5 ways to look after your Mental Health this Mental Health Awareness
Did you know approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year? In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week. With so many people experiencing some form of mental illness, it’s crucial that we drive transparent conversations about how we’re truly feeling. This week, 13th May to 19th May 2019, its Mental Health Awareness week. Here are 5 ways to look after your mental health, including help that we offer as a company to our employees.
It’s very easy to isolate yourself if you’re not feeling mentally well. Talking about your feelings can help you take charge of your well being and deal with times when you feel troubled, by helping you gain some perspective. Letting people know how you feel can help reduce the feeling that ‘you are on your own’.
Tell your manager or a colleague at work so they know how you are feeling and they can offer you support or you can speak to a member of HR. You may want to share your mental health with family or friends. Not only that, but continuing to take part in your favourite hobbies and being social, anything from going to the movies or meeting people for a coffee, can boost your confidence and self-esteem as well as your mental health.
2) Seek out help
Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to handle things on your own. People seek out help for a number of reasons and it’s always OK to ask for help. There are many options out there for you to consider and some might be more suitable than others. You could make an appointment with your local GP who can make a diagnosis and offer you support, treatments or refer you to a mental health specialist.
Or if you’re a member of Vitality, you can book up to 4 appointments with your Vitality GP, online or via the phone and they can refer you to the appropriate treatment you may need, so there’s no long waits for your family GP.
Also, as a FLEETCOR employee, you have access to our occupational health provider Health Assured.
How can I access Health Assured?
You can find Health Assured through the HR Hub here: https://www.fleetcorhub.co.uk/hr/
Scroll down and click ‘Flex Benefits’. This will then lead you to another page, where you will need to click ‘Employee Assistance Programme’. A separate page will come up with a link to Health Assured. Below the link, is a simple username and password; remember these to log into Health Assured.
What you have access to:
A problem shared, is a problem halved. People ring Health Assured for different reasons, ranging from money problems, feeling anxious, marital and children problems and much more. There are a number of services in the Assistance program that might be beneficial for you.
- Telephone counselling: this involves weekly sessions with the same fully qualified Counsellors. It’s convenient as it reduces the need for travel and makes it easier to fit in with work and other commitments. You can call from anywhere providing it is quiet and you are able to talk openly.
- Face to face counselling: takes place in a private practice or a confidential area. We have over 1600 counsellors across the UK and ROI so you never have to travel too far. Within short term solution focused therapy, you and a counsellor will identify problems and work towards a solution, not forgetting how its making you feel.
- Trauma coaching: provides support and guidance to help you understand and move on from the emotional and psychological reactions of trauma. Consistent of five modules compromising of audio recordings and simple, tried and trusted, recovery strategies for you to use. It is delivered in bite-sized steps, which you can complete at your own pace. This is beneficial if you want to be able to access specialist support in a simple format as and when it suits you in a matter of minutes.
- Online video counselling: secure video counselling, instant messaging and voice chat are all part of this suite, which mean that individuals can access counselling in a face-to-face setting from the comfort of their own home, or a location they fell comfortable with. This is easily accessible to all those who wish us to use it. Online therapy overcomes barriers that may preclude others from seeking therapy.
- Online CBT: aims to help individuals deal with problems in a more positive way by breaking down our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours. You can work through the eight week program at your own pace whilst having the accessibility of speaking to your mentor.
3) Eat, sleep, drink water, repeat!
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you reverse your daily stressors and in hand avoid or reverse the negative impacts of chronic stress. Eating a healthy diet, keeping active and sleeping better all play a key part in nurturing your psychological health; all three increase your level of endorphins, regulate dopamine and simply keep you happy! Our private Healthcare provider Vitality promotes well-being. If you have a Vitality membership, log in to check your health score and ways to improve it here.
Over the next coming months, as part of our Health and Well-being initiatives, the UK HR team will also be running a number of workshops across the business where we will include nutritionist drop in centres, mental well-being and mindfulness sessions to name but a few. Keep your eyes peeled for more information.
Not only is physical exercise great for your body, it’s also beneficial for your mental health and well-being. According to the NHS, Scientists believe that physical activity causes chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. Some scientists think that being active can improve well-being, because it brings about a greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge. Being active doesn’t have to mean doing sport or spending every night in the Gym; there are lots of ways to be active and it’s all about finding the right one for you!
Did you know that as a Vitality member, you can receive lots of perks to help get you started with your exercise journey:
- You can receive 50% off monthly Gym memberships at Virgin Active & Nuffield Health.
- You can get 50% off a pair of sports shoes, both online and in store.
- You can get up to 50% cash back on a bike worth up to £500 through ‘Evan’s Cycles’.
- We are also running a ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’; the scheme assists employees who wish to cycle to work and have access to the most appropriate cycle and safety accessories in a cost effective way through the use of Government tax breaks.
For more details about these perks, visit member.vitality.co.uk for more details.
5) Make time for your hobbies!
Making time for hobbies is a great way to recharge your batteries! It’s been reported that taking part in out of work hour hobbies can reduce anxiety, stress, decrease high blood pressure and stimulate creativity. Reviving an old childhood hobby, learning something new or simply getting out the house and visiting somewhere at the weekend just might be the thing you need to relieve your stress levels.
As a FLEETCOR employee, you have access to Perkbox, an employee benefit scheme designed to reward you for all your hard work. Check out Perkbox’s website, to view the latest deals and offers you can take advantage of.
It’s important to seek out help if you feel like you’re not coping well. Health Assured’s Employee Assistance Programme is available 24/7 and confidential, which you can call on 0800 030 5182 or you can visit their website using the HR hub.
Other helpful resources:
- Worldwide directory of emotional support helplines: https://www.befrienders.org/
- Rethink Mental Illness: rethink.org
Charity providing information and support for people experiencing a mental health problem, including an online directory of local support services.
- Samaritans.org – 24 hour emotional support for anyone struggling to cope.
- https://www.mind.org.uk/ - advice and support for mental health issues.