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14 May 2018

Smoothwall Supports Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Organised by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 14th - 20th May with the theme ‘Stress: are we coping?’

Recent research has found that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem at some stage in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this. A survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation and YouGov also discovered that almost three quarters (74%) of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed and unable to cope.

What is Stress?

Stress affects us in many different ways, both physically and emotionally, and can often leave you with a feeling of strain and pressure. There are many factors in life which can contribute towards causing stressors such as financial worries, increased workload, altercations with friends and family, and times of uncertainty.

Although for some people, small amounts of stress can be desired and seen as a healthy benefit and form of motivation, for the majority, it can lead to wider mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and in some instances, suicide.

Helping Raise Awareness

At Smoothwall we understand that the modern workplace can sometimes be very demanding and cause high levels of stress. That’s why it’s important to ensure we make a conscious effort to recognise the signs of mental health issues amongst our employees and have the most appropriate measures in place to help protect and support those in need.

Smoothwall care deeply about the physical, mental health and overall wellbeing of our staff. Following on from the success of last year’s Wellbeing Week, Smoothwall have decided to host another event this year, in order to help raise awareness of mental health in the workplace and encourage all staff members to be mindful of their own mental and physical wellbeing.

With plenty of activities and workshops on hand to help staff improve their health, wellbeing and state of mind, here’s just some of the things we’ll be getting up to in the workplace this week.

Sleep Well, Work Well

Physiologically, sleep is a complex process of restoration and renewal for the body and is essential for both mental and physical function. But what happens when you can’t sleep? Lack of sleep can be another contributing factor towards stress, therefore it’s important to learn how sleep eludes you and how you can improve your sleep environment to help improve your physical and mental health.

James Wilson, aka The Sleep Geek™ from Channel 4’s 'The Secrets of Sleep' documentary, will be hosting workshops about all things sleep related. This includes helping us to understand how and why we sleep, and top tips on how to create the best night time routine.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

While short bursts of pressure can help us to rise to meet a challenge, long term stress can have a major impact on our physical and mental health. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) aims to address prolonged periods of stress, which can lead to poor mental and physical health.

We will be hosting an MBSR workshop designed to incorporate techniques such as meditation, gentle yoga, and mind-body exercises to help us learn how to cope with everyday stress and provide greater clarity on life experience.

Employees will also be invited to partake in other activities such as the ‘Hydration Station’, which will encourage them to drink plenty of water in a bid to maintain and replenish water levels, essential for muscle function, immune health, digestion and even mood. We’ve even supplied employees with their own Smoothwall water bottle just to get them started and on there way!

Further activities will include step challenges, laughter workshops, smoothie making, Indian head massages and many more.

Continued Awareness and Wellbeing

Mental health is more talked about than ever before, but there’s still a way to go before attitudes change and the fear of stigma disappears. It’s important to recognise that mental health issues can often be underlying and can go unnoticed not only by the very people who are suffering, but those people around them.

Remember, being mindful of other people’s feelings and circumstances should take place all year round, so why not be the one to start the first conversation? After all, by tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackling mental health issues.

If your workplace would like to get involved with Mental health Awareness Week, visit the Mental Health Foundation website for some fantastic resources and support.    

We’d love to hear what your organisation is doing to help support #MHAW18 so please leave your comments below.

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