Category: Latest News

The Best Ways You Can Support Your Staff In The Months Ahead

Every business owner knows how important the wellbeing of their staff is to the ongoing success of their company. If you have run your own company over the last couple of years, you will understand that it has not always been easy to make sure that you are looking after everyone. But as challenging as the last couple of years have been, it certainly looks like it is going to be even more difficult. Your employees will be worrying about the rising energy bills, not to mention inflation everywhere they look. There is only so much that you will be able to do when it comes to the economy, but there are steps that you can take to ensure that you are looking after your staff and their mental health.

 

This is going to be crucial for a number of reasons. The first is ensuring that they are happy and healthy, and able to function to the best of their abilities. But you also need to consider that if employees do not feel their boss has their best interests at heart, they may look for work elsewhere. Smooth sailing is going to be very important in the weeks and months ahead, so here are a few ways that you can give your staff a little more support.

 

Make It Easier For Them To Raise Issues

One of the easiest ways for staff to feel like they are not being supported or appreciated is if they feel like they are not being heard. When businesses started working from home, a lot of the more established methods of communication were lost or altered. You need to make sure that it is easy for your employees to reach you if they need to, even if they cannot simply pop into the HR office to raise a problem. Think about talking to them about what would make them feel more comfortable, whether it is with a dedicated channel or a regular meeting.

 

Consider Your Employees Who Do Not Have English As A First Language

Communication is absolutely vital for the smooth running of any business, but there are always going to be some updates that are more important than others. Your employees who are either non-native English speakers or who work outside of the United Kingdom will be every bit as aware of the challenges that businesses are facing here right now, and you need to ensure that they feel like they are being considered. If you are working on a major update for your business or are thinking about changing employee benefits or contracts to support them better, it would send a reassuring message if you paid to have them translated properly. This will demonstrate how much you value your employees, as well as making sure that nothing can be misinterpreted. If you are looking for an experienced translation company that works with businesses, contact the team at Rosetta Translation. They meet industry-leading standards and have expertise in a wide range of sectors.

 

Make Mental Health Support A Priority

Every business owner will have seen the multitude of news stories about mental health in the workplace and burnout over the last couple of years. As we head into what is sure to be a very difficult winter, it is so important that you continue to factor in your employees’ mental wellbeing. Now, it can be a tricky subject to discuss with your staff, as many of them may feel uncomfortable disclosing information about this issue with a manager. However, you can stress the importance of taking mental health days when they are needed, and lead by example by being open about your own experiences. You should also think about whether you could include mental health support in your employee benefits package.

 

Provide Them With Room To Grow

One of the biggest workplace stories of the last twelve months was the so-called Great Resignation. A lot of people decided that the time had come to leave their jobs, and one of the most significant reasons behind this was that they did not feel like there was room to progress, or that they did not feel appreciated. Given that every business will be looking at how they can trim their costs in the months ahead, there has never been a better time to think about how you can train your employees to progress and move into new roles with new responsibilities. Think about the areas where your company will need the most help, and the areas that you would like to expand into. It would make more sense to pay to train an employee than to invest in new members of personnel, and you would have the benefit of demonstrating to your employees that they are a part of your company’s future.

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Managing the impact of racism

Managing the impact of racism

The person experiencing the racism is never to blame.

Those on the receiving end of the racism may start to believe that they should change something about themselves or how they behave, believing that they can control or limit the racism in some way. It is important that the individual reminds themselves that they are not at fault whatsoever and that the racism is the problem. It is crucial to remember that if you are experiencing any acts of racism, that you are not responsible for any of it and have very little, if any, control over it. However, this lack of control can leave a damaging impact on mental health and this should be understood and addressed.

