To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), Oscar Kilo has launched a new self care campaign.
This year the theme for MHAW is kindness. The week will be used to celebrate the thousands of acts of kindness that are so important to our mental health.
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen so many fantastic examples of kindness from right across the world. People are helping their neighbours, delivering food and essentials to vulnerable people and communities are coming together to support the NHS and other key workers.
Kindness and mental health are deeply connected – helping others makes us feel good. Being aware of our own acts of kindness can increase feelings of happiness, optimism and satisfaction, they make the world happier, contributing to a more positive community.
We need to emerge from this epidemic with the understanding of what affects our mental health and what we can do to improve it. Looking after our mental health should be as natural as looking after our physical health.
Emergency services workers face unique and complex challenges on a daily basis that you don’t often find in other sectors. It is crucial that we all learn to recognise when we are struggling and that we know what interventions and support packages are available.
Police officers and staff can often be reluctant to put their hand up and say ‘I can’t cope’ – but talking about what you are experiencing when you are struggling, can often be helpful. Taking those things home at night, whether it be stress or trauma related, often isn’t the best answer for the person concerned.
The aims of this campaign are: to help people recognise the signs and symptoms of stress, burnout and secondary trauma; to provide useful tips and exercises to help people cope or deal with these issues when they arise; for people to become more aware of these issues, not just for themselves, but for their teams, and their friends and family; and to help people know what to do, or where to go when they need help.
The campaign consists of various materials relating to burnout, stress, and secondary trauma, downloadable here.