At the end of each week, everyone at Fnality gets together in a Town Hall format to share our achievements, to provide important updates, and to recognise success. Last Friday, our Town Hall was dedicated to World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10th October); this year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘mental health for all’. In the spirit of open communication, we would like to share this with you also!
What is World Mental Health Day & Why is it Important?
The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10th October every year. The overall objective is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilise efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for everyone working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
Mental health is sometimes called or referred to by people as ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it is just as important as good physical health. Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us. Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time. Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life.
There’s a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much. Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings, but it is healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.
Mental Health First Aid
With this in mind, Fnality sent two employees on a two-day Mental Health First Aid training course. Given we are a company of 50, this displays Fnality’s strong dedication to our collective and individual Mental Health and Wellbeing. Francesca Gunn and Tamarin Fisher are now both qualified Mental Health First Aiders. They provided the team with some useful information about the course and what they had learnt.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England is a social enterprise with a vision to improve the mental health of the nation. The course teaches in depth skills for providing first aid to people who may be experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and psychosis. Here are some of our key learnings from this course.
We all have ‘stress containers’ varying in sizes, and therefore varying stress tolerance levels. The key is to recognise when yours is becoming full to prevent the container overflowing and problems beginning to develop. Helpful coping strategies include the pursuit of hobbies, being active, and talking with a friend. Unhelpful coping methods include excessive drinking, overworking, bottling up feelings.
First Aid for Depression
The Mental Health First Aid action plan for depression has five basic steps: Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis. Listen and communicate non-judgmentally. Give support and information. Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help. Encourage other supports.
There are reserved time slots available each week for anyone to speak with either of the Mental Health First Aiders. Communication methods are down to the individual to ensure they feel comfortable at all times. At Fnality, we encourage people to talk openly and honestly with each other where possible. Confidentiality would be discussed if you are at risk to yourself or others; in this instance action will be required, for example, calling the crisis line.
Fnamily Mental Health & Wellbeing Tips
We asked the Fnamily to provide details about one thing they had done for themselves that positively impacted their mental health and wellbeing over the last week and why. This formed the word cloud image at the start of this document. Here are some top Fnamily tips:
“On my phone, I set the notifications to only pop up during work hours. It helped me switch off and find more time for family and hobbies.”
“A walk with my 2-year-old every evening after work before his bedtime. I use the time to bond with my son and give him some adventures around town, he's super psyched which makes me feel positive. I also get fresh air and disconnect from my home office.”
“I went on annual leave. It helps to get out of the house and change environment (literally).”
Salvador ‘Fnali’ Competition
We asked each team to create a masterpiece in under 24 hours! Teams were given a PowerPoint slide divided up into sections, one for each team member. Each individual created a mini work of art inside their allocated section. Once each team had presented, we voted on which team had been the most creative and deserved to be crowned winners. Congratulations to Artemis team for their winning work of art, displayed below!
If you would like to learn more about Mental Health and Wellbeing, here are some useful resources: World Federation for Mental Health | World Health Organisation | Bipolar UK | Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England | Mind
If you would like to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.