Thursday 10 October 2019 is World Mental Health Day; an opportunity for employers, organisations and individuals to think seriously about how they can address the stigma attached to poor mental health and seek to improve the lives of millions of people who suffer, daily, from mental health issues. Suicide prevention will be at the very top of many peoples’ lists this year as hundreds of thousands of people are still taking their own lives globally each year and suicide is still the leading cause of death among young people aged 20 to 34 years in the UK.
For men under the age of 50, suicide is still the biggest killer. The Samaritans has launched a new campaign called “Real People, Real Stories” that seeks to share the stories of men who have gone through difficult times and highlights the fact that 2 in 5 men in England, Scotland and Wales between the ages of 20 to 59 just don’t seek help when they need it.
Having worked with Samaritans for a number of years, I can certainly recommend the value of talking to another human being about what really matters to you. I, like the Samaritans, recognise that it’s not always easy to talk to friends and family, you don’t want to be a burden, they know you too well, you worry about their reaction to what you really want to day. There are so many reasons why you might just keep it all to yourself.
It doesn’t need to be like that – there are people at the end of the phone 24 hours a day to speak with you, to listen and to hear what you want to say. This is what the Samaritans do.
Alternatively, if you are looking for counsellors in Lancaster or counsellors in Preston and want to talk about how you feel, face to face in a safe and confidential environment within the private practice sector, please call me at Well Life Counselling any time.
It really is ok not to be ok and talking to a counsellor or the Samaritans can be a life-saver. Don’t wait any longer – pick up the phone now and start talking about how you feel.
Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123
Well Life Counselling can be contacted on 07885 735687
Stress is the “health epidemic of the 21st Century” according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as reported by Forbes back in 2015. As I reflect on 2018 and look forward to another year, I can’t help wondering what’s changed? My guess is that nothing has changed, and stress is still the epidemic it was back then. OK, so we may have become more accustomed to hearing about Stress in the media and might even be a little happier about admitting to its effects in our own lives but has anything really changed? Are we better at dealing with the effects of stress? Are our employers more understanding? Are we doing anything about it? Let’s face it, it’s one thing to know that there is so much more information out there about Stress and Wellbeing but it’s quite another thing to actually do anything about it. Stress and Wellbeing are likely to continue to be big news in 2019 and I hope that this coming year will be a year when we will all learn to take Stress seriously; seriously enough to do something about it in our own lives. If you are suffering from the effects of Stress right now and want to make a start in tackling it, give me a call and take the first step to a better year.
According to the Movember Foundation, globally, a man dies by suicide every minute. The foundation does great work in promoting men’s health; both physical and mental, raising awareness of the dangers of testicular and prostate cancer and poor mental health and asking why there are so many men taking their own lives. Don’t we keep saying that men don’t talk enough about emotions and what really matters? Why can’t men talk about how they feel? Without a doubt, the answer will be multifaceted. As a counsellor and psychotherapist there is one thing I know for sure and that is that talking is good. If you’re a man out there and you need help but have been struggling alone for too long, maybe it’s time to take a chance on talk. It could be a friend, colleague, father or brother or maybe you would feel better talking to someone completely disconnected with your life – that’s the time to seek out a good therapist. There’s nothing mysterious about therapy – it’s mostly just talking and it might be the best thing you ever did.
The MOVEMBER FOUNDATION can be found at https://uk.movember.com/?home
The SAMARITANS is also a great place to begin the conversation by calling 116 123
You can also call me at WELL LIFE COUNSELLING and see how I can help you.
World Mental Health Day doesn’t just happen somewhere else: it’s here in Lancaster too. On 10 October 2018 the University of Cumbria is opening its 2-day Festival of Mental Health on Campus in the city of Lancaster UK. It starts at 9am on Wednesday 10 October and closes at 8pm the following evening, packing in a full programme of events along the way.
You could be forgiven for glazing over at the ubiquitous mental health statistics in the media but there really is no way to sugar the pill – mental ill-health touches 1 in 4 of us every year. It’s often one of those things that creeps up on us due to stresses at work and within the family. Often, our past comes back to bite us when we least expect it. Maybe we know our mental ill-health all too well and have become defeated by it after years of struggle.
Whatever YOUR story, it’s never too late to do SOMETHING about it and when is there a better time to start than on World Mental Health Day? I’ll be there, getting involved and talking to people about what matters to them: engaging with our local community, listening to real stories of the trials and the triumphs of ordinary people who are making a difference to their own mental well-being.
Maybe today is the day YOU decide to do something new and start YOUR journey to better mental health and well-being – maybe I’ll see you there!
