of Education

Children and Young People’s Mental Health — The Role of Education

As the pressures on our children and young people are ever-increasing, their mental health and emotional wellbeing has never been more at risk. As they transition in to their teenage years, exams, social media and bullying all play their part. So, it was with great interest that the Health and Education Select Committees released a report on the importance of the role of schools regarding mental health. 50% of adult mental illnesses start before the age of 15 and 75% have started before 18, so it makes sense that education settings can have a significant impact on their young people.

Headstart Kent launch event

On October 17, Social Sense and Breathworks will be jointly attending the official Headstart Kent launch event in Maidstone.

Please come and visit our stand and find out more about how we can help you and your school/organisation through this funded Mindfulness training opportunity.

To join the event visit

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/headstart-kent-county-stakeholder-event-every-conversation-counts-tickets-37334695078