Falling back in time

It’s that time of year again, when the clocks go back signalling the end of British Summer Time. For many this has meant an extra hour asleep, but for some the change can have a significant impact on their quality of sleep.

 

Lack of sleep can affect our mental and physical health, increasing the risk of strokes, diabetes and dementia, as well as stress and depression.

 

Below are some tips to help you sleep better.

 

Sleep tips info

Suicide awareness

 If you feel you need urgent help or know someone who does call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department. 

Suicide awareness infographic

 

 

 

 

 

World Suicide Prevention Day

WHEN OK ISN’T OK

 

Everyday we ask each other ‘How are you doing?’, but do we actually pay attention to the response or are we simply expecting the socially acceptable answer – ‘fine’. In a busy society, we are happy to keep this conversation on a basic level – someone asks the question and we respond positively. However, how many times have you said you are fine when you’re not?

 

Every year more than 6000 people in the UK and the Republic Of Ireland die by suicide, an average of 18 per day1. Globally, 2,191 people die from suicide every day2. Putting this into context, that is one person every 40 seconds, so by the time you finish reading this article another person will have taken their own life.

 

Identifying that someone is suicidal is difficult, however, there are warning signs to look out for. These can include3:

 

• lacking energy or appearing particularly tired
• appearing more tearful
• not wanting to talk or be with people
• not wanting to do things they usually enjoy
• a change in routine, such as sleeping or eating more or less than normal
• using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
• finding it hard to cope with everyday things
• appearing restless and agitated
• reporting that you feel hopeless about the future or that you’ve nothing to look forward to
• not liking or taking care of themselves or feeling they don’t matter
• being un-typically clumsy or accident prone
• becoming withdrawn or losing touch with friends and family
• making preparations, such as sorting a will
• sudden calmness
• feeling like a burden or hopeless

 

And of course, reporting that they feel suicidal or wish they were no longer here. Any reports of suicidal feelings or thoughts should always be taken seriously and never dismissed.

 

IF YOU FEEL YOU NEED URGENT HELP OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOES CALL 999 OR GO TO YOUR NEAREST A&E DEPARTMENT

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW REQUIRES HELP

 

Help is always available 24/7:
• Contact the Samaritans on 116 123
• Contact NHS 111
• Speak to someone you trust, this could be a friend, family member or work colleague.
• Make an urgent appointment to see your GP

 

If you are concerned about someone else, encourage them to talk. It can be difficult to reach out, but the important thing is to start the conversation. For tips on how to start a conversation visit www.samaritans.org/difficultconversations. Find out more about warning signs and ways to help on the NHS website.

 

So, next time you ask, ‘How are you doing?’, wait for the response and question if what the person is saying feels authentic. Follow it up. Taking a second to check on someone and make them feel like someone cares is always a good thing.

 

 

 

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week

 

Stress is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Stress is the feeling of being under too much pressure. This could be due to several factors, including having too much to do, other people asking too much of you or feeling like you have no control over a situation.

Whilst some stress is necessary or even beneficial, for example, preparing for an exam or meeting a deadline, severe stress can lead to depression or anxiety, or numerous other serious health problems. So, what can you do or not do to cope with stress?

What to do?

  1. Be active – exercise can help to reduce the emotional intensity, allowing you to deal with your problems more calmly.
  2. Take control – the act of taking control is empowering and will help you to find a solution that suits you.
  3. Connect with people – spending time with colleagues, family and friends can help you to relax and see things in a different light.
  4. Challenge yourself – set yourself a task in order to build your confidence which will help you deal with stress, such as learning a new skill, or starting a new hobby.
  5. Help other people – helping other people helps you to become more resilient. Try doing some volunteering or even just doing a favour a day.

 

And remember if it ever gets too much, always seek help.

What not to do?

  1. Don’t fixate on the things you can’t change – changing a situation isn’t always possible, so concentrate on the things you have control over.
  2. Don’t work harder, work smarter – prioritise your work, concentrate on tasks that make a difference.
  3. Don’t develop unhealthy habits – it’s tempting to rely on alcohol, smoking or caffeine as a means of coping, but these ‘solutions’ don’t solve anything, but rather just create more problems.
  4. Don’t dwell on the negatives – look for the positives in life, think of what you have to be grateful for.
  5. Don’t forget about you – have some ‘me time’ away from work. Spend time doing things you enjoy.