Latest News Working Together to Promote Mental Well-being Campaign Launch of 'Working Together to Promote Mental Wellbeing' Campaign Cedar is promoting this campaign in-house and with service users with some really helpful and useful content well worth sharing. Over the next 5 weeks, the campaign will focus on the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing and share information and resources to support you to look after both your own mental and emotional wellbeing and that of others.The Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing, these are evidence based, daily steps to help maintain and improve your wellbeing. The steps are: Connect; Be Active; Take Notice; Keep Learning; and Give.To launch the campaign, the Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, Siobhan O’Neill shares with us the focus for this week, CONNECT, as one of the steps we can take daily to care for ourselves. This week also marks World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September and we are highlighting the importance of connection and communication. If you are in crisis and struggling to cope, call Lifeline free on 0808 808 8000 to speak to a crisis counsellor immediately. Week 2 This week we are being encouraged to BE ACTIVE as one the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing for our physical health and mental and emotional wellbeing. visit: https://www.mindingyourhead.info/be-active #MentalWellbeingNI2020 Get more help on how to get active Download the 5 steps to Mental Well-being pdf For more information on the campaign and additional support and resources, visit www.mindingyourhead.info#MentalWellbeingNI2020 Week 3 Take notice This week we are focusing on how we can TAKE NOTICE to support our mental and emotional wellbeing. Take notice is about taking a little bit of time each day to stop, pause, be still, look around you and: focus your attention on the present moment; be aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions; appreciate the world and people around you; and enjoy and savour the moment and environment Being aware in the present moment – of your own thoughts and feelings and to the world around – can support and improve mental and emotional wellbeing by helping us to feel calm and relaxed and to think more positively. It can help us to connect and understand ourselves and the world and people around us and appreciate things we may normally take for granted. Try to make time every day to take notice and pay more attention to the present moment. Here are a few ideas how you can take notice: acknowledge your thoughts and feelings as they happen and be kind to yourself; take notice of beauty in nature and the changing season; reflect on your day and experiences; make a note of things you are thankful for or things that make you smile; reduce time spent browsing social media and the internet and watching TV and news reports; get a plant for your home or desk space; practice breathing exercises, mediation or yoga; sit silently and pay attention to the sights, sounds and smells around you Taking notice and being consciously aware of your body sensations, thoughts, feeling and emotions can help us understand our feelings and recognise signs of stress and feelings of anxiety and help us the better manage these feelings. Once we recognise these emotions it is important to steps to manage this: This booklet provides tips and practical advice on coping with stress in your life. It covers areas such as recognising stress, coping better, learning from bad experiences and taking action now. An online programme of stress control classes has been developed. These sessions are effective in helping to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Topics covered include an overview of whatstress is, controlling your body, your thoughts, controlling your actions, techniques to get a good night’s sleep. Visit the COVIDWellbeing NI Hub for more resources and self-help guides on how to manage stress or feelings of anxiety. Week 4 Keep learning This week we are focusing on how we can KEEP LEARNING to support our mental and emotional wellbeing. Keep Learning is about keeping the mind active and promoting positive wellbeing through: Rediscovering an old hobby; Signing up to an online course; Use online tutorials to learn to play an instrument; or Learn how to cook your favourite meal Keep Learning video For now, we are all learning different ways to do things and new ways to enjoy ourselves. Use this time for some discovery. Learning new things gives us a sense of achievement, increased confidence and enjoyment. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children new skills or maybe sign up to an online course. Learn how to take control of your emotional wellbeing through the free online stress control classes on www.ni.stresscontrol.org. These sessions are effective in helping to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Topics covered include an overview of what stress is, controlling your body, your thoughts, controlling your actions, techniques to get a good night’s sleep. Details of other training available can be found here. Visit the COVIDWellbeing NI Hub for more resources and self-help guides on a range of health related issues. Week 5 Give This week we are focusing on how we can GIVE as one of the 5 Steps to Wellbeing to support our mental and emotional wellbeing. We can Give small acts of kindness to ourselves, friends, family, our household or community and this can help to promote positive mental and emotional wellbeing by: creating positive feelings and a sense of reward; promoting self-worth and purpose; and helping us to connect with others You can Give to yourself by practicing self-care, looking after your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing and being kind to yourself. A range of HSC approved apps for fitness, nutrition, sleep and mental health can be accessed here. Even the smallest acts of kindness can have a positive impact on both our own mood and mental and emotional wellbeing and that of others too. Simple things such as a smile or saying thank you and taking the time to listen to others can make a real difference. There are lots of small things you can do every day to GIVE to others: - thank others, smile and be kind; - give a compliment; - take time to listen to others; - send a letter, poem or care package to a friend or family member; - cook a meal or bake for others in your household; and - donate your pre-loved clothes World Mental Health Day 10 September 2020 is World Mental Health Day. It is important to look after our mental and emotional wellbeing, not just today but every single day. The Minding Your Head website has a range of resources and information on how to maintain and improve mental and emotional wellbeing. On World Mental Health Day we are encouraging everyone to talk about their mental and emotional wellbeing and to reach out when you are struggling to cope. Talking to a friend or family member about how you are feeling can help us to feel better and make a big difference. If you feel that you can’t talk to anyone you know or would prefer to talk to someone anonymously you can contact the Lifeline crisis helpline and speak to a counsellor immediately on 0808 808 8000. Lifeline is the Northern Ireland free-to-call crisis helpline that provides immediate support for those in crisis, distress and despair. Lifeline is available to anyone across Northern Ireland 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Lifeline can also provide advice for people who are concerned about someone else who is in distress. It is important to remember that mental health services are continuing to operate at this time and if you are concerned about your physical or emotional wellbeing you should contact your GP. A list of local services in your Health and Social Care Trust area can be found here. The Covid Wellbeing NI Hub is an online wellbeing space that brings together information, resources and self-help guides on a range of health and wellbeing topics, to include: - Mental and emotional wellbeing - Physical wellbeing - How to help others - Alcohol and drugs - Bereavement - Loneliness and isolation - Relationships - Self-Help Guides - Tips on ways to ‘Take 5’ steps to wellbeing - Helplines info - And many more The Helplines NI website provides a directory of helpline services operating across Northern Ireland. The helplines provide information, support, advice and guidance on a wide-range of health and wellbeing needs. The website also includes details of both national and local Coronvirus (COVID-19) specific helplines.