Mental Health Training

Posts by Jane McNeice

The Benefits of Walking in Nature

Posted by on 28 Nov, 2018 in Mental Health |

The Benefits of Walking in Nature

The benefits of walking in nature can be felt for up to 7 hours afterwards… You’ve probably had that feeling of needing to get out into nature when things get a bit much. Or is that just me? There are many ways in which it can help with your emotional, mental and physical health. It helps you to focus on the positives of your life. Some studies show that it can affect our ‘broodiness’ state. Not the one where we’d like to produce mini me’s, but the mood which has us dwelling on the same unhelpful thoughts. Sometimes called a broken record. These tips will inspire you to get moving. 7 TIPS THAT WILL GET YOU REACHING FOR YOUR WALKING BOOTS AND A RAIN MAC JUST IN CASE! It’s free! Apart from the odd parking charge, getting out into nature is relatively low cost compared to a gym membership. So ditch the contract and find your nearest park or wood. It boosts your energy levels. So when you really don’t feel like going for a walk, the best thing to do is go for a walk! Fresh air will reawaken your brain. Reconnecting with nature reduces stress and calms your nerves. It can lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate and blood pressure. It will lift your spirits! Exercise and peace and quiet will lift your mood, and in some cases can help with mild to moderate depression. Trees naturally give off something called ‘phytoncides’ or ‘wood’ essential oils, which have a beneficial effect on our nervous systems. Walking through green spaces can create the calmness needed for reflection. It’s in this calm, quiet reflective state that creativity can flourish. It can help to talk through a problem, laugh and spend time away from work and daily struggles. This is easier to achieve without all the usual distractions like social media, colleagues, noise and chaos. TAKING A MINDFUL WALK IN NATURE WILL ENHANCE THE BENEFITS EVEN MORE. HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR HOW YOU CAN BRING MINDFULNESS INTO YOUR WALK.Walking slowly and taking in everything that your senses can pick up will support bringing you in to the present moment, helping you to dissolve all your cares and worries. Listen to the insect and animal sounds, observe the movement of the grass, smell what scents are carried on the breeze. Find a space, which has plenty of trees, plants or flowers. Find something that you are attracted to and observe it in the smallest of detail for 5 minutes. Imagine that you are an insect or wild animal and what it would be like. What would you be aware of? Gather natural elements from your walk; feathers, leaves, twigs and flowers. Make yourself a gift of expression as a memory of your walk. Have fun with it like a child, rather than making something to impress. SHINRIN-YOKU The Japanese have been practising this since the eighties. It means ‘forest bathing’ and these are gentle walks between 2-4 hours long...

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DLG supports Mental Health First Aider Training

Posted by on 30 Oct, 2018 in Mental Health |

DLG supports Mental Health First Aider Training

Direct Line Group has trained more than 100 of their workforce, across a variety of locations as Mental Health First Aiders within their business, as they aim to have a mental health first aider on every floor, at every site in the UK. All the First Aiders have completed the two day Adult training course, equipping them to support colleagues in the workplace, and providing them with valuable life skills for their personal lives also. Mind Matters has provided some of the training for these First Aiders, and was delighted to be invited to support the business at their first MHFA Conference on 18th October in Leeds. As many of our businesses will know, it is important to train staff in Mental Health First Aid, but it is also important to think about how the role will fit into the organisation and also how the business will support its First Aiders in the longer term. Direct Line Group decided that the conference would be one part of supporting their Mental Health First Aiders further. The MHFA Conference involved talks from mental health campaigners Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn. Mind Matters provided workshops for the delegates that would support them in their roles as Mental Health First Aiders. The workshops included the following themes and were delivered by a range of our Training Associates: Maintaining boundaries as Mental Health First Aiders – delivered by Kate Husband Self-care for Mental Health First Aiders – delivered by Gemma Davies Understanding and promoting the Mental Health First Aid role – delivered by Gareth Williams Measuring impact and case studies – delivered by Sarah Frost The workshops were very well received by delegates and Mind Matters wishes Direct Line Group all the best with the organisation’s future work around mental health and wellbeing in the workplace....

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Small Businesses – FSB Guide to Wellbeing

Posted by on 24 Oct, 2018 in Mental Health |

Small Businesses – FSB Guide to Wellbeing

Mind Matters is a relatively new company, a small business based in South Yorkshire, with some big reasons for the doing the work that we do. We are a small team that work very hard to make a positive difference to people and businesses through our Mental Health Training courses. Like many small businesses, we face small business challenges such as capacity, cash flow, marketing on a budget, and various other considerations.  This means we can often relate to our small business customers, because we too are faced with similar challenges that they face. As a small mental health training company, we started out by offering just our open courses in mental health. We worked (and still do) very hard to generate interest in these courses. We have since reached a stage in our business growth where we often deliver several in-house courses per week and have a small team of Associates who help us to do this. And whilst one of our most labour intensive areas is delivering our open courses, the courses we started out with, we’ve never removed them from our range of services and offerings. One of the reasons for this is that without our open courses, our small business customers wouldn’t necessarily have chance to access an open mental health course locally. The reasons for this may be that they don’t employ sufficient staff numbers to validate an in-house course, and even if they did, this may been a 100% of their workforce being on a training course at any one time – effectively shutting down their business for a day or two. As small business owners will know, this could have a significant impact on their business, catastrophic even for some. So continuing to offer open courses helps us to know our courses are still accessible for small businesses, as well as the large business customers that we support. The Federation of Small Business have also given consideration to the needs of small businesses in developing a new wellbeing guide: Wellbeing in Small Businesses – How you can help. The guide includes how small businesses can introduce discussion about mental health, job design, support for your staff when it’s needed, and various signposting and support helplines. It’s a short user-friendly guide for small businesses out there, just like us....

