Conference Highlights: Mental Health - Supporting Ourselves and Our Communities

Today, we will be sharing the lessons learned from the session Mental Health: Supporting Ourselves and Our Communities at the LUPC & SUPC Annual Conference on 20 May.  

In this session, our aim was to explore how we can support our own mental health and be supportive of those around us as we consider a return to our places of work and learning.  The session featured insight from those currently delivering mental health support, and developing support service strategy, within universities and other organisations.  One of the greatest lessons to be learned was the importance of being aware of our own warning flags and having open and honest conversations with those around us. 

There is a real balance to be struck in workplaces between preventative activity, that which keeps us mentally well and healthy (i.e. boundaries, good working relationships, access to preventative support services), and reactive activity, those interventions designed to help someone already struggle with poor mental health (access to counselling and other kinds of support).  At the route of everything, though, was the importance of self-awareness (knowing what’s normal for you) and the willingness to engage with others (this can be tough for even the most open of us).  Early intervention is key to support positive outcomes.  Being able to have an honest conversation with a line-manager or colleague can go a long way to getting the right support in place to help in the short- and long-terms.  For those who may need help with their own mental health right now, please reach out to someone – here are some resources if you need help.

Samaritans 

https://www.samaritans.org/

NHS Counselling Services

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/talking-therapies-and-counselling/counselling/

Mental Health First Aid 

https://mhfaengland.org/individuals/

https://mhfaengland.org/individuals/higher-education/

Find a Therapist (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/talking-therapies-and-counselling/counselling/