Mens Mental Health - Self Care Exercise

Supporting Men’s Mental Health Navigating the Challenges of Today

Supporting Men’s Mental Health: Navigating the Challenges of Today

In recent years, there has been a significant and welcome shift in men seeking support for their mental health, reflecting data trends in the UK. Historically, men were less likely to seek help compared to women, often only reaching out when in crisis. This delay in seeking support is concerning, as it can lead to severe consequences, affecting their lives, families, and communities.

Data Insights: MeMen’seluctance to Seek Help

Data from the UK Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) reveals that men are indeed less likely to visit doctors for routine check-ups or discuss mental health concerns. A study conducted by the Mental Health Foundation highlights that men are more prone to use negative coping strategies, such as alcohol and recreational drugs, to manage stress and emotional challenges. 40% of men polled said it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm to compel them to seek professional help.

Economic Pressures and Mental Health

Male Stress Cost of Living One critical factor contributing to men’s mental health struggles is the current economic landscape in the UK. The rising cost of living and job insecurity have created a significant gap between personal income and expenditure. Men, who may have traditionally been seen as primary breadwinners, are feeling the strain as their earning potential erodes.

 

Let’s delve deeper into the data. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the cost of living in the UK has been steadily rising, with inflation rates reaching multi-year highs. This living cost surge directly impacts individuals and families, particularly those with limited financial resources. This financial strain can be particularly distressing for men who have long been responsible for providing for their households.

Consequences of Not Getting Support

  • Men are less likely than women to visit a pharmacy when they are sick
    On average, men see their GP 4 times a year compared to the 6 six times a year that women go.
  • Men visit a pharmacy an average of 4 times a year in contrast to the 18 that women go.
  • 9 in 10 men only like to trouble their doctor or pharmacist if they have a severe problem.

The Reasons why Men put of Visiting their GP

  • Fear
  • Too busy
  • Lack of discussion
  • Sign of weakness

Real-Life Client Struggles

Consider John (I have replaced his real name), a man in his 50s who faced mounting stress at work due to job insecurity. This stress led to a drinking problem as a coping mechanism, affecting his marriage and overall mental health. JoJohn’story is a poignant reflection of the experiences of many men grappling with the pressures of modern life.

Positive Shift: Men Embracing Mental Health First Aid

online mental heath training course being ran on zoomThe positive shift in men seeking support extends to mental health first aid training courses. These courses aim to equip individuals with the skills to help others in distress. For the first time, I have witnessed more men than women in attendance, reflecting changing attitudes towards mental health within society.

The Priory’s findings share my experience that men were more likely than women to seek help. Dr Bijlani says, “Traditionally, men have been less likely to seek support for mental health issues. This is probably for several reasons, including stigma and the traditional ‘strong male’ stereotype still prevalent in our society – the idea that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness.” Because of the toll the pandemic has taken across genders, Dr Bijlani says she is “not actually surprised to learn that more men are now coming forward for the first time”.

Navigating the Challenges: 5 Key Steps

As we approach the intense holiday season, it’s crucial for everyone, especially men, to prioritise their mental health. Here are five essential steps to consider:

  1. Take Time Out for Recovery: Use the holiday period to take breaks, go for walks, and carve out moments of relaxation. It’s essential to dedicate some time solely to self-care.
  2. Talk to Someone You Trust: Sharing your thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend, family member, or professional can provide much-needed support and perspective.
  3. Identify Stressors: Recognise the sources of your stress and work on strategies to address them. Don’t let it accumulate to a breaking point.
  4. Seek Immediate Help in Crisis: If you’re feeling suicidal, engaging in self-harm, or struggling with depression, don’t hesitate to seek professional help immediately. Reach out to helplines or crisis intervention services.
  5. Plan for Positive Change: As we approach the new year, create a plan for positive changes in 2024. Identify the areas in your life that need improvement, seek help, and commit to making those changes. Consider appointing an accountability partner to support your journey.

Embracing Self-Care: Daily Rituals

Men Self CareSelf-care is an integral part of maintaining good mental health. Create a list of self-care activities that resonate with you. Start with one and build from there. Activities can range from meditation and gratitude exercises to short walks, gym sessions, breathing exercises, or simply spending time with friends and loved ones.

In Conclusion: The Power of Conversation

In conclusion, the increasing number of men seeking support for their mental health, supported by UK data trends, is a positive shift that should be celebrated. It’s essential to recognise that seeking help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a step towards better mental wellbeing. As we approach the New Year, let’s reaffirm our commitment to mental health and encourage open conversations about our challenges. Remember, you are not alone on this journey. In the words of R. H. Sin, “You are “stronger than you think and more loved than you believe.”

Christmas Festivities

Navigating Christmas in the UK Amid Rising Costs: A Time for Reflection and Adaptation 🎄

The Changing Tide of Christmas Celebrations Amid Economic Challenges

As the festive lights of Christmas begin to twinkle across the UK, the joy of the season is tinged with the sobering reality of a challenging economic climate. The United Kingdom, like many parts of the world, is grappling with a significant rise in the cost of living. In October 2023, the inflation rate dipped to 4.6%, a decrease from the 6.7% recorded in the preceding month. 

However, this relief is slight, as the prices of essentials, particularly food, remain significantly higher than in previous years, with food prices in October 2023 being 10.1% higher than a year earlier.

Christmas Spending: A Glimpse Into the UK’s Festive Budget:

Despite these economic headwinds, Christmas spending in the UK shows a surprising trend. Britons are expected to spend an average of £602 each on Christmas gifts in 2023, marking a 40% increase from the average spend of £429 in 202​​0. This uptick in spending, against economic challenges, highlights the deep-seated value placed on the festive tradition of gift-giving. However, it also points to a potential strain on household finances, with nearly 23 million Brits (43%) planning to cover their Christmas expenses using credit cards.

Diverse Spending Patterns Across Generations and Regions:

This year’s spending patterns reveal interesting dynamics across generations and regions. Generation Z is leading the way in festive spending, planning to allocate an average of £828 each on Christmas gifts. In contrast, baby boomers are taking a more frugal approach, with an average spend of just £39. Geographically, the highest spenders are in Scotland, with an estimated average spend of £924 per person, followed closely by Londoners who plan to spend around £841 per person. 

Northern Ireland tops the charts regarding the percentage of people indulging in gift buying, with 91% of residents participating. It’s interesting to note the gender dynamics, with 89% of women planning to buy gifts, though their average spend is lower (£503) than men (£716​​).

Reflecting on Personal Circumstances and Celebrating Responsibly

As we observe these trends, we must reflect on our financial situations. Are we stretching our budgets too thin for the sake of tradition? How can we balance the joy of giving with financial prudence? This Christmas, perhaps more than ever, calls for a balance between maintaining festive cheer and being mindful of economic realities.

Mike’s Christmas Practical Tips

As someone who delivers a range of health and wellbeing talks, seminars, and workshops, the most popular topic in the New Year is always financial wellbeing. So, here are my top tips before we go for our festive break:

January Sales: While Black Friday has passed, the January sales offer excellent opportunities for savings. Keep an eye out for deals, especially on more significant purchases.

Help for Households: The UK government offers various supports through the ‘Help for Households’ campaign. Visit helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk to find out what support is available to help with bills, childcare, travel, and energy savings.

