University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day – 22nd February 2012
Join us to mark University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day on 22nd February, which aims to focus efforts to promote the mental health of people who live and work in Higher Education settings.
We’ve all heard of eating 5 fruit and veg a day to keep us physically healthy, but what about doing 5 things a day to help us stay mentally healthy?
Five ways to wellbeing
Take small, simple steps to make your workplace mentally healthier.
These five steps have been researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation and can be found on the Mind website
Any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org ext 6417
There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.
- Talk to someone instead of sending an email.
- Speak to someone new.
- Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you.
- Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is.
- Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.
- Time to Change youtube channel
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.
Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.
But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.
Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:
- Take the stairs not the lift.
- Go for a walk at lunchtime.
- Walk into work - perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well.
- Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work.
- Organise a work sporting activity.
- Have a kick-about in a local park.
- Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning.
- Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.
- Manchester Aquatics Centre
- Sugden Sports Centre, Manchester
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.
Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.
Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:
- Get a plant for your workspace.
- Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day.
- Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting.
- Take a different route on your journey to or from work.
- Visit a new place for lunch.
- BBC – Relaxation techniques
- BBC – Happiness
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression. The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:
- Find out something about your colleagues.
- Sign up for a class.
- Read the news or a book.
- Set up a book club.
- Do a crossword or Sudoku.
- Research something you’ve always wondered about.
- Learn a new word
- Manchester Metropolitan University Course
Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research.
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.
Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
With that in mind, why not get together with your colleagues to hold a ‘Wake up Your Mind’ fundraising breakfast and improve your mental health at work?
A healthy breakfast has been proven to boost one’s mood and it’s also a great opportunity to talk about the ‘elephant in the room’.
Along with top tips on how to organise your own fundraising breakfast, our ‘Wake up your Mind’ breakfast guide includes a special Flapjack recipe donated by celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale, presenter of BBC2’s Baking Made Easy. It’s the perfect occasional breakfast treat for those with a sweet tooth!
We sent out a call to staff to send us their stories about living with mental health illnesses and received some very honest, positive responses:
To see mental health case studies of famous people, follow the following links:
Mental Health Facts
- 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year
- Right now, 1 in 6 workers is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress. That's the elephant in the room.
- Around 1.3% of the population of England have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) at any one time according to the NHS Information Centre.
- Most studies give a lifetime prevalence of 1% for bipolar disorder (manic depression) and equal prevalence rates for men and women.
- Around 2.6% of adults in England experience phobias.
- Depression with anxiety is experienced by 9.7% of people in England, and depression without anxiety by 2.6%.
- Most studies show a lifetime prevalence for schizophrenia of just under 1%.
- In Britain the prevalence of personality disorder ranges from 2% to 13% according to different studies.
- The most common form of postnatal depression is the ‘baby blues’ which is said to be experienced by at least half of all mothers in the western world.
- Around 300 people out of 1,000 will experience mental health problems every year in Britain:
- 230 of these will visit a GP
- 102 of these will be diagnosed as having a mental health problem
- 24 of these will be referred to a specialist psychiatric service
- 6 will become inpatients in psychiatric hospitals
To find out more about events taking place to mark this day at MMU please email email@example.com
Useful links and contacts
Main Mental Health organisations we have used for research: