Things to Think About on World Mental Health Day
October 10th is World Mental Health Day, so on behalf of the Raw Horizons team, I’m wishing you a day of feeling calm, positive, well-rested, and supported — just like every other day really! But, if you’re not feeling this way, then it’s the perfect time to reflect about your mental health and wellbeing and how they could be improved.
First celebrated in 1992, World Mental Health Day is an international day for global health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. On this day each October, thousands of people in more than 150 countries and across various industries — such as health, wellbeing, education, and sports — unite to shine the spotlight on the importance of mental health. In some countries such as Australia, the day is part of a week-long awareness program.
As such, the UK has just launched their ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign to help people with their mental wellbeing.
After more than a year and a half since the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation, this year’s World Mental Health Day is perhaps more important than ever.
New research has revealed that 49% of adults in England said the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental wellbeing, while 34% said they did not know what to do to help improve their mental wellbeing.
The fact that such a significant number of people said they were at a loss as to how to seek help shows how urgently more mental health and wellbeing resources and trained personnel are needed.
First campaign from new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities
On 1 October, the UK launched the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), which aims to tackle health inequalities across the UK by putting prevention at the heart to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Just in time for World Mental Health Day, the first campaign from OHID is the ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign which empowers people to look after their mental wellbeing.
What is most interesting about this campaign is that the public is urged to “find what works for me” to support their mental health and wellbeing. Rather than include information and recommendations in a “one-size-fits-all” approach, the Every Mind Matters campaign values the importance of a personalised approach. Through the ‘Every Mind Matters’ platform, people are asked five questions with multiple answers provided. The questions are:
- How is your mood?
- How well do you sleep?
- How anxious or on edge do you feel?
- How stressed do you feel?
- Have you been worrying about anything?
Once the questions are completed, people receive a tailored ‘Mind Plan’, which includes tips to “help deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better, and feel more in control.”
Examples of these tips include: “Move more every day”; “Be mindful and meditate”; “Do more feel-good things”; “Stay healthy”; “Keep sleep regular”; and “Embrace volunteering”. Each tip includes an explanation and sometimes links to videos such as a ten-minute home workout, or a video on how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Commenting on the campaign, Minister for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan, said:
“The public showed great resilience throughout the pandemic, but it has served as a stark reminder that we all need to look after ourselves not only physically, but mentally.”
If you’re in the UK, you might see a new TV ad voiced by Stephen Fry highlighting “what works for me”. A prominent mental health advocate, Stephen Fry has joined the ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign, commenting: “It’s all about finding what works best for you to help deal with the everyday stresses and strains of life — it could be exercise, baking a cake or getting stuck in with gardening — the list is endless.”
Wellbeing coaching prioritises the personalised approach
The ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign is an excellent first step towards seeking mental health and wellbeing support — especially because it provides a personalised ‘Mind Plan’. The convenience of being able to access tips and information from the comfort of one’s home is likely to encourage thousands more to seek support.
However, in situations where someone requires more sustained, supportive and individualised support — not to mention the countless benefits of speaking to a trained and certified mental wellbeing professional — a wellbeing coach can provide so much more than tips on a screen! The fact that the core of the new Every Mind Matters campaign is a quiz to generate a ‘Mind Plan’ shows just how vital the personalised, individualised approach is.
By skillfully listening, questioning, reflecting, encouraging, challenging, and supporting, a Wellbeing Coach guides their clients to look to the future by helping them design and execute their own solutions to their problems and challenges.
They assist their clients with stress management, coping strategies, self-care, goal-setting, mindfulness, and managing emotions, by always focusing on the client’s individual needs.
In my last blog post, I wrote about how the increased emphasis on the importance of mental wellbeing has led to opportunities for Wellbeing Coaches widening immensely. As the latest figures show, with half of adults in England saying that the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health, there really has never been a more important time to become a Wellbeing Coach.
So, if you’ve been thinking about being a Wellbeing Coach for a while, why not take the plunge on World Mental Health Day?