Turn2Us: If you struggle to pay bills and essential living costs, Turn2Us can assist with benefits, grants, and other aid forms. Visit their website at www.turn2us.org.uk for more information.

StepChange: For managing debts and coping with rising energy and food prices, StepChange offers free and impartial debt advice. Visit www.stepchange.org to learn more.

Energy Company Support: Many energy companies financially support households struggling to pay their bills. Check with your provider or explore options like the British Gas Energy Fund.

Single Occupier Tariff: Some water companies offer a Single Occupier tariff. If you live alone, check to see if you’re eligible for reduced rates.

Voucher Codes: Always look for a voucher code box when shopping online. Finding and applying a discount code can save money, and these savings add up over time.

Food Banks: If you’re facing food insecurity, seek local food banks. Your local authority website should have information on locations and access.

Council Tax Reduction: Contact your local authority to see if you are eligible for a reduction in your council tax.

Negotiating Bills: Don’t hesitate to haggle with providers like Sky, phone companies, and other subscription services. Calling them directly often yields better results than online negotiations.

Conclusion: Embracing the Essence of Christmas:

In conclusion, as we navigate the complexities of an economically challenging Christmas, let’s not lose sight of what makes this season exceptional – the warmth of togetherness, the joy of sharing, and the spirit of kindness. This year, let our celebrations reflect our love for others and our understanding and adaptation to the world around us. 

Please share your thoughts or drop me a message if you have any tips on how you plan to celebrate this Christmas while managing your budget, and let’s inspire each other with ideas and stories of a meaningful, cost-conscious festive season. 🌟✨

 

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This Remembrance Day Veterans Are Being Encouraged To Get Support For Their Mental Health

 

Addressing the Invisible Wounds of Combat through Innovative Approaches

The mental health crisis among veterans, particularly those who have experienced combat, is a growing concern that demands urgent attention. A staggering report from a recent JAMA Neurology study reveals a more than 10-fold increase in suicide rates among U.S. veterans from 2006 to 2020, underscoring the inadequacy of current treatment strategies.

In the U.K., the situation is similarly alarming. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains a prevalent issue among veterans. Statistics show a significant number of these brave individuals have PTSD, a condition often exacerbated by their experiences in combat. The National Health Service (NHS) strives to provide support, yet the complexity of mental health challenges in veterans calls for a multi-faceted approach.

As someone who has worked closely with veterans, I’ve seen firsthand the profound impact of combat on mental health. Some challenges they face are the memories of lost comrades, the strain on personal and professional relationships, and the struggle to reintegrate into civilian life. My approach involves talking therapies, which have proven beneficial in managing these difficult memories and experiences. These therapies are not just about coping with past traumas; they’re about rebuilding a life with new strategies for wellbeing.

The Benefits of Self-Care in Veteran Mental Health:

  • Meditation: Enhances resilience by developing the ability to cope with stress and recover from adversity. Regular meditation practice leads to mental flexibility and a healthier stress response.
  • Gratitude Exercises: Strengthens relationships by fostering a positive outlook that enhances empathy and deepens connections with others.
  • Counselling or Talking Therapies: Improves self-esteem by providing safe spaces for self-exploration, leading to greater self-awareness and confidence.
  • Talking to Friends and Family: Boosts physical health by providing emotional support and reducing feelings of isolation, which can positively impact physical wellbeing.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices help in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression, contributing to overall emotional wellbeing and mental health stability.

Self-care strategies like meditation, mindfulness, and expressing gratitude daily have shown remarkable results.

They are encouraging veterans to maintain open communication with trusted friends and family members, which further aids in their mental health journey. The Armed Forces Covenant in the U.K. reinforces this need, ensuring that the armed forces community receives the same standard of healthcare as any other citizen. Information leaflets published by the MOD offer guidance on how veterans can access these services.

The Mental Health Foundation highlights that depression, anxiety, and alcohol problems are common among personnel and veterans, in addition to PTSD. Recent studies, such as those conducted by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), suggest an increasing trend in help-seeking behaviour, especially among women.

Innovative perspectives like the brain energy theory of mental illness provide new hope. This theory offers a different understanding of mental health issues, potentially leading to more effective treatments.

Our collective responsibility is to ensure our veterans receive the care and support they deserve. We can significantly improve our veterans’ mental health and wellbeing by integrating traditional medical approaches with holistic self-care practices and new scientific insights.

Contact Information for Support:

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Let’s work together to support our veterans in their journey towards healing and resilience.

Best mental health first aid training near Sheffield

Best Mental Health First Aid Training Near Sheffield

Best Mental Health First Aid Training Near Sheffield

Best mental health first aid training near Sheffield

 

 

 

 

 

Best mental health first aid training near Sheffield

Introduction

In today’s fast-paced world, marked by the challenges of a post-pandemic era and evolving work environments, prioritizing employee well-being is paramount. Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders®) are vital in providing the support needed to navigate these unprecedented times. Regarding MHFA training, one name stands out – Mike Lawrence.

Why Opt for Mike Lawrence’s MHFA Training?

1. Seasoned Expertise

Mike Lawrence is a distinguished instructor with a remarkable history of training individuals and organisations in mental health first aid. His extensive experience and unwavering commitment to excellence make him a trusted source of knowledge. Mike’s training sessions are renowned for their engaging and informative nature.

2. Exceptional Feedback

The testimonials speak volumes. Learners consistently laud Mike’s teaching style, highlighting his ability to simplify complex topics and ensure everyone grasps and retains the material.

3. A Comprehensive 2-Day Course

Our Mental Health First Aid Training spans two days, providing participants with the skills to identify signs of poor mental health and offer confident support. Beyond theory, this training empowers individuals to take meaningful action when it counts.

4. Certification and Community

Upon course completion, you’ll earn certification as an MHFAider®. This credential opens the door to a supportive community of like-minded individuals, ongoing resources, and 24/7 support through the MHFAider Support App® for three years.

5. Benefits for Both Workplace and Individuals

This course caters to businesses and individuals alike, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to recognize signs of poor mental health, initiate conversations, and connect individuals with appropriate support. Mike Lawrence tailors the training to suit the unique needs of each group.

Aizelwood's Mills Sheffield - Best Mental Health First Aid Training Course

Course Details

Dates: November 16th – 17th, 2023

Venue: Aizelwood’s Mill, Nursery Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 8GG, United Kingdom

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cost: £325. Click here to book

What You’ll Gain as an MHFAider®

As an MHFAider®, you’ll:

Identify signs of poor mental health and provide initial support.

Encourage individuals to access professional help and additional resources.

Cultivate active listening skills and empathy.

Foster mental health literacy, dismantling stigmas.

Comprehend the nuances of the MHFAider® role, including boundaries and confidentiality.

Prioritise self-care.

Master the use of the MHFAider Support App®.

Access dedicated support services and ongoing learning opportunities.

MHFA Certificate of Attendance

Structure and Takeaways

Our 2-day course unfolds across four adaptable sessions, progressively building learners’ confidence in supporting others. Safety and individualised support are our priorities, with a maximum of 16 participants per course. The course content emphasizes accessibility and inclusivity, with additional support available upon request.

