Jane Fowler - Head of Customer Support Services
February already – I just can’t quite believe it. One of the great things about this month is that it is so much lighter at the beginning and the end of our working days. It feels like a real boost after the long, dark months we’ve had. This week’s Wellbeing Wednesday is focussing on a couple of initiatives to boost our mental health – taking time to talk with one another and supporting children and young people to express themselves. Both of these are themed around doing a little ourselves to support others, which as well as helping them out, we know also helps us with our own mental wellbeing. This week we also have world cancer day, which gives us an opportunity to learn more about coping with and supporting people with cancer, as well as how to support cancer charities and research.
And thank you all for your feedback on Wellbeing Wednesday – you’ll see this week that we’ve continued the book theme that proved so popular with you, sharing information from our colleagues in Live Argyll to introduce you all to BorrowBox – their e-book service. Happy reading!
Time to Talk Day
4th February 2021
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that connection is key for most of us. Talking, listening and feeling connected to the people in our lives has direct positive impacts on our emotional and mental health.
Time to Talk Day on 4th February this year is a day for us all to connect and have a conversation, with a focus on mental health. With 1 in 4 of us experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to open up to mental health – to talk, to listen, and to change lives.
Too often, mental health problems are treated as a taboo subject – something not to be talked about, especially at work. However, mental health affects us all and we should feel able to talk about it. As part of our ongoing commitment to wellbeing, we are encouraging everyone to have a small conversation about mental health – it really can make a big difference.
So how might you have that small conversation? Well, you could send an IM or call a colleague you haven’t heard from in a while, or perhaps have a mental health quiz or bingo at your team meeting? There’s lots of resources available here Time to Talk Day 2021 - Employers activity pack Maybe you have your own ideas of how you and your team talk about mental health? We’d love to hear them.
The more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down. We want everyone who works here to feel they can be open about their mental health, and ask for support if they need it. Your colleagues, line manager, the Wellbeing team and confidential Health Assured services can all help. Why not have a look on the Hub pages for more information.
Sometimes listening to other people’s experiences help us to recognise that other people struggle too. ITV/STV have a series of podcasts - Britain Get Talking - with a host of public figures talking about their own circumstances and how talking to someone helped, such as journalist and broadcaster Tom Bradby. You can listen to the podcast here.
Children’s Mental Health Week – Express Yourself
1st – 7th February 2021
The last year has been a really different one for our children and young people too – Covid has meant less time at school and fewer opportunities to see friends and extended family. However, as digital natives, most children and young people have coped admirably with the keeping in touch technology many of us adults have battled with in the past year!
With the TV filled daily with news of the pandemic, it’s natural that just like us adults, children and young people might be worried. So Children’s Mental Health Week from 1st – 7th February encourages us to help children and young people to be open about how they’re feeling. The theme this year is Express Yourself.
As a parent, teacher, relative or carer you can help children and young people to explore the different ways they can express themselves, and the creative ways that they can share feelings, thoughts and ideas. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make them feel good.
For younger children the movie Inside Out has short video clips available which might be a fun way to start looking at emotions with your child, and there are lots of ideas on the Children's Mental Health Week 2021 website.
Why not have a go at naming the emotions below.
World Cancer Day
4th February 2021
There can’t be many of us who have not had a relative, friend or loved one affected by cancer. You may also be unfortunate enough to have been affected by cancer personally. This week, the world comes together to raise awareness and take action against cancer, with 172 countries taking part in the fight against the global cancer epidemic.
Great strides have been made in the treatment of cancer, with 2 in 4 people in the UK surviving a cancer diagnosis for 10 years or more.
It can feel like there is nothing you can do in the face of something as destructive and devastating as cancer, but there are lots of ways in which you can get involved. This could include raising funds for research, volunteering at local groups/driving people to appointments, holding coffee mornings etc. but most importantly, by being there for those affected by cancer and preventing them from being alone. Find out more about World Cancer Day.
Cancer Research UK also has lots of information for sufferers and their families/loved ones, as well as ideas for fund raising, volunteering and getting involved in other ways. You can also purchase a World Cancer Unity Band 2021 here, via donation. Cancer Research UK
Together we will beat cancer!
BorrowBox at Live Argyll
Last week’s book recommendations were really popular, thanks to everyone who contacted us to let us know. We’re really glad you liked them. Another helpful suggestion from a reader was that library members can access e-books and audio books at BorrowBox, a service provided by Live Argyll. You can find more information about it here. If you would like to send us any of your own book recommendations please let us know at our email address below.
Over to You!
We are delighted with the amount of feedback we have received on the new-look Wellbeing Wednesdays and all the brilliant ideas for future features and activities to promote our wellbeing. We will be featuring as many of these as possible in the weeks ahead. Please keep them coming, and let us know if you would be happy to mention your name if we use your ideas!