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Five ways to wellbeing

As Mental Health Awareness Week gets underway, Leeds Beckett’s Senior Wellbeing Practitioner James Ewens discusses how the week is aimed at promoting positive wellbeing across campus and tackling mental health stigma.

In addition the week is themed around the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ - an evidenced based set of actions developed by the New Economics Foundation, following the UK government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing published in 2008.

The Five Ways… BE ACTIVE, TAKE NOTICE, LEARN, GIVE, CONNECT

“The five ways are simple things we can all do in our everyday lives that can make a measurable difference to ourselves and others. A range of themed activities will be taking place across our University this week including the signing of the Time to Change organisational pledge to end mental health stigma on Tuesday 7 October at 4:15pm in the Headingley Student Hub."

Why is Mental Health Awareness Important?

"Mental health affects us all; an often quoted figure is that one in four of us in any given year will experience a mental health difficulty.  Considering that such a high proportion of people will experience some form of mental distress, it is interesting to reflect on how little it is talked about.

"Indeed, how many of us would know how to support someone experiencing a panic attack, or someone expressing suicidal ideation? We all probably remember being taught CPR at school and would feel confident to ring an ambulance to help with physical first aid, but we are much more likely to encounter someone experiencing a panic attack than a heart attack.

"This week is about spreading the message that mental health, like physical health is important. It is about breaking down the misconceptions, prejudices and stigma surrounding mental health issues and encouraging people to start a conversation.  That conversation can make all the difference to someone who might be struggling."

Further mental health information, resources and training for staff

Resources

For a free on-line resource aimed at supporting your mental wellbeing please see Silver Cloud

Silvercloud is a computer-based system developed by SilverCloud Health to deliver computerised therapeutic programmes. The programmes are delivered online and aim to offer information and self-help support for students and staff experiencing problems.

There are four programmes on offer to staff and students at Leeds Beckett University:

  • Mind Balance: Depression’ which targets symptoms of depression.
  • Mind Balance: Anxiety’ which helps deal with worry and anxious thoughts.
  • See My Self’ which helps deal with concerns around body image and self-esteem.
  • Life Balance’ which helps deal with stress.

Learn more and sign up here. The service is free and confidential

Training

Half Day Mental Health Awareness sessions are bookable for all staff via I-trent. This training is aimed at a ll academic staff with personal tutor responsibility, as well as other front line staff in regular contact with students (staff within Services for Students, Accommodation Team / Residential Life Officers, Library Staff and Security Staff, etc). It is a short workshop session delivered by qualified mental health professionals.

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About the Author

Leeds Beckett University

James Ewans

James Ewans was previously the Senior Wellbeing Practitioner at Leeds Beckett University.

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