Every participant receives:

  • A hard copy workbook.
  • A digital manual for future reference.
  • A wallet-sized reference card featuring the Mental Health First Aid action plan.
  • A digital MHFAider® certificate.
  • Three years of access to the MHFAider Support App®, replete with resources.
  • Ongoing learning opportunities, resources, and exclusive events.
  • Membership in the largest MHFAider® community in England.

MHFA Training 3 Years Support Included

Benefits Beyond Training

At MHFA England, we understand that effective MHFAiders® require ongoing support. We offer:

  • Training resources and continuous learning opportunities through the MHFAider Support App®.
  • Tools for organising roles and secure conversation journaling.
  • Resources for self-care, complete with an emotion tracker for well-being monitoring.
  • 24/7 text support for overwhelming moments or guidance during critical situations.
  • Regular online events that facilitate further learning and support.

Who Should Attend?

Our MHFA Training suits:

  • Business owners
  • HR managers
  • Stakeholders
  • Anyone responsible for people management

Booking with Confidence

We value flexibility:

  • Tickets and dates are transferable with written requests.
  • Payment must precede course attendance, enabling access to course resources.
  • Booking confirmation and payment details are sent via email.
  • Cancellation policy:
  • Courses can be cancelled and refunded within 48 hours of booking. No refunds are available beyond this 48-hour window.
  • Rescheduling is possible up to 7 days before the course commences, allowing for either online or face-to-face sessions.

Join the Mental Health First Aid Movement

MHFA 2-Day Training Course

Invest in your employees’ mental wellbeing. Choose Mike Lawrence’s MHFA Training, the premier mental health first aid training near Sheffield. With expert guidance, ongoing support, and a thriving community, you’ll be well-prepared to impact the lives of those around you positively.

Click here to reserve your place

Mental Health First Aid 2-Day Training Course Ambassador Theatre - Birmingham

Update on the First Aid (Mental Health) Bill: A Balanced View from a Health and Wellbeing Practitioner

Since my last commentary in February 2023 regarding the First Aid (Mental Health) Bill introduced by Dean Russell MP, the discourse surrounding its efficacy and applicability has considerably evolved. As someone who has progressed from senior managerial roles to becoming a health and wellbeing consultant and a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor, I find it imperative to provide a nuanced perspective on the subject.

The Bill’s second reading was initially scheduled for February but is now scheduled for 24 November, after a statement released in April. Several employment bodies, including the Council for Work & Health (CfWH) and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), have called for a more comprehensive approach towards mental health in the workplace, citing that MHFA should be part of a multifaceted intervention strategy. They emphasise that MHFA alone cannot suffice as a solution for workplace mental health issues.

In my earlier career, I was part of what critics term the ‘tick box brigade’, sceptical of how much change standalone interventions like MHFA could affect. I had already undertaken physical first-aid training multiple times across various organisations, recognising its fundamental importance. However, my perspective radically shifted during the lockdown when I decided to broaden my services and undergo MHFA England instructor training.

When I completed the course myself, pondering the advantages of being a physical first aider both professionally and personally, the true potential of MHFA became palpable to me. This personal transformation led me to embrace the role of an MHFA instructor, which I see as complementary to existing initiatives and fundamentally valuable. For example, Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), which I also deliver on behalf of the UK’s largest provider, have an engagement rate within companies as low as 10%. MHFA can bridge this gap by raising awareness and making mental health discussions more routine.

The critiques of MHFA as a single intervention are valid but not strong enough to dismiss the programme outright. These reservations primarily focus on the potential for it to become a ‘tick box exercise,’ with risks to confidentiality and a lack of support for mental health first aiders. While I concur with these concerns, I argue that they also existed before physical first aid became a workplace standard. MHFA, like any intervention, needs to be part of an integrated mental health strategy, but its absence would be a glaring omission.

As we look towards the future, it’s clear that doing nothing isn’t an option. MHFA should be seen not as an end but as an essential component in a broad spectrum of interventions aimed at fostering a mentally healthier, more compassionate work environment. In my own practice, the dual roles of a health and wellbeing consultant and an MHFA instructor enable me to bring a balanced, lived experience to the table.

This Bill should prompt further legislation and engagement from all stakeholders in defining what mental health support in the workplace should look like. The key is to strike a balance, drawing from various perspectives and solutions—my journey and professional transition are a testament to the potential for evolution in this critical dialogue.

I eagerly await the second reading of the First Aid (Mental Health) Bill and the consequential discussions that are bound to follow as the UK attempts to tackle the escalating mental health crisis that confronts us all.

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A Leap of Faith Skydiving for the Mental Health Foundation

Though not necessarily brave, I’ve always considered myself an adventurer at heart. Maybe a bit daft, even. In my work as a mental health first aid instructor and a private practice consultant, I see people who grapple with social anxiety, stress, and depression.

I often preach the gospel of stepping outside one’s comfort zone. But hey, it’s easier said than done, right?

Inspired by our ancestors who braved saber-tooth tigers and trekked miles for food, I took the plunge for the Mental Health Foundation. But this leap was more than just a tick off my bucket list; it was deeply personal. Last year, I had a pituitary tumour removed. That intense experience made me reevaluate my priorities; ever since then, self-care has been at the top of my list.

Now, back to the plane. My instructor, Josh, was a pro. His pre-jump brief was as exciting as listening to a speech by Rishi Sunak, which oddly calmed my nerves. “Place your hands across your chest, wrap your legs around the underside of the plane, and head back,” he advised as if telling me how to tie my shoes.

The plane taxied down a short runway under a cloudless sky. Perfect weather—unlike the cancelled jump a few weeks prior due to bad visibility. We reached an altitude of 14,000ft, and I found myself afloat among skydiving aficionados and charity-driven daredevils like myself.

Josh handed me goggles so tight they made me look like a cartoon character whose eyes might pop out at any moment. Then, the plane’s door opened, and for a fleeting moment, I imagined myself getting sucked out like in a bad action movie.

One by one, people took their leaps. I mimicked a mantra in my head, “Hands across the chest, feet under the plane, head up, wait for the tap, then Superman.” Finally, it was my turn.

As I inched closer to the edge, my brain screamed, “What the bleep are you doing, Mike?!” But before I could complete that thought, gravity took over. I was tumbling through the air, screaming, but also oddly liberated.

Josh gave me the much-anticipated tap. I thrust my arms forward, miming Superman, grinning like a madman. And just like that, the sheer terror transformed into an adrenaline-fueled euphoria.

As we descended, Josh handed me the parachute controls. “What happens if you let go?” a devilish voice in my head wondered. Ignoring it, I swivelled left and right, marvelling at the beauty below.
Eventually, Josh guided us toward the landing zone. “Legs to the chest, then out in front,” he instructed. And we landed like pros—or rather, he did; I was just along for the ride.

“What was it like?” the cameraman asked. “Absolutely insane!” I blurted out, my heart still racing.

This was not just a thrill-seeker’s dream but a defining moment that combined personal growth, healing, and advocacy for a cause I deeply believe in mental health. Skydiving was a literal and metaphorical fall into a new understanding of life and resilience, a perfect symbol of my journey from a patient to the pinnacle of self-care.