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Who Helps the Helpers? By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 27 Sep, 2018 in Mental Health |

Who Helps the Helpers? By Jane McNeice

As I’m sure is the case for a lot of our readers, we all come across various written quotes and affirmations, particularly in social media nowadays, and many of these largely pass us by, but then every so often there’s one that just captures us. In my own experience it can sometimes be even more than that, I feel completely moved, life changed by the shift in thinking that the quote creates for me. Sometimes I can relate to why, other times I don’t have this awareness, or at least not on a conscious level. One quote I’d like to share with you that I read at least a couple of years ago, and still sits in my photo files today, is this: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realising that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”  Now I’ve seen this quote attributed to various people, so can’t even be sure to whom the story belongs, or maybe in fact more than one caring person shared this sentiment and the story belongs to many mothers and children – John Lennon, Fred Rogers… Who it belongs to is largely irrelevant for me other than the more the merrier on this type of thinking, especially in times of need. What matters for me personally is how it made me feel on reading this, the reminder of hope. Hope is powerful, it can help to crush pain, disappointment and sadness into dust carried off on a breeze. Just when we think it’s gone hope rears its head, sometimes from what seems like nowhere – a thought, a person, the right words at the right time, a professional who offers kindness, compassion, support and understanding. Though media can often focus on the negative things that happen in the world e.g. people’s wrong-doings, there’s lots of helpers in society, some may be professionals some other helpers. Perhaps the only difference is our expectations placed upon the different types of helpers. With professionals we expect them to help. Maybe in your GP practice it doesn’t need to say Dr. Smith or Dr.Selim on the door, because we just interpret ‘Helper’. So these professional ‘Helpers’, who helps them when they become ill? The national mental health charity MIND, in a survey carried out in 2018, found that 2 in 5 GP’s have mental health difficulties and many would turn to colleagues for support. This makes a case for in the very least GP’s being trained in Mental Health First Aid, and or Suicide Prevention Training. Society can sometimes mistakenly presume all clinical professionals have a good understanding of mental health, and we learn first hand that this is often not the case. Brookes et al...

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Suicide First Aid Launch, By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 26 Sep, 2018 in Mental Health |

Suicide First Aid Launch, By Jane McNeice

Mind Matters was delighted to attend the Launch of Suicide First Aid at The Oval in London today (26th September). The new course has been produced by the National Centre for Suicide Prevention Training UK and provides delegates with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to prevent suicide. This course is slightly different to the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) Training that Mind Matters currently offers. SFA is a one day course, but also comes with accreditation at Level 4 from City & Guilds, following completion of an associated workbook. The course compliments some of our other training courses e.g. one or two day Mental Health First Aid, or one day Higher Education MHFA. We’re very much looking forward to opportunities to bring this course to our customer base in the near future. The Launch had some great speakers including MHFA’s Director of Community Development, Caroline Hounsell, Connect Assist’s Executive Director, Rusty Livock, University College London’s Head of Wellbeing, Karen Smith, NCSPT UK’s Chief Executive, Nick Barnes, and the event was chaired by Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of the Centre for Mental Health. Speakers shared their current work and some of the reasons why them have come to do the work that they do, and their interests in Suicide First Aid. For most, if not all, they’ve been touched by mental ill health. I’ve often thought that those who make improving mental health their ‘life’s work’ have in some way been significantly touched by mental ill health, and I include myself in this – my own experiences, and that of my late brother and other family members – it’s a salient part of our frame of reference. Some of our passion comes from what we saw that was wrong e.g. improvements that could be made to services, or maybe championing the voice of patients. The Launch also provided the opportunity for us to once again hear the powerful suicide prevention story of Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE, which they shared at the MHFA Anniversary Conference last November. The story is one of hope that changed the lives of two men through a suicide prevention intervention. A story that Jonny Benjamin believes is taking place every day via ‘silent heroes’ in our society. Jonny and Neil have also now set up a charity called ‘Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma’ and also shared details about the amazing resource that is the ‘Hub of Hope’ A key part of the Launch was about how we create positive change around suicide prevention, and how we empower our networks to make changes. Discussion took place around influencing Government Ministers to make positive changes within mental health, particularly when we continually hear coverage of systemic failures in young people’s mental health, where young people in need have been unable to access mental health services such as CAMHS until they are in crisis e.g. suicide. The question was asked, “If a Minister was in front of us now, what would we say?” Having reflected on this question, I’d ask: What does Government see as an effective children and...

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