It’s something that we all too often overlook, but taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical health.
Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event that aims to raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health issues.
This year, the focus is on anxiety, which is one of the most common conditions in the UK and particularly prevalent at the moment, amid the challenging economic climate.
To mark the campaign, we sat down with Technoprint’s Mental Health First Aider, Anna Zaremba, to discuss mental health awareness, the importance of focusing on anxiety, and her advice for mental wellness.
The role of a mental health first aider
A mental health first aider is much like that of a physical first aider but of course with a focus on providing an initial response to any mental-borne issues that may arise.
Essentially, our role is to provide a supportive and non-judgmental presence in the workplace, to help colleagues feel heard, understood, and supported during difficult times.
I chose to train in mental health first aid because I wanted to gain knowledge about such a vital aspect of our health so that I could be an outlet for colleagues who may be struggling.
Following my training, I was able to put together an action plan to help and support any member of staff who needed it but also have the knowledge to spot when professional help would be required.
The importance of raising awareness of mental health
We’ve made real progress as a society over the last decade in improving our understanding and knowledge of the impact that mental health can have on ourselves and those around us.
However, there’s still more to be done when it comes to raising awareness to ensure that people know how to access the right support or treatment.
I was made acutely aware of the need to increase awareness of mental health on the training course, as I learned that one in four people experience some form of mental ill health every year.
Meanwhile, during your lifetime, it’s likely that either you will develop poor mental health or have close contact with someone who does, so having the knowledge of where to access support and how to treat it is vital.
Of course, this can have a damaging impact on all aspects of life whether its work, health, family or your social life.
Why mental health awareness in the workplace matters
If an employee is suffering from poor mental health, it can cost a business a lot of money, given that the person may not have the capacity to perform to their usual level or be able to attend work.
However, if someone is enduring a difficult day, mentally, one minute of positive social interaction is enough to increase the interpersonal relationship they have with a colleague, reduce stress levels and boost feelings of security. All of this can contribute to better mental health in the workplace.
So, it’s important to compliment people at work, listen to what they have to say, take time to help and encourage them and smile. Doing these simple things can really help bond teams together, improve trust between one another and ultimately boost productivity.
Here at Technoprint, we want to support the team as best we can with their mental health which is why we have mental wellbeing provisions in place through the company’s health care plan.
Anxiety awareness and advice for coping with the condition
The focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide.
By focusing on this condition, we can help address a significant public health issue that affects a large proportion of the population here in the UK, especially amid the cost-of-living crisis.
But what’s crucial is that we know how to deal with feelings of anxiety and prevent them from overwhelming us.
When it comes to alleviating feelings of anxiousness, one of the best ways is to simply create a private space, away from distractions, where you can go and take time to be calm.
Another helpful tool is to identify and confront the thoughts that are causing this anxiety. By practicing this it can become a useful technique that you can call upon again and again, when you need it.
Anna’s techniques for improving mental wellbeing
Exercise, whether it be swimming, running or walking, can have such a big impact on our overall mood as it really helps to reduce stress levels, boost serotonin levels and increase your confidence.
Make sure you also find time for yourself and engage in things that help you to relax like listening to music, painting or simply sitting quietly.
Another great technique is to connect with people. Meeting up with friends and family or even someone you haven’t seen in a while is a great way to boost mental wellness as feeling connected with others has been shown to lower anxiety and stress.
Trying your hand at a new skill or hobby is also a great way to elevate your mood as it’s stimulating and allows you to take a step out of your comfort zone which can boost your confidence
Finally, maintaining a healthy diet that meets your needs is an invaluable tool for boosting your mental wellbeing. Nutritious foods like blueberries and oats are fantastic for the brain and give you more energy throughout the day.
Staying well hydrated and getting enough quality sleep are also crucial and will really improve your cognition.
If you think that Technoprint can provide the solutions that your business needs, then get in touch with us here to find out more.