Thanks to this experience, I’m even more committed to championing mental health. I took a leap for myself and everyone who has been where I was. So, let’s soar to new heights together in our collective fight for better mental health.

Would you like to help, too? Please spread the word, donate, and let’s make a difference. Because sometimes, a leap of faith is what it takes to move mountains.

Thai Boxing

The Mental Health Benefits of Paying It Forward

I was on holiday in Thailand recently and was excited to participate in a Thai boxing session at the Rawai Muay Thai boxing gym. While standing in line, excitement mixed with confusion as I grappled with the foreign currency, I realised I was 60 Thai Baht short. Just as panic began to set in, a lady who had overheard my conversation with the management kindly paid the difference. Her simple act of kindness was a surprising and appreciative gesture that made my day and got me thinking deeply about paying it forward.

When was the last time that you paid it forward?

The philosophy of paying it forward, where we help others without expecting anything in return, brings numerous mental health benefits. Here are seven compelling examples, each backed by scientific research:

Boosts Happiness

Participating in activities created to assist others can evoke happiness. Science supports that those who give back are generally happier. Helping others triggers an instant feeling of joy, and realising that someone’s life just improved because of you boosts the “happy hormones.”

Reduces Stress and Lowers Blood Pressure

Rachel Piferi of Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawler of the University of Tennessee conducted a study that proved supporting others socially led to lower blood pressure. This biological response helps reduce stress, improving overall mental and physical well-being.

Encourages Longevity

An interesting study conducted by Doug Oman of the University of California, Berkeley, in 1999 revealed that up to 44% of older individuals were less likely to die over five years if they volunteered for two or more organisations. This result held true even when considering other healthy habits, highlighting the potential longevity benefits of selfless acts.

Strengthens Social Connections

Building bridges between people and paying it forward encourages empathy and connection. It fosters community and unity, reminding us we all share the human experience.

Inspires Mindfulness and Gratitude

Being mindful of others’ needs and acting generously encourages gratitude. This positive loop can lead to higher levels of contentment, happiness, and overall mental health.

Promotes a Positive Outlook on Life

Experiencing kindness can shift one’s perspective, instilling a sense of hope and optimism. This positive outlook can be a powerful force in improving mental health and nurturing a more fulfilling life.

Builds Self-Esteem and a Sense of Purpose

Aligning actions with personal values and principles boosts self-esteem and imbues life with purpose. Knowing that you are making a difference in others’ lives enhances self-worth and offers a rewarding sense of achievement.

A Chain Reaction of Kindness

Paying it forward often creates a chain reaction, inspiring others to do the same. It creates a domino effect where one act of generosity leads to another, multiplying the positive impact on individuals and communities.

Conclusion

My experience in Thailand was not merely an enjoyable holiday memory but a poignant reminder of the transformative power of kindness. Paying it forward carries profound mental health benefits that reach beyond the individual and touch the lives of others.

A single act of kindness can spark warmth and humanity in a cold and indifferent world. So why not take the initiative and perform an act of kindness today? You never know whose life you might change – it might even be your own.

Mental Health First Aid 2-Day Training Course Ambassador Theatre - Birmingham

Empowering Individuals with Mental Health First Aid A Journey of Growth and Understanding

Mental Health First Aid 2-Day Training Course Ambassador Theatre - BirminghamIntroduction: As an accredited Instructor Member, approved by MHFA England to deliver Mental Health First Aid courses, I understand the critical need for mental health literacy in today’s society.

Recently, I had the privilege of hosting a Mental Health First Aid course, an experience that underscored the power of understanding and empathy. This course opened up conversations, empowered individuals, and strengthened our resolve to support mental health. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the course content, participant feedback, societal challenges surrounding mental health, and future plans for mental health education.

Course Content and Structure: The Mental Health First Aid course, a comprehensive programme spread over two days, was meticulously designed to cover various mental health issues. We navigated the complex mental health landscape, equipping participants with skills to identify symptoms and offer effective aid. The course was interspersed with interactive sessions and role-plays to simulate potential real-life scenarios, enhancing the practical learning experience.

Tackling Misconceptions and Fostering Understanding: We also tackled the many misconceptions that cloud the understanding of mental health. This involved many enlightening discussions that shed light on the realities of mental health conditions and the unique challenges faced by those battling them. Although emotionally charged at times, these dialogues fostered a profound empathy among learners, building bridges of understanding.

Learner Feedback and Experiences: Feedback from learners bore a testament to the transformative impact of the course. One delegate expressed, “I felt fully invested in the whole two-day course and found every topic interesting… This course has given me the confidence to help someone who may be struggling”. Another participant shared how the course empowered them with skills and confidence, saying, “Feel confident and have gained so many skills. Thank you, Mike.”

Navigating Mental Health Challenges: Addressing mental health requires a blend of knowledge, courage, empathy, and understanding. Delegates found that the course empowered them to navigate mental health crises confidently. One participant shared, “Previously, I may not have wanted to get involved in a mental health crisis due to not being educated enough… but I am now 100% confident in the skills I have learnt.” These statements underscore the transformative power of Mental Health First Aid training.

Looking Ahead – Future Courses: Encouraged by the positive response and enthusiasm of the participants for further learning, plans for more such courses are scheduled online and in person over the coming months. Expressions of interest in advanced courses, like “I really enjoyed this course, and I shall be looking to enrol for Level 3 in the near future.

Conclusion: Hosting the Mental Health First Aid course, a journey of understanding, empathy, and empowerment, was a rewarding experience. The course reinforced the necessity of mental health literacy and its potential to impact our communities’ well-being profoundly. I look forward to delivering more such courses and contributing towards a society that acknowledges, supports, and nurtures mental health.

Rainer Maria Rilke once said, “The only journey is the journey within.” So, let’s continue this journey of understanding mental health and extend our hands to those in need.

If you’re interested in participating in future Mental Health First Aid courses or want to learn more, feel free to reach out. Together, we can make a difference and ensure mental health is a priority for all.

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Reflecting on the Inaugural Launch of the #BatonOfHopeUK

Introduction

Friday, 2nd June, marked a significant milestone as I had the privilege of attending the inaugural launch of the #BatonOfHopeUK. This extraordinary event aimed to raise awareness of suicide nationwide, leaving an indelible mark on my heart. Hosted at the illustrious Intercontinental Hotel in London, the evening featured a black-tie 3-course dinner, esteemed guest speakers, a charity auction, captivating music, and an atmosphere filled with the joy of dancing.

A Night to Remember

As I stepped into the Intercontinental Hotel, I was immediately enveloped in an atmosphere of anticipation and a shared commitment to a cause close to our hearts. The exquisite black-tie dinner was a delightful feast for the senses, with every dish carefully crafted to perfection, showcasing the organisers’ attention to detail and dedication.

Inspiring Voices

One of the many highlights of the evening was the presence of remarkable guest speakers who shared their stories, insights, and heartfelt messages. Their words resonated deeply, a powerful reminder of the importance of raising awareness about suicide. The bravery and vulnerability displayed by these individuals were truly inspiring, igniting a fire within all attendees to contribute towards creating a society that supports and uplifts those in need.

