Recognising World Mental Day at Oakland Care

On October 10th 2021, World Mental Health Day will provide an opportunity for a broader discussion on the importance of mental health and well-being, not just at work, but as an essential part of everyone’s life experience. It’s a global event that aims to raise more awareness about mental health conditions.

This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. It aims to highlight the lack of access to mental health services some people may experience because of their background.

World Mental Health Day was first introduced by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992,   as a way to educate the public on relevant issues and push for better care. Yet, poor mental health remains an invisible condition and for several reasons, many people are still reluctant to admit when they’re suffering.

Research continues to show that our mental wellbeing has a massive impact on our physical health. Unfortunately, many older adults are at significant risk of depression, as research shows it affects 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 and over.

With that in mind, family members, caregivers, colleagues and friends should pay close attention to recognise the signs. The traits of a mental health condition vary depending on the severity or type of illness that an individual is encountering. Here are some symptoms to look out for:
1. Withdrawal
2. Distraction
3. Mood changes
4. Behavioural changes
5. Delusion
6. Change in habit

When seeing any of these symptoms, your support is most valuable and it comes, simply, in the form of conversation. However, it can be tricky to know how to have that chat, or to find the right words once you do. Mental Health UK has created a conversation guide that you can use to help to ask the right questions to support your loved one, colleagues or friends.

Tips for looking after your mental health

It’s important to take care of ourselves and there are several handy tips you can try out if there are times when you’re not feeling your best, and you can suggest these to loved ones, colleagues and friends too:

  • Talk about your feelings
  • Take part in physical activity – this can include things like running, walking, dancing or cycling
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Make sure your diet is healthy and balanced
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
  • Plan something to look forward to like reading a new book, baking, or taking part in a sport you love
  • Help others as giving back can help make you feel good
  • Spend time with supportive people, these could be loved ones, friends, or work colleagues – even if you aren’t able to meet in person, online can be just as beneficial.

Luke Martin, Associate People & OD Business Partner from our HR Head Office Team is running this Sunday in support of World Mental Health Day and to raise awareness about good mental health wellbeing. 

Luke commented, “Physical activity can have endless positive effects on mental health such as improved mood, reducing stress, better self-esteem and can also help to prevent anxiety and depression”.

Evidence supports that, exercising is a good way to release endorphins which help boosts moods and overall sense of well-being, plus improves your appetite, sleep cycles and stress control.

Luke said, “I like to compete in many sports, pretty much every day, at the moment I am either running, playing for my football team, open-water swimming or in the gym. Being positive, keeping to a routine and looking after your nutrition, I believe is key as well. I am a believer in there is no better feeling than setting a goal and achieving it, especially if you are suffering from any type of Mental Health”.

Luke’s next goal is to compete in triathlons and he has just entered the ballot for the next London Marathon. Any charities people recommend that he can raise money for – please let us know!

If you are experiencing any mental health symptoms, there are good sources you can seek advice and get help from. Your GP is a great place to start but you can also reach out to  The Samaritans or the Mental Health Foundation for more information and support.