Posted: Wed, 05 May 2021 12:00
Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event that encourages the whole of the UK to start open conversations about mental health and focus on providing help and advice to one another. Each year the Foundation continues to set the theme, organise and host the Week - this years theme inspires everyone to think about connecting with nature and how spending time in nature can improve our mental wellbeing.
There are lots of ways that you can get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week and #ConnectWithNature.
Join Take Action, Get Active, and throughout the month of May, take part in half an hour of exercise a day, outdoors to support the Mental Health Foundation. Complete the 30 minutes a day, your way, you can run, jog, walk, skip – be as creative as you like, and you will receive full support from us along the way. Our theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is nature. Spending quality time with nature can reduce stress, balance your mood and help you feel more positive. The important thing is to switch on your senses and really connect – whether that's noticing nature on your daily jog, or listening to the birds on your woodland walk.
Every year at LRS we ensure all the staff are taking the time to better their own mental health and Mental Health Awareness Week is a prime opportunity to share new ideas between the network and try new ways to take some time for yourself. This year, due to workplace restrictions still being enforced, we have created care packages for each staff member to use at home. Some of our ideas include:
- Nature Walk Bingo - Give everyone a bingo card of things to look out for when they go on a walk. Not only will this give you some headspace from a phone or laptop, it encourages you to connect more with the nature around you.
- Green Fingers Project - Get everyone planting some seeds in their garden to encourage a different form of physical activity, whilst also ensuring people are getting enough fresh air during a busy day.
- Desk Exercise - A quick email with a 10-minute desk exercise routine is another way to encourage staff to consciously take some time to move around and have a brain break from work, which ultimately results in clearer minded individuals.
- Outdoor Yoga - Grab that yoga mat and take it outside to breathe in the fresh air. Close your eyes and take in your surroundings through other senses. Not only will this help to clear your head but makes you stop and slowly unwind from the day.
- Phone a Friend/Walking Meeting - Take some time to ring a colleague for a catch up which doesn't involved any work related conversations! After a year of remote working, sometimes taking some time out to check up on the person behind the colleague is a great way to re-connect and encourage positive mental health practice and even better if you can get in the fresh air into new surroundings and enjoy a slower pace.
Back in November 2020 our annual LRS Conference was themed around 'Building Resilience Together' with an emphasis on supporting Mental Wellness Utilising Physical Activity & Sport. There were a number of webinars which took place throughout the month, including:
- Physical Activity, Sport and Links to Mental Wellbeing: Mind
- More Talk, More Action: Sam Turner, CEO/Secretary General, International Federation of CP Football
- Men Can Say it's Okay to Not be Okay
- Health & Wellbeing, Part of Everyone's Business. Supporting Workplaces to Look After the Health and Wellbeing of their Workforce: Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport
- Local Mental Wellbeing Services: Leicestershire County Council Public Health
To find out more information and to view these webinar sessions, visit: Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport - LRS Annual Conference (lrsport.org).
Upcoming Opportunities linked to Mental Health include:
This course will help you to gain the confidence to be able to support people experiencing mental health problems, and help them to thrive inside and outside of your sports sessions. The course has been developed by Mind UK in association with UK Coaching and 1st 4 Sport and includes four modules to increase overall knowledge and understanding of mental health:
- Build people's resilience, self-esteem and confidence
- Adapt your sessions to make them more inclusive
- Enable and support mental health recovery, and
- Tackle stigma and discrimination.
- Mental Health First Aid Courses
Mental Health is just as, if not more important than physical health, so Connect Mental Health have set up some online sessions, accredited by MHFA England to undertake either Adult or Youth mental health first aid, as well as awareness and champion courses; all at a heavily reduced rate. The course won't teach you to become a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and potentially stop a crisis from happening. You'll learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.
Make sure to secure your place on one of these courses now.
Lamp is a local LLR charity which provides support and services to those who are looking to seek help with their mental health. During Mental Health Awareness Week they are encouraging you to get active to better your mental health by taking part in a 5k activity of your choice. Follow the link to discover how to get involved, have some fun and raise vital funds to promote mental health far and wide.
To get involved is simple:
Step One - Decide on an 5k activity (Relaxed, Challenging, Fun or Creative – anything you want to get involved with)
Step Three (optional) - Start a fundraising campaign or simply donate to Lamp to support those in need of mental health support
Step Four - Get your household, family or support bubble involved and get active! Share and promote the importance of physical exercise leading to better mental health. Don't forget to tag Lamp and use those hashtags.
- FREE Mental Wellbeing in Sport & Physical Activity Webinar
WHEN: Monday 10th May, 18:30-20:00 | WHERE: Online via Zoom
The Melton Inclusive Sport & Physical Activity (MISPA) Steering Group are inviting you to attend a FREE Mental Wellbeing in Sport & Physical Activity webinar as part of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week taking place between 10th-16th May 2021.
The webinar content will include:
- Mattering, what is it, why is it important and how can we support it
- Supporting well-being and a positive environment in sport and physical activity
- Understanding mental health, taking care of ourselves and others
- Sport and physical activity as a tool for change
- Looking after your mental wellbeing at work
Our 'Working from Home' website pages are full of top tips for looking after your physical and mental wellbeing at work, whether your working remotely or back in the office.
If you're an employer who needs support with looking after the health and wellbeing of your employees, our Wellbeing at Work programme could help. Organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland can also be recognised for their efforts by registering for the Wellbeing at Work Charter. Find out more by clicking here.
- Attached are some mental wellbeing activities for children and families - take a look.
Make sure you follow your local Physical Activity & Health Team for other opportunities and local information.