A Bid for Hope

The charity auction was an exhilarating experience, as bidders vied for unique items, all in the spirit of supporting the #BatonOfHopeUK. The energy in the room was palpable as each bid represented a step forward in the collective fight against suicide. Witnessing the generosity and commitment of the attendees was a humbling reminder of the strength of the community and the impact we can make when we come together for a common cause.

Dancing for a Cause

The evening reached its crescendo as the dance floor came alive with infectious energy and enthusiasm. It was a joyous celebration of life and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The sight of people from different walks of life moving in harmony served as a poignant reminder that unity and solidarity are key in tackling the issue of suicide.

The Baton of Hope Campaign

The #BatonOfHopeUK was born out of the shared grief of Mike McCarthy and Steve Phillip, fathers who tragically lost their sons, Ross and Jordan, to suicide. Their friendship and determination to make a difference led them to become persuasive advocates for change in UK suicide prevention policy. They met with the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP, then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to share their knowledge and lived experience.

In June 2022, Mr. Javid delivered a keynote speech at the headquarters of the suicide prevention charity PAPYRUS, emphasizing the importance of providing better and more targeted support to those at risk of suicide. He acknowledged the need for a new and ambitious long-term plan for suicide prevention.

Mike and Steve secured Mr. Javid’s endorsement and support for their Baton of Hope campaign, which was announced on BBC Breakfast the following day. The Baton tour aims to raise awareness across the country, and Sheffield is one of the cities on its route. With its beautiful greenspaces, abundant trees, and forward-thinking approach to technology, Sheffield offers a unique and meaningful backdrop for the Baton’s journey.

The Baton in Sheffield

Sheffield, known for its vibrant culture and scenic landscapes, holds a special place in the Baton of Hope tour. As the Baton walks through the city, it highlights Sheffield’s commitment to promoting mental health and preventing suicide. With five rivers, 800 managed greenspaces, and more trees per person than any other European city, Sheffield provides a delightful environment for the Baton’s journey. In line with the city’s focus on technology and sustainability, one stretch of the tour will be carried out in an electric vehicle, symbolizing Sheffield’s dedication to the future.

In Summary

Attending the inaugural launch of the #BatonOfHopeUK was an evening filled with inspiration, purpose and a shared commitment to combating the issue of suicide. The event provided a platform for remarkable guest speakers and a spirited charity auction and highlighted the dedication of individuals like Mike McCarthy and Steve Phillip. Their vision, alongside the support of influential figures like Mr Javid, shapes the Baton of Hope campaign as it travels through cities like Sheffield, leaving a trail of awareness and hope in its wake.

Resources for Support:

In times of need, it’s essential to reach out for support. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please consider contacting the following helpline services:

Samaritans:

Call 116 123

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Call 0800 585858

Text ‘SHOUT’

to 85258

PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide)

Call 0800 068 4141

Remember, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. Reach out for help, and together we can make a difference. If you prefer to contact me directly, feel free to contact me at 0114 670 081 or via email at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk.

never lost hope, hope, sand-2636197.jpg

Beyond Awareness: Integrating Mental Health into Everyday Life

As we wrap up Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, it’s crucial that we reflect on the spotlight that has been shone brightly on anxiety. We’ve aimed to raise awareness, hoping people can better spot early warning signs and understand that everyone’s mental health journey is unique and often challenging. Yet, as we approach the end of this dedicated week, we are left with a vital question: has it been enough?

Awareness days, weeks, and months come and go throughout the year. They serve as important reminders of various health and societal issues. However, when it comes to mental health, it’s time to ponder: are these moments of spotlight creating a lasting change? Or are they just temporary blips in our collective consciousness?

A Brief History of Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness Month, celebrated in May in the U.S., dates back to 1949. The initiative was introduced by the Mental Health America organisation, founded by Clifford Whittingham Beers, a mental health advocate with firsthand experience of the challenges faced by individuals with mental health conditions.

Each year, a theme is selected to be highlighted throughout May. The UK and the US have chosen to focus on anxiety for this year’s Mental Health Awareness campaigns. The US campaign carries the theme “More Than Enough“, a strong message of hope, inclusion, and the need for comprehensive mental health support. It underscores the belief that all people, regardless of where they stand in their mental health journey, deserve support, resources, and a compassionate community.

On the other hand, the UK also places a spotlight on anxiety, aiming to educate the public about the signs of anxiety disorders and promote early intervention. Both countries strive to raise awareness about this prevalent mental health issue and advocate for better resources, support, and understanding for those affected.

A Global Perspective on Mental Health

Investment in mental health services has been a point of concern across the globe. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that countries spend, on average, only 2% of their health budgets on mental health. Despite the high mental health conditions worldwide, resources and funding for mental health issues are still scarce. The WHO has called for increased investment, particularly after the pandemic, which has exacerbated mental health conditions globally.

In the U.S., mental health has been recognised as a crucial aspect of overall health. However, funding remains an issue. A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicated that in 2020, only 43.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment.

Meanwhile, the UK government has pledged to provide ‘parity of esteem for mental health, meaning it should be given equal priority to physical health. However, recent data suggests that the reality is far from this commitment. In 2020, mental health trusts received only 13% of the total NHS budget, despite mental health issues making up 23% of the disease burden.

My Thoughts on the Future of Mental Health

While raising awareness is crucial, it’s time to make mental health a part of our everyday lives. It should be woven into our education system early, becoming part of the curriculum so children learn how vital wellbeing and self-care are.

Instead of selling the concept of mental health and leaving it to companies’ Employee Assistance Programmes or corporate social responsibility, mental health should be embedded into our societal fabric. It may be a stretch, but as reiterated in this year’s campaign message from the USA.

“All people, no matter where they are on their mental health journey, deserve support, resources, fulfilment and a community that cares.”

In conclusion, let’s not limit our concern and action for mental health to specific days or months. It’s a year-round commitment. American philosopher and psychologist William James said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” Let’s choose thoughts of empathy, understanding, and continuous support for mental health.

Let’s make mental wellbeing a part of our daily lives, from the classrooms to the boardrooms, and encourage open conversations about mental health. Let’s invest in resources, education, and support systems. Because everyone, no matter where they are on their mental health journey, deserves support, resources, fulfilment, and a caring community.

We all have a part to play in this, and every small step we take can lead to significant changes. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

natural pain relief in Sheffield

Tackling the Silent Challenge Managing Anxiety in the Remote Workforce

The paradigm shift to remote working, while offering various advantages, has also created unique challenges for businesses and employees in the UK. The lack of social interaction and a change in the work environment can intensify anxiety and isolation, particularly among those new to the experience.

Mastering the Art of Virtual Leadership to Support Your Team’s Wellbeing

The Office of National Statistics reported in 2019 that 30% of UK employees were embracing remote working, a figure that has significantly risen recently. This rapid transition has underscored the importance of adapting corporate culture and policies to cater to this new reality.

The Impact of Remote Work on Mental Health

A 2017 United Nations report revealed that 41% of remote workers experienced high-stress levels compared to 25% of office workers. Therefore, businesses must develop robust mental health and wellbeing strategies, ensuring that employees feel part of the organisation rather than isolated.

1. Invest in online management training:

Managing remote teams requires a different skill set. Equip managers with the right tools to keep teams motivated and productive.

2. Reevaluate your management style:

In a remote work setting, fostering relationships with your team is as important as task orientation.

