“It’s okay not to be okay”
This doesn’t just mean that the importance of doing the best we can for our customers, it also means caring for those who work for us.
We know how Mental Health can affect anyone and we mean anyone! It has no preference on who it targets, therefore you, your colleagues are all open to it.
Cura intend to fully support a mental health initiative and will be communicating ways we intend to achieve this over the coming months.
We want to encourage openness and inter colleague relationships that creates an open, honest and supportive environment across the company. To recognise it in ourselves and in others and to reach out and help with tools that our partnership with Strong Minds can provide.
“It’s okay not to be okay”
Its not always about medication, there are many other ways to quieten the noisy disruptive mind and dealing with situations that affect our mental health in a harmless, supportive and caring way, sometimes just listening can help. But there are also tools that we can use mentally to create a quieter more peaceful mind.
So let’s all pull together, let’s share and let’s care. Let’s take care of ourselves physically and mentally and just as important we recognise when one of us isn’t ok.
At Cura it’s about action and words, not just PR hype. BUT it takes each and everyone of us to make this happen.
For many of us, work can be a major part of our lives. It is where we spend much of our time, where we get our income and often where we make our friends. Having a fulfilling job can be good for your mental health and general wellbeing.
At Cura we recognise that at times life and work can get on top of us – sometimes that’s work-related, like deadlines or travel etc. Sometimes it’s something else – our health, our relationships, or our circumstances.
It’s vital to us that mental health at work is allowed to be openly discussed whether it’s for those with existing issues, for those at risk, and for the workforce as a whole. A toxic work environment can be corrosive to our mental health.
We believe in Cura being a workplace from Admin, Ops etc where everyone can thrive and survive and the role of employers, employees all work together in establishing a good healthy attitude and awareness to mental health.
In the coming weeks and months, through open communication and the partnership with Nigel Strong of Strong Minds www.strongminds.co.uk, provide everyone tools that will help all of us.
- To have an idea of how to manage your own mental health at work
- To have an idea of how to reach out to a colleague in distress
- To have an idea how you can work with others to make our workplace more mentally healthy for everyone.
Let’s start right now, at Cura we don’t delay in anything we do so let's get started.
We start with an introduction to Nigel of Strong Minds who has a firm reputation established over the years at Cura of helping create change.
Mental Heath remember it’s ok to not be ok, provided you ensure you are doing all you can to help yourself move into healthy mental health.
Nigel Strong explains that mental health is the way we think feel and interact it’s our ability to deal with life/work ups and downs.
Mental health is something we all have. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to do the things we want to do, and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives.
When we think about our physical health, there’s a place for keeping ourselves fit, and a place for getting appropriate help as early as possible so we can get better. Mental health is just the same.
If you enjoy good mental health, you can.
- Make the most of your potential
- Cope with what life/work throws at you
- Play a full part in your relationships, your workplace, and your community.
Nigel is fully aware that our mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can fluctuate as circumstances change and as you move through different stages in your life.
Distress is a word used to describe times when a person isn’t coping – for whatever reason. It could be something at home, the pressure of work, or the start of a mental health problem like depression. When we feel distressed, we need a compassionate, human response. The earlier we are able to recognise when something isn’t quite right, the earlier we can get support.
When we are in a distressed state of mind we cannot function fully mentally and physically. Negative habits either slip in or grow the more we try to cope. Running away and using distraction tactics such as alcohol, smoking, over eating, poor diet and drugs. All of these and many more just fuels the negative state.
Nigel can come in to help support all at Cura and to help you and your mind realign itself through coaching, hypnotherapy and mindfulness practice.
You’re not alone if all of us at Cura pull together; we can thrive and support each other. As a team we will be invincible.
How do I recognise a mental health problem?
Sometimes we can face significant challenges in our home or work life, the chances are that it will impact on our mental health.
Mental health problems can have a lot of different symptoms and signs. As a rule, you should seek help from your GP if you have difficult feelings that are
Stopping you from getting on with life
Having a big impact on the people you live or work with
Affecting your mood over several weeks
Causing you to have thoughts of self harming.
At work, we might notice that we are more tired than usual. We might make uncharacteristic mistakes, find it hard to motivate ourselves, our timekeeping might slip, or we may be short tempered.
We might look or feel very tired or drained. We may also find that we isolate ourselves, avoid colleagues or appear distracted. We might procrastinate more than usual – or grind to a halt altogether. Or we might speed up or become chaotic, intruding into others’ conversations and work, and taking on more work than we can manage. Everyone is an individual and everyone experiences down moments in their mental health.
We may find these early warning signs hard to see in ourselves, and it can help to have colleagues who can help usconnect this to our mental health. At Cura we want to encourage everyone within the company to look out for each other, to notice if a colleague might be struggling and offer to see if you can help in anyway. Not coaching or counselling them yourself but to advise that there is a way to find help and guiding them to the help pages.
We don’t want anyone to hide or feel alone within Cura especially if they are struggling, we will listen and we will help you.
Awareness of mental health fortunately is increasing, but we still face a world where people with mental health problems face discrimination, and can face challenges getting the help they need.
Many people who experience distress try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s responses. At Cura we encourage openness and non judgement if someone is facing problems then they need to let us know.
We know that fear of discrimination and feelings of shame are among the top reasons people give for not telling their colleagues about their mental health problems. But at Cura we want to create a workplace culture where people can be themselves, it will then be easier for people to speak about mental health concerns without fear, and easier for them to reach out for help when they need it.
The decision to disclose distress at work is not one people take lightly. It is vital that we all work together from the top down and have a workplace environment where people feel safe to be themselves. Then we will have a company where we all feel a part of it together.
What signs do I look out for in myself and others?
- Feeling anxious or worried
We all get worried or stressed from time to time. But feeling anxious could be the sign of a mental health issue if it’s constant and interferes all the time. Other symptoms of anxiety may include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches, restlessness, upset stomach or a racing mind.
- Feeling depressed or unhappy
Have you noticed that a work colleague has appeared less interested in things? Or they may also feel sad or irritable. Or lacking in motivation and energy or are more emotional, they might be dealing with depression.
- Emotional outbursts
Everyone has different moods, but sudden and dramatic changes in mood, such as extreme distress or anger, this can be a symptom of mental illness.
- Sleep problems
Generally, we need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Persistent changes to a person’s sleep pattern could be a symptom of a mental illness. For example insomnia could be a sign of anxiety or substance abuse. Sleeping too much or too little could indicate depression.
- Weight or appetite changes
Many of us want to lose a few pounds, but for some people fluctuating weight or rapid weight loss or gain could be one of the warning signs of a mental illness, such as depression or an eating disorder. Other mental health issues can impact appetite and weight too.
- Quiet or withdrawn
We all need quiet time occasionally, but withdrawing from life, especially if this is a major change, could indicate a mental health issue. Refusing to join in social activities may be a sign they need help.
- Substance abuse
Drinking too much? Using substances, such as alcohol or drugs, to cope can be a sign of, and a contributor to mental health issues.
- Feeling guilty or worthless
Thoughts like ‘I’m a failure’, ‘It’s my fault’ or ‘I’m worthless’ are all possible signs of a mental health issue, such as depression. You or your colleague may need help if they’re frequently criticising or blaming themselves.
A mental illness may start out as subtle changes to a person’s feelings, thinking and behaviour. Ongoing and significant changes could be a sign that they have or are developing a mental health issue. If something doesn’t seem ‘quite right’, it’s important to start the conversation about getting help.