Our staff at Lambwood Heights share stories of kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18th-24th May 2020. It is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems, inspiring action to promote the message of good mental health for all.
This year’s theme focuses on the topic of kindness #KindnessMatters. We have seen all over the world that kindness is prevailing in these unprecedented times and that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope.
To take part in this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked some of our staff at Lambwood Heights Care Home in Essex to share stories of kindness on how they have been keeping up with their mental health during this uncertain time.
Kamila Stroka – Chef
Kamila has been in regular contact with her family in South West Poland more than she normally would using video calls, WhatsApp or over the phone almost daily. She talks about how the staff at Lambwood Heights are always kind to one another. She said, “We make sure to look out for each other and this attention has increased since the lockdown period.”
Kamila has previously suffered with depression and talks about how that has greatly improved since she started working at Lambwood Heights with a good team of colleagues. She has found that taking long walks with her son and getting lots of fresh air has helped her improve her mental health.
Speaking on the importance of checking up on loved ones, Kamila said, “This time has also made me realise how much my son’s mental wellbeing needs checking up on – aged 7 he is missing school and seeing his friends. I really appreciate much more now how we need other people around.”
Amber Dawson – Business Administrator
Amber has found exercise and practising meditation to be important factors in keeping her mental health positive during this difficult time. She feels that everyone has pulled together much more and the “family feel” at Lambwood Heights has become much stronger. She has been having a lot of fun with her family hosting weekly Zoom quizzes.
Amber said, “Each week there is a different theme, my parents did a “This Morning” quiz and dressed up as Holly Willoughby and Philip Scofield! Another time my brother hosted a “Countdown” quiz and had his lounge set up like the game show and wore his game show host costume of suit and bow tie!
“This week was my turn and I set up the room as a pub environment to give an authentic feel! Who knew my family were so creative and imaginative!”
Aimee Basham – Lifestyles Manager
Aimee has noticed that the lockdown has encouraged the residents to share stories with each other more often whilst looking at old photographs from events. Aimee emphasises that seeing residents getting on with each other so effortlessly is keeping everyone’s spirits high at Lambwood Heights.
Aimee said, “The whole Care team realise this situation is very difficult for a lot of our residents who cannot see their families regularly right now and they all have made listening and talking even more important.”
Aimee has been making the most of her time in lockdown and is learning new skills. She continued, “Personally, my mum has taught me to knit during lockdown! I’ve never knitted before and I am very proud of myself for producing two small squares!” Aimee has also been spending her time enjoying reading murder mysteries and suspense thrillers. She said, “I’ve been catching up on watching boxsets such as Afterlife, which had me engrossed right from the start.”
Aimee has not been able to see her boyfriend, Alex, who is a Mental Health First Aider but has been able to talk with him regularly during this difficult time.
“I think this situation has made people re-evaluate life and what’s important to them and what they are grateful for. I hope in the future people are more patient and stop taking things for granted.”
Nicola Latham – Client Relationship Manager
Nicola has been spending some quality time with her family communicating with each other in the face of this crisis. She said, “I am blessed to have a lovely husband and daughter supporting me at home and we have a good family talk over dinner each evening and share our thoughts.”
During these unprecedented times Nicola has been unable to visit her parents who are both in their 80’s. However, this has not stopped her from keeping virtual contact and with the help of modern technology and some assistance from her daughter, she has organised regular family Zoom chats. She continued, “We’ve done a similar thing for all our residents at Lambwood Heights and I know how important it is to keep in touch this way.”
“My parents loved seeing my family and my brother’s family and being able to talk together all at once, as usual. I have also taken to doing jigsaw puzzles again, not something I have done for over 20 years!”
Nicola emphasises that it is important for everyone to keep themselves mentally positive during this time and is essential to maintain one’s happiness and sense of self.
“I think people have been talking a lot more and perhaps catching up with friends they have not spoken to in a while – a super positive thing as a result of the situation.”
Our staff at Lambwood Heights have maintained a positive attitude throughout the lockdown period and have kept each other’s morale up as well as having fun with the residents. Lambwood Heights Care Home Manager, Sonia Kasese said, “It’s so important at times like this to really support each other and have a good team working empathetically together, checking-in with colleagues regularly to see they are ok.”
Find out more about Lambwood Heights Care Home.