3. Incorporate daily briefings:

Regular check-ins and updates can foster a sense of camaraderie and maintain connectivity.

4. Schedule daily 1-2-1’s:

A virtual face-to-face conversation can significantly boost an employee’s wellbeing and confidence.

5. Conduct an employee audit:

An understanding team needs and offering proactive support can create a positive work environment.

6. Provide remote wellbeing support:

Consider offering remote coaching, guided meditation, and other interactive activities to reduce stress and improve resilience.

7. Advocate for work-life balance:

Encourage employees to take regular breaks and make time for self-care activities to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

The effectiveness of your remote working strategy hinges on your ability to understand individual triggers and coping mechanisms.

If you need assistance or want to discuss developing your wellbeing strategies, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 0114 670 082 or hello@mikelawrence.co.uk.

holistic health Sheffield

Unravelling the Power of Self-Care An Essential for Anxiety Management

Embrace Self-Care

The Gateway to Enhanced Wellbeing and Resilience

Self-care, a term growing exponentially in popularity, is an empowering habit that signifies the conscious endeavour to improve one’s physical and mental wellbeing. It is a diverse concept encapsulating activities that contribute to a sense of personal comfort and fulfilment, including leisurely walks, therapeutic massages, or routine dental check-ups.

Why is Self-Care Paramount?

Interestingly, we often prioritise planning holidays or revamping our homes over investing time in ourselves. The reasons can range from a bustling lifestyle, familial responsibilities, work-related stress, to long commutes. However, it’s imperative to remember that when you are at your best, you radiate confidence, positively impacting all aspects of life, from personal relationships to professional performance.

Self-care doesn’t necessitate large time commitments or exorbitant costs. It could be as simple as immersing in a warm bath, delving into a motivational book, or practising mindfulness. It’s about making the conscious commitment to prioritise your own wellbeing.

The Multifaceted Benefits of Self-Care

Self-care is essentially about nurturing your holistic self and aligning with your needs. It could mean incorporating more exercise, achieving better sleep, or seeking healthcare for unresolved physical discomforts. Ultimately, your self-care regime should target mental, emotional, and physical health.

Moreover, self-care can significantly alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress. Engaging in relaxing activities like mindfulness, yoga, or even music can significantly enhance your mood and reduce anxiety.

Boosting Resilience and Self-Confidence with Self-Care

Life invariably presents challenges, both professionally and personally. Resilience is key in overcoming these obstacles, and an integral part of resilience is acknowledging that change and setbacks are part and parcel of life.

Resilient individuals tend to maintain a positive outlook, effectively manage emotions, and view failures as constructive feedback. Engaging in self-care activities bolsters self-esteem and confidence, equipping you better to deal with life’s inevitable adversities.

Preserving Mental Health with Self-Care

Prioritising self-care can help manage mental health concerns and may even prevent their exacerbation. However, it’s crucial to note that while self-care is beneficial, it doesn’t replace professional help. If you’re grappling with depression, anxiety, stress, or other mental health issues, seeking assistance from a healthcare professional is vital.

Building a Better Relationship with Yourself through Self-Care

At its core, self-care is about fostering a healthier relationship with oneself. It’s about introspection, mental wellbeing, and fostering self-love. As Robert Holden wisely said, “The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” Regularly practicing self-care is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself.

Take Action

As a seasoned wellness professional, I’ve created a robust system to help individuals suffering from a lack of confidence, motivation, or resilience. My approach helps people rediscover their identity, feel physically robust, and become mentally equipped, ultimately taking control of their lives.

To learn more about how this could work for you, please contact me directly at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk or call 0114 670 081.

burnout stress mental health at work Sheffield

📊Mental Health Awareness Week Navigating Anxiety, Finances, and the Rising Cost of Living 🤝

Anxiety and Finances You’re Not Alone

Welcome to Mental Health Awareness Week! This week, we’re shedding light on anxiety and financial stress, issues affecting many UK people. According to a recent survey by Mental Health UK, an alarming 1 in 4 adults experience severe anxiety that prevents them from pursuing their goals and aspirations. With such a substantial portion of the population impacted, raising awareness and supporting those struggling is crucial.

💰 Anxiety, Finances, and the Rising Cost of Living 💰

Financial stress can arise from various factors, such as job loss, mounting debt, or unexpected expenses. When these stressors accumulate, they can significantly affect a person’s mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other related conditions. Additionally, the recent rise in the cost of living has made it increasingly challenging for individuals to maintain their mental wellbeing. It’s essential to recognise the connection between financial stress, anxiety, and the rising cost of living, as understanding this relationship can help guide individuals towards the right resources and support.

📈 The Impact of Financial Strain on Mental Health 📈

The level of debt in the UK is alarmingly high. According to the Office for National Statistics, as of 2021, the average total debt per UK adult, including mortgages, was approximately £31,000. Please note that this figure may have changed since then, so checking the most recent data for accuracy is crucial. This financial strain has an adverse impact on mental health, contributing to increased levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. The ongoing struggle to manage finances and the rising cost of living can make it incredibly challenging for individuals to maintain their mental wellbeing.

🤗 You’re Not Alone: Sharing Stories and Advice 🤗

One of the most powerful ways to combat anxiety and financial stress is to share our experiences and support one another. We encourage you to leave a comment below with your personal stories or advice on coping with anxiety and financial stress. What resources or techniques have helped you? Opening up about our experiences can create a supportive community where others feel less isolated in their struggles.

🛠️ Helpful Resources and Techniques 🛠️

If you’re currently experiencing anxiety and financial stress, there are several resources and techniques that may help alleviate some of the burden. Here are a few suggestions:

Financial Counselling:

Seek the guidance of a qualified financial counsellor who can help you create a budget, manage debt, and develop a plan for improving your financial situation.

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Practising mindfulness or meditation can help reduce anxiety by helping you focus on the present moment and gain control over your thoughts and emotions.

Support Groups:

Joining a support group can provide a safe space to share your experiences with others who understand what you’re going through and can offer valuable advice and encouragement.

Exercise:

Regular physical activity has been proven to reduce anxiety and improve mental health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week.

Professional Help:

If your anxiety becomes too overwhelming, consider seeking the help of a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counsellor, who can provide tailored guidance and support.

🌱 Fostering Resilience in the Face of Financial Challenges 🌱

As we continue to navigate the complexities of the rising cost of living and its impact on mental health, it’s essential to focus on fostering resilience and developing coping strategies to help us better manage these challenges. Here are some tips to build resilience during these trying times:

Maintain a Support Network:

Surround yourself with friends, family, and loved ones who can provide emotional support and understanding. A strong support network can significantly improve your ability to cope with financial stress and anxiety.

Set Realistic Goals:

Break down your financial challenges into smaller, manageable tasks. Focus on setting achievable short-term goals that can help you progress towards long-term financial stability.

Stay Informed:

Educate yourself about personal finance and stay updated on current economic trends. Knowledge is power; understanding your financial situation can help you make informed decisions and feel more in control.
Practice Self-Care: Remember to care for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Prioritise sleep, eat a balanced diet, and make time for relaxation and hobbies that bring you joy.