There’s always a lot going on in the world of mental health awareness and this autumn is no exception. We’ve had a wonderful Summer in the UK this year, and as it gradually draws to a close, some of us may begin to think about the effects of longer nights and shorter days on our mental health. Maybe, for some, this is a great time to take stock of our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and plan to improve how we feel this autumn. Not sure where to start or need some inspiration? There are at least three world-wide wellbeing awareness events to look at, packed with information and inspiration for those wanting to know more about mental health and wellbeing. Maybe this is the kickstart you need to think about how to make your own wellbeing a priority this autumn.
10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day, organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organisation. The day seeks to promote commitment to taking action to prevent suicides. Further details can be found at www.iasp.info/wspd/index.php
10th October is World Mental Health Day, promoting the awareness of world-wide mental health issues and seeks to encourage efforts to support mental health. Further details can be found at http://www.who.int/mental_health
November sees National Stress Awareness Day and is usually held on the first Wednesday of November each year. Promoted by the International Stress Management Association (ISMAUK), the purpose of the day is to raise awareness of how psychological stress affects us in the workplace. It also provides information on the coping strategies that can be employed to address it. Further details can be found at www.isma.org.uk/about-national-stressawareness-day-nsad/
These are just a few of the events taking place in the coming months. If nothing else, they may provide the inspiration you need to get serious about your own wellbeing this autumn.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is effective from 25 May 2018. Well Life Counselling seeks to comply with this regulation in all its dealings with its clients and takes the protection of peoples’ personal data very seriously. In considering your choice of counsellor, make sure that they comply with the GDPR. If you have any questions in relation to this enhanced law please contact me.
On 1 January 2018, Sky News published an article on new year resolutions entitled: New Year resolutions: How to make 2018 the year you achieve your goals.
It showed the top 10 new year resolutions we all tend to make. At the top of the list was Lose Weight (48%), followed closely by Exercise More (41%) and Save More Money (32%). At number 10 was Cut Down on Alcohol (9%). Alas, it goes on to say that in 2017, one in five of us failed to keep all our resolutions in the first week.
New Year is certainly a wonderful opportunity to reassess what we want in life and make commitments to better ourselves in the coming year but one resolution I never see on any top ten lists is Look After My Mental Well-being. I often wonder whey we miss this – maybe it’s a cultural thing or maybe we are driven in other directions, by social pressures or mainstream or social media, to be successful, have more and be more. This can all be very exhausting, and I wonder whether simply paying more attention to our own well-being is a better use of our energy.
In my work, I’m becoming more and more aware of the importance of looking after our mental well-being and doing so is linked inextricably to physical, social and emotional well-being too. I’m increasingly seeing that there are very specific things that we can do in our everyday lives to help enhance our mental resilience and motivation, so that when life throws us a “curve-ball” – something surprising, unexpected and possibly unpleasant, demanding or even traumatic, we may be better placed to deal with it. On the other hand, when life provides opportunities or new and interesting challenges, we may be better placed to engage with life and say “yes” to new things.
These things that help to motivate us and improve our resilience in life are not rocket science but common-sense lifestyle choices that tend to meet our fundamental human, psychological needs and I’m increasingly engaged in conversations with my clients about these things. If you are thinking about what you can do to improve the way you feel in 2018 and want to talk it over, why not give me a call. Maybe 2018 can be a year of Make and not Break.
Globally, according to the Movember Foundation, on average a man is lost to suicide every minute and 3 out of 4 suicides are men. I wonder if you are surprised by these figures. Or maybe you are painfully aware of someone who has been lost to suicide. The truth is, men are really bad at talking about feelings. They don’t realise that it’s OK to feel not OK sometimes; that being in touch with their emotions is not a sign of weakness. It takes a certain strength to face up to difficult feelings and emotions when life becomes difficult and men think they must tough it out because that’s what’s expected of them. It’s a lie and it doesn’t need to be that way.
Here’s a thought-provoking video clip from the Movember Foundation on YouTube, which tries to show, yet again, that talking about how we feel is a good thing. Come on guys, reveal your strength – talk about how you feel this Movember.
I’m proud to be working with a local charity to deliver another mental well-being information and awareness session in the Sanctuary Room at Lancaster’s Central Library on Saturday 30th September 2017 at 12 noon for 1 hour. This month’s subject will be Mindfulness and how it can help us in the maintenance of our mental well-being day to day. Our brains appear to be hard-wired to constantly concern ourselves with the future or to worry about the past, such that we miss out on really experiencing the present. Being this way can contribute to all sorts of anxieties and low mood. Mindfulness can help put us back in touch with the reality of the present in a way that enriches our experience of life.
There will be a presentation and discussion on the subject of Mindfulness and qualified counsellors will be on hand to answer your questions.
If you want to join the conversation please come along. You will be made to feel very welcome.