mental health: how and when to seek help
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and should be treated in the same way if you encounter difficulties. The past couple of years have been particularly challenging and has negatively impacted most people’s mental wellbeing. 1 in 4 adults in the UK experience difficulties with their mental health, and thousands feel hesitant to get the support they need. Here’s how you can support your own mental health during tricky times, as well as helping others with theirs.
By Emily Roach, Paws in Work guest blogger.
supporting your own mental health.
If you’ve been on an aeroplane, you’ll be familiar with the instruction ‘please put your own lifejacket on before helping others.’ This rule also applies to mental health. In other words, how are you able to aid someone else if your own mental health has declined? It’s so important to make sure you’re doing what you can to look after your own mental wellbeing before you consider helping other people.
Here are some of our top tips on looking after your mental health:
- keep your body and mind active through gentle exercise and other activities you enjoy
- nourish yourself with nutrient-dense foods
- try to sleep well
- surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you
- take a break - especially during the working day
- engage in nature
- practice mindfulness
- speak out and seek the help you need
when to get help.
Sometimes, recognising when to seek the help you need is complicated. Unfortunately, many people’s views are tainted by the stigma attached to speaking out about mental health troubles. A lot of people still feel somewhat embarrassed or ashamed to admit they’ve been going through a tough time. Getting help is a major sign of bravery and is the biggest step to take on the road to recovery.
If a mental health difficulty is impacting a person’s everyday life and occupying their mind 24/7, meaning that they are unable to focus or enjoy activities, it’s a good idea to consider seeking help.
It can be incredibly isolating if you’re living alone and not having someone to confide in. Therefore, it’s so important to take the step of reaching out for assistance. It’s recommended to initially speak to someone who you feel you can trust: a friend, family member or work colleague. If you’re still feeling anxious, you could get in touch with your GP. They can then advise the route for you to take and type of help that would best suit your needs. Remember that it’s okay not to be okay and you should never face your challenges alone.
mental health resources.
Thankfully, there’s a diverse variety of mental health help resources available for you to access from the comfort of your home or another setting that is most convenient for you. Anxiety, stress, depression, bereavement, and addiction are some of many issues that can be addressed, in the form of apps, online chats, video calls, group meetings and one on one sessions. Check out this extensive list of resources here.
supporting other people.
As well as helping yourself, knowing the facilities that can help someone’s mental wellbeing is useful when trying to help others. You can help point someone in the right direction if they’re unsure of how to help themselves. You can also just be a friendly face for someone who wants to seek comfort and get things off their chest. You never know how much it can help someone if they have someone to listen to or offer them support.
Additionally, you can enrol in mental health first aid courses to become a mental health first aider (MHFA). Becoming a MHFA is a potentially lifesaving skill; it’s particularly useful for everyday life and helping your work colleagues. Many people may face mental health hurdles during the working day which go undetected. Having someone to talk to at work can make a huge difference on a person’s mental wellbeing. A lack of mental health resources at work has led to a huge increase of people taking off sick days and even resigning due to poor mental health. There are many other ways you can help boost the morale of your team at work, check them out here.
book MH training with us.
If you want to broaden your knowledge on mental wellbeing to help yourself as well as others, sign up to one of our mental health training courses today! You could save someone’s life with the new skills you’ll learn, and you can work through three levels of expertise: be aware, champion and first aider!
We offer individual courses and group bookings can receive up to 20% off. We can’t wait to work with you and are thrilled that you are helping to break the stigma on speaking out about mental health! Contact us today to find out more and book a course.