TOP SOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING
“Looking after your mental health is not something we should just do if we are struggling. It’s actually something we should think about all the time and really invest in, just like with our physical health” – National Health Service (NHS).
Although this may feel like a simple thing to do, with every news outlet, search result and social media post targeting our physical health and its current concerns, it is easy to let our mental wellbeing fall by the wayside — even if we know we shouldn’t. However, knowing where to go and who to contact when we do need mental health help is a good place to start.
Here, mental health first aider Tom Roden suggests some top sources to help support your mental wellbeing during lockdown — and after.
Mind is the leading charity for mental health here in the UK and has a network of 125 local minds — or independent local charities — which respond to community issues. The charity has plenty of free useful resources, ranging from general wellbeing advice to guidance for more serious problems such as chronic depression and schizophrenia. Mind even has some everyday living resources that help give information and tips for combating low mental health markers like loneliness, agitation and sleep deprivation.
Naturally, the NHS has tips on mental health — it is the National Health Service after all — but a good place to start is its guide to feeling happier. The NHS is also an excellent port of call for its depression signifiers and low mood survey to assess how you may be feeling on a regular basis without the need to contact a GP.
Samaritans is the charity most people know and use for more serious mental health challenges. Its purpose is to be a general help service for people in mental distress and/or despair. It runs a 24-hour helpline on 116 123 all week and is a very useful support system for difficult times — especially during lockdown. If calling feels too intimate or causes anxiety, you can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the charity is general rather than specialist, the team is still highly qualified and offer an impartial service to point you in the direction if they can’t help.
SHOUT, unlike Samaritans, operates entirely from a text-based service and is aimed at those who struggle with direct conversation. Simply text the number (85258) and you will be immediately connected with a trained volunteer who can help you through problems. This type of service means you can reply and chat in confidence at your own convenience, no hanging up and starting again if you’re interrupted or wish to discuss your feelings without being overheard — a great system to use if you’re not locking down on your own!
Not one for everyone, because it’s aimed at young whippersnappers — under 25s —but this may be a good support system for youngsters who find themselves separated from parents, loved ones, out of their first post-university job, furloughed with a first-time mortgage or struggling with rent.
The Mix has a few chat, message, and call options available to suit its hip and cool audience.
The CIPR isn’t just a source of help and advice on PR and communications, it’s also developed a helpful resource in the form of its mental health guide. To further support any practitioners that hold an active membership, the CIPR has partnered with Health Assured to offer access to the latter’s health and wellbeing hub.
With quick check-in style quizzes, weekly wellbeing programmes and general advice on issues like stress and pacing productivity during low moods, the hub is designed specifically to help with issues you may be facing while working within PR. You also have the option to do some online CBT if you feel so inclined!
If these aren’t enough, try the Mental Health Foundation or SANEline — but any of these are a great place to start!
If you're struggling to navigate COVID-19 media or the trappings of WFH then why not get in touch? We're still changing minds — and helping clear them too!
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