We care about the health and wellbeing of those we support, so Mental Health Awareness Week is an ideal opportunity for us to talk about mental health across the organisation.
Taking place from 14th – 20th May, the national campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation aims to take away the stigma that individuals with mental health problems face and places a new perspective on how others view illnesses of the mind.
Because it is an illness of the mind, it can’t be seen by others. More often than not there are no obvious signs and symptoms and people coping with these problems may do so alone.
According to mental health charity Mind, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, where as in England, 1 in 6 report experiencing anxiety and depression.
At Eden Futures we support over 600 people in various settings. Our support workers play a huge part in the lives of those we support, helping them to lead a healthy, happy and independent life.
Unfortunately, mental health problems can affect any individual, including those with support needs. It is our role as a supported living service to reduce anxiety and depression for those in our care, helping them to feel safe and secure in their community and home environments.
The National Autistic Society report that mental illness can be more common for people on the autism spectrum than in the general population, but sadly the mental health of autistic people is often overlooked. People find it hard to talk about their mental health and this is even more true for autistic people who may have specific challenges in understanding and communicating their feelings.
We strive to reduce the risk of these issues, and where they do occur, recognise them and respond positively helping individuals to thrive in their everyday lives. It’s important that those we support feel they have someone they can talk to and trust and building positive relationships is embedded into the service we provide.
Support workers will encourage a structure to an individual’s day, providing them with purpose and meaning, alongside a healthy diet, physical exercise and interaction with staff and neighbours. We get to know each and every person and will support them to take part in activities that they are interested in and to engage with the community.
Our commitment to mental health does not stop with those we support, but forms an intrinsic part of looking after our employees. We are proud that our most recent addition to support we provide to employees includes the LifeWorks Wellbeing programme that promotes both physical and mental wellbeing – with services to help our teams stay healthy.
Mental health is just as important as our physical health. It can affect how we all think, feel and act. If our state of mind is healthy it is far easier to cope with daily challenges and enjoy a positive outlook on life.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering with mental health problems and you need any help and support, please visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health or https://www.mind.org.uk/need-urgent-help/using-this-tool/