🌈 Supporting One Another 🌈

Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity for us all to unite and support one another in our shared struggles with anxiety and financial stress. By raising awareness and offering helpful resources, we can create a stronger, more compassionate community where everyone has the chance to thrive. Remember, you’re not alone in your journey – let’s work together to build a brighter future and support one another in our journeys towards better mental health and financial stability.

Mental Health First Aid Training

First Aid (Mental Health) Bill

MHFA England Instructor MemberMental health has been a growing concern in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the stress and uncertainty of the past year has taken a toll on the nation’s mental well-being. In response to this, Dean Russell MP for Watford, has reintroduced his “First Aid (Mental Health) Bill” in the House of Commons, calling for mental health first-aid to be made part of regular first-aid training requirements for employers.

The bill is a response to the growing concern about the impact of poor mental health on the nation’s well-being and the economy. Workplace health data has shown that stress, depression or anxiety has been the leading cause of lost working days since the 1990s. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that nearly 1 million workers suffer from stress, depression, or anxiety relating to their employment.

Including mental health first-aid as part of regular first-aid training is an important step towards addressing the issue and promoting mental well-being in the workplace. Providing employers with the knowledge and skills to identify and address mental health concerns in the workplace will not only benefit the health of the nation but also improve business productivity and economic growth.

As Dean Russell stated in his speech in the House of Commons, “It is absolutely right that every workplace has a physical first aider on site, this bill would simply extend that to ensure mental health is on a par with physical health. Our collective experience of Covid pushed our focus on physical health, and now we need to realign our priorities to ensure we also focus on mental wellbeing.”

The bill received no objections and will go through to a second reading on 24th February, signalling a step forward in addressing the mental health concerns of the nation.

As a consultant in health and wellbeing, Mike Lawrence welcomes the bill and agrees with Dean Russell’s perspective. He recognises the importance of addressing mental health in the workplace and sees this bill as a crucial step towards promoting mental wellbeing and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.

So, what do you think?

  • Do you agree that mental health first aid is needed in the workplace?
  • How important do you think having a trained workplace mental health first aider is?
  • If applicable, does your workplace currently have a mental health first aider?
  • Would you be interested in becoming a mental health first aider?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or email me.

The importance of training in the new Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®) in the workplace

Let’s start the conversation 

Today is World Mental Health Day 2022, it highlights the fact that mental health issues can affect anyone at any time.

The theme this year is ensuring mental health becomes a global priority.

Focusing on our own mental health first and looking at all aspects of our life.

Work is a huge part of this, and the office environment has changed for employees and businesses.

In recent years, we’ve seen a global covid pandemic, economic decline, cost of living crisis, the adoption of hybrid working, the great resignation and a recruitment crisis. It has taken its toll on employees, and now – more than ever – they need mental health support in the workplace.

So, what responsibility does a business have for its staff in this area?

Obviously, a business has a “duty of care” and “corporate social responsibility” but is that enough?

Mike Lawrence Award-winning Health & Wellbeing Management Consultant and MHFA England Instructor Member suggests not:

The latest report from Deloitte suggests employers see a return of £5 on average for every £1 invested in staff wellbeing,

Independent study and evaluation demonstrate that employees who become an MHFAider® are able to:

  1. Have a conversation with improved mental health literacy around language and stigma
  2. Recognise those that may be experiencing poor mental health and provide them with first-level support and early intervention
  3. Know how to access a dedicated text service provided by Shout and ongoing learning opportunities with MHFA England
  4. Know how to use the MHFAider Support App®

By becoming aware and informed, managers and employees can more readily spot the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and provide the proper support.

Lawrence is hosting a Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®) training course Redbourn Parish Centre, The Park, Redbourn AL3 7LR on the 20th and 21st October

Which learners will become a Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®) and receive three years of certification, plus access to ongoing benefits.  

As an MHFAider® you will be able to:

  1. Encourage a person to identify and access sources of professional help and other supports
  2. Practise active listening and empathy
  3. Discuss the MHFAider® role in depth, including boundaries and confidentiality
  4. Practise self-care
  5. Access to ongoing learning opportunities, resources and exclusive events
  6. Be part of the largest MHFAider® community in England

 

For more information click here

Uncertain Future

Are You Willing To Forgo Anything For Your Holiday?

Uncertain FutureMany of us who’ve not been away due to the COVID pandemic are desperate to get away for some summer sun. Surveys and reports in the media suggest a surge in holiday bookings as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels despite household finances facing a squeeze from surging inflation. Tour operator TUI reports that summer bookings are up by 19%.

Holidays can help with anxiety and stress-related problems by giving us time to relax, have downtime and allow us to use the time to find solutions to problems.

Holidays enable us to catch up on much-needed sleep and rest. Whilst we are sleeping, our brains consolidate information and memories from the day, which improves our mental functioning, problem-solving, memory and creativity.

Holidays boost relationships with friends and family. You get to spend quality time with partners and children, strengthening social bonds. Time with your kids also increases their self-esteem and sense of security and enriches family values.

However, for some, the urge to escape and get away, hoping that the life you left behind will improve on their return, can come at a cost.

Brits Spent up to a Quarter of their Annual Disposable Income on Holidays each Year

Nationwide Building Society’s published spending report revealed that Brits spent up to a quarter of their annual disposable income on holidays each year. Many seem to have no desire to restrain this spending. On average we spend £855 per person each time we go away, then there’s 23% who spend £1,000 or more each holiday, and a family of four could end up paying £3,240 per trip and up to £6,840 in total.

Figures are taken from the online website Moneyfacts reports that the UK’s annual median disposable household income is £31,400. The cost of holiday spending can take up to three months’ worth of income, or a quarter of the expenditure. Disturbingly, not everybody has this money to hand.

As a result, 22% reported that they had to borrow the money to go on holiday, including using a credit card, taking out a loan or borrowing money from friends or family members. Contrastingly, 43% managed to pay for their holiday using savings, while 35% used cash from their bank account, and 11% were lucky enough to have family members to finance their holiday break.

88% of those who had to borrow money said that this was the only way that they could afford to go away. With the average Brit then taking three months to pay off this holiday – and 11% even taking more than six months.

Yet over half (51%) of respondents said they weren’t willing to forgo anything for their holiday.

That’s not all 61% overspend by £250 and 11% overspend by £500 or more.

Then there’s an additional 20% who don’t set a budget, who might still regret spending more than their bank accounts can bear. Undoubtedly, money is one of the most significant holiday regrets, with 25% feeling they had spent too much money. 21% said they didn’t have enough money to enjoy themselves, and 20% thought their holiday was too expensive.

Loss Aversion Theory

One of the drivers behind our behaviours and decision making could be linked to the loss aversion theory. Loss aversion is a concept that people hate losses more than they enjoy gains.

A cognitive bias that describes why, for people, the pain of losing is psychologically twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. The loss felt from money or any other valuable thing can feel worse than gaining that same thing. Studies demonstrate that it impacts our judgement, preference, and decision-making process.

Wellbeing activities don’t have to cost you the earth. Many of us know the benefit of regular exercise, walking, meditation or participation in numerous leisure pursuits, pastimes and hobbies.

Imagine the delight of planning a holiday not because you need to catch up on much-needed sleep. You’re suffering from anxiety or spending time with the family because you haven’t seen them due to work demands.

