28/01/2020 | mentalhealth, wellness, mental, physical, financial

The Search for Wellness

 “We have bigger houses and smaller families,

more conveniences, but less time;

we have more degrees, but less sense;

more knowledge, but less judgement;

more experts, yet more problems,

more medicine, but less wellness” – Dr. Bob Moorehead


Perhaps more than ever before, we have begun the New Year challenged by government to explore how we as an employer can best support all our employees’ mental health and wellbeing. For MRM it has been about securing buy in from senior management down – sending key individuals on a Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems for example. And now one of the team has gone on to qualify as a designated Mental Health First Aider.

Wellness flourishes as a subject matter for most businesses, whether that be mental, physical or financial; companies and their teams are striving to push a message forward in a bid to incite you to become part of the next big trend, seek the transformation of body, mind and soul and the modelling of financial wellbeing programs to enhance your life.  But what do you do to cut the noise and find out what’s really going to help you achieve the ever acclaimed ‘wellness’ that is sought?  Where do you even start between the three columns of mental, physical and financial?  Do you attack one at a time, or go at all three in the hope that something will stick and life will ‘get better’?

Let’s take for example the mental health problem gripping society that is so often publicised, and rightly so.   An article published by Mind states that mental wellbeing is dynamic.  It can change from moment to moment, day to day, month to month or year to year but how do you start the conversation? Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave, and often anxiety and depression are linked to a difficult life event, such as bereavement or relationship breakdowns, but can also be caused by work related stress and unresolved issues.  And, there is now a responsibility for employers to manage and prevent these issues and make adjustments to ensure that individuals can manage mental health problems at work. See here for more information.
Physical wellness and mental health often go hand in hand, despite a clear distinction made between mind and body.  Poor physical health can often lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems, and similarly poor mental health can negatively impact the physical; leading to an increased risk of physically manifested health conditions.  Getting physical can help with getting a better night’s sleep, releases ‘feel good’ hormones affecting your mood and help you manage stress, anxiety  and intrusive thoughts.  Check out Minds information & support page for more information and ideas.
Financial wellbeing is arguably one of the most important aspects of general wellbeing, when financial worries are a constant in your life it can devastate your mental wellbeing, having a knock on effect on your productivity and physical health.  First Direct have partnered with Mind to bring to the forefront the effects that money and mental health have on one another.  Poor mental health makes managing money harder, and the worry attributed to less than ideal finances leads to worsening mental health issues.  You can find out more about First Directs partnership with Mind here.
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health issues every year.  If you are concerned that you are developing a problem you should seek the advice and support of your GP, if you are in distress and require immediate help and are unable to see your GP visit your local A&E.
You can also call The Samaritans in full confidence on 116 123 – it’s free and they offer emotional support and advice 24 hours a day or you can text Shout to 85258 24/7.  There are some helpful links here regarding getting help.
Most importantly, tell someone you trust.  Friendships are one of the most valuable tools in protecting your mental health and can play a key role in helping someone live with or recover from a mental health condition.

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