Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
There are 5 steps you can take to look your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life, and can help prevent mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression.
Connect with other people
Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth, give you an opportunity to share positive experiences, provide emotional support and allow you to support others. Talking openly with family and friends can also help you work through your feelings rather than bottling things up.
Be physically active
Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. It can also improve your mental wellbeing by raising your self-esteem, helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them and causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood.
Learn new skills
Learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence, helping you to build a sense of purpose and helping you to connect with others. Even if you feel like you do not have enough time, or you may not need to learn new things, there are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life. You could try learning a new hobby such as painting or brush up on your cooking skills.
Give to others
Acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings and a sense of reward, giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth, helping you connect with other people. It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.
Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)
Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
Below are some mindfulness recordings to get you started, from Gill Lathwell in Student Services:
Support Available for Staff
If you feel you need support for your mental health and wellbeing, the University has the following resources available to staff:
Staff Counselling and Mental Health Support
VivUp, our Staff Counselling Service and Mental Health Support Platform, provides 24/7 confidential telephone counselling from qualified and caring professionals. Staff can call 03303 800658 at any time to access this. All staff can also access a range of self-help workbooks online.
Mental Health First Aiders
We have a dedicated network of skilled Mental Health First Aiders who can still be contacted, most easily by email. They will be able to signpost you to further support.
Education Support Partnership
The Education Support Partnership provides mental health and wellbeing support services to all education staff and organisations. They can provide telephone support and counselling.
Mental Health Foundation provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Mind promotes the feelings and views of those with mental health problems
Men's Health Forum provide 24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Anxiety UK is a charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Rethink Mental Illness provide support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Samaritans provide confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.