The outcome of your time away is much more rewarding when you regularly invest time and money and prioritise your mental health and wellbeing.

If you’re currently suffering from emotional overwhelm due to the rise in the cost of living or are worried about an uncertain future, or you need help to improve your confidence and are not sure where to go.

Send an email to enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk, and I’ll send you a free guide on what to incorporate into your daily routine. Or contact me at 01142 670 081 for a complimentary 40-minute wellbeing review, and I’ll share with you tips that can transform your health and wellbeing when you implement them. Remember, ‘If you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness’.

The Truth Behind the Great Resignation Highlights the Importance of Employee Benefits and Wellbeing

Why is the “great resignation” happening? 

You might be familiar with the term “Great Resignation”, also known as the “Big Quit”. But what does this phrase mean, and how will the Great Resignation affect careers in 2022?

Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University coined the phrase to describe many people quitting jobs for reasons associated with the pandemic. 

People worldwide have been walking away from jobs as they re-evaluate their work-life balance amid high levels of burnout.

According to reports, the trend was driven by a psychological and economic shift as companies toiled – and often failed – to lure worried staff to return to jobs, environments, industries and offices that have too often treated workers as expendable. 

The reasons for quitting seem to vary and depend on which survey you read. However, the main reasons cited by experts appear to be,

  • Lack of adequate childcare
  • Health concerns about Covid
  • Burnout
  • A lack of flexible working

Key findings from YuLife-YouGov survey A Look Inside Employee Mindsets During The ‘Great Resignation’ put the spotlight on the mindset of workers in the UK and highlight the changing belief that it’s the employer’s responsibility.  

  • 70% would exercise more if their employer introduced a new policy
  • 66% of UK employees would like their employers to dedicate a block of time, at least once a
  • week, to improve their health and well-being 
  • 62% of UK employees believe stress and burnout at work has increased in their workplace since the start of the pandemic 
  • 51% disagree that their employer takes an interest in their lifestyle decisions
  • 45% of UK employees believe this stress will continue over 2022
  • 45% of UK employees feel that their workplace/working life directly influences lifestyle decisions

Plus, time away from the office has given people the prospect to reflect on what they want from their life and career—providing them with a chance to quit in search of better work opportunities, self-employment, or, simply, higher salaries to meet the rise in inflation and the rise in the cost of living. 

But why were we so unhappy with the old “normal”? The word “normal” could be perceived as the root of the problem. We had to put up with the long commutes to work, costly lunches, and unhappy lifeless offices because we were told and conditioned that all of those things were “the norm”, and if we didn’t accept those practices, we didn’t fit in. A lot of time and effort is spent on trying to be “normal”, but the pandemic has changed our perception. Therefore challenging the need to go back to what was “normal” before. 

Some businesses are pushing back on this, trying to return to the way it was before as the best and only way to manage their employees and conduct business. Yet this old normal didn’t always allow people to reach their full potential because it didn’t allow individuals to reach their true potential. After all, it didn’t cater for our differences. 

Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), said that the job market would become “even more fierce as employees seek out new roles that meet their changing demands and aspirations.”

“Just offering big budget salaries isn’t cutting it anymore,” she said. “Managers who aren’t adapting their working models will be left wanting – and their organisations will pay the price.”

Therefore, what should companies be doing about it?

Employee well-being

Burnout, stress and depression are likely contributors likely to lead to an employee quitting. Therefore, organisations must have measures to recognise and alleviate these problems and prevent them from happening.

An excellent way to do so is by restating the importance of;

  • Encourage employees to take regular breaks
  • Enable staff to take time off
  • Execute a mental well-being strategy and policy 
  • Initiate regular employee check-ins 
  • Plan monthly employee appraisals 
  • Invest in training programmes for all employees 
  • Ensure individuals will not be looked down upon if they flag to their manager that they struggle with their workload.

Consider an Employee Assistance Programme to support the team’s mental, including professional help

If you want to learn more about the benefits of an EAP or the value of using a well-being consultant to assist you with improving the well-being of your employees, please get in touch for a complimentary consultation. Email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or call 01142 670 081 

 

believe in yourself

Rediscover Your Confidence The Antidote To Good Mental Health

JOIN THE WAITLIST FOR 

REDISCOVER YOUR CONFIDENCE THE ANTIDOTE FOR GOOD MENTAL HEALTH

Mike Lawrence health wellbeing consultant SheffieldIf you’re feeling stressed, worried about the future, or the covid experience has affected your confidence business and your family. And looking to start taking back the control COVID took from you. So that you feel more motivated, confident, and back in control of your life again. The rediscover your confidence the antidote to good mental health course is just what you need.

Give yourself credit for what you’ve already achieved and how far you’ve come. You are the type of person who is always looking at improving your mental health and wellbeing, listening to motivational YouTube videos to find solutions to your challenges, subscribing to Headspace or Calm to help you with lack of sleep, stress, depression and anxiety. Or, the alternative – taking a range of prescription drugs for many years to manage your wellbeing, but you don’t seem to be getting any better? And no one seems to get to the root cause of your problems because it keeps recurring? If that sounds like you, then you’re in the right place.

By the end of this program,
you will have…

  • Good Mental Health
    You will feel more motivated, confident, and back in control of your life again so that you’re able to achieve and do the activities that you’ve always wanted to do.
  • Visible Behavioral Transformation
    Clients like you typically see results within 3 to 6 months of taking the course when they follow and implement all the steps.
  • A Step by Step Framework to Support You
    Provide you with a step by step framework and roadmap so that you can navigate back to where you belong. The reason why most people quit is that they don’t have any accountability. What gets measured gets done, following the framework and tools that I provide, will help you to stay on track and achieve your goals.
  • Discover the Hidden and Deep-Rooted Problems that play Havoc with your Mental Wellbeing
    Understanding the root cause of your problem, the issues that have been holding you back for many years and now you have a plan at last to overcome them.
  • Healthy Coping Strategies for Managing Your Mental Health
    Develop healthy coping strategies which will enable you to manage current and future bumps in the road and recognise the signs and symptoms before they surface.

Course Overview

In this five-week course, you will go from feeling stressed, anxious or depressed to feeling more confident and back in control. The covid experience has affected your confidence, business, and your family. You may feel like you’ve forgotten who you are, or you are simply trying to find a new direction in life. Well – if you want to start taking back the control COVID took from you, you’re in luck! In the rediscover your confidence the antidote to good mental health course, you’ll learn essential tools and tips to help you fulfil your true potential.

What People Are Saying

Haworth Ward-Drummond“At the age of fifty-two, you imagine you’ve got most things about life and relationships sorted out. But sometimes.. stuff happens that knocks your heart, soul and spirit about. When this happened to me, I am eternally grateful that it felt right to trust Mike to be able to share what was going on. His extensive experience, balanced blend of coaching and counselling, sensitive listening and varied techniques truly helped me process my feelings and in turn, regain my natural happiness. Thanks Mike.”

 

Be First to Know When The Doors to Rediscover Your Confidence The Antidote To Good Mental Health Opens!

Get ready for a treat! You’ll receive email alerts for special bonus offers and be notified as soon as the doors open so you get in ahead of the crowd.

Join The Wait List