 

Attending to emotions

Just noticing and attending to the emotions that racism can bring up can be really helpful. Due to the way that racism can impact on the self-worth and self esteem of the person experiencing it, they may try to ignore these uncomfortable emotions. Rather than trying to ignore the emotions, it could be useful to accept them instead. This is NOT the same as accepting the racism, but rather letting themselves feel the emotions that the experience brings. This acceptance of emotions in the moment can help to alleviate anxiety. By acknowledging the emotions, the person experiencing them might find that the emotions are trying to tell them something and this can help them take action. For example, if you are frequently experiencing microaggressions in the workplace and you are consistently feeling anxious and angry, perhaps your emotions are telling you that you should try to leave the situation.

 

Leaving the situation

Although the person experiencing racism should not feel that they need to change due to the racism, there may be situations where leaving the situation is the best option. Remaining in a situation where you are are experiencing racism can be toxic and damaging. It is important that the individual be mindful of their mental heath and wellbeing and make this a priority if they have to.

 

Seek support

Arguably one of the most important factors which will influence the impact of racism on mental health is the level of emotional support. Having a strong support network can increase resilience and provide a place for the person experiencing racism to process their emotions. Whether the support system is made up of family, friends, a therapist or a combination of them all, having a support network is crucial.

 

We are all responsible for responding to and preventing all forms of racism. Take the time to learn and to be more knowledgeable about racism, to question your own beliefs and to ask others about theirs, to be accountable for your actions and for your words. It is only by doing this that we can make real progress in preventing and fighting racism and its impact on mental health.

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The Impact of Racism on Mental Health

The Impact of Racism on Mental Health

It is widely understood that discrimination of all forms can impact on the mental health of the person experiencing it. One form of discrimination is that of racial discrimination. There are established links between experiencing racism and increased anxiety, stress, depression and other physical and mental health issues. The person experiencing the racism may develop a feeling of not belonging, not being valued or as if they have little worth. First and foremost it is crucial that we more explicitly acknowledge that those experiencing racism are not at all responsible for the racism they are subjected to and how unreasonable it is that they are laden with having to process these discriminatory and oppressive experiences. It is important to emphasise that racism can occur in a variety of ways, including in the form of less obvious racial microaggressions. Racial microaggressions can be everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults. Microaggressions may be intentional or unintentional, communicating hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to individuals based solely upon their race. While the micro-aggressor may not even realise they can caused harm, for the victim, these events can have a dramatic affect on mental health. If you or anyone you love has been impacted by racial aggression, please speak to someone about it. You are not alone and there are lots of resources to support you. 

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Staying active and healthy and uni

Staying active and healthy and uni

With settling in to a new environment, starting your studies and making new friends, it can be easy to forget about the importance of looking after your physical needs such eating, exercising and sleeping.

 

Food

Frequently ordering take-out can seem like the easiest option when you are busy and tired during freshers. Eating homemade, fresh and healthy food can be just as quick, make you feel much better and can help boost your immune system. A quick google search can help you find easy student-friendly recipes.

 

Exercise

Exercise can help you be prepared for when classes start! Even if you just include a short workout 3 times a week, this can keep your body fit and your mind active. There are plenty of great free apps available with things like high intensity interval training that you can do for just 15 minutes and there are an abundance of fun workout videos online for you to explore.

 

Limiting alcohol

Try to reduce your alcohol intake and make sure you have eaten enough before you start to drink. Pace yourself  with the alcohol and make sure that you are drinking water in between the alcoholic drinks.

 

Sleep

It is very important that you don’t neglect your sleep during your first few weeks at university. You need roughly 8-9 hours of sleep each night and sleeping too little can do more than just leave you feeling exhausted. Not sleeping enough can lead to weight gain, increased stress and anxiety and lower immune function. Sleep also impacts on our performance levels, so skipping on sleep could impact your ability to learn in classes. Make sure your room is supportive of a good nights sleep, so try to block out light if this is an issue. If your university hall bed is uncomfortable, try a mattress topper. Try shorter power naps throughout the day if needed, especially if you know you’ll be up late at night.

 

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Making friends and managing loneliness at uni

Making friends and managing loneliness at uni

Attend online events

Although we have had to physically distance over the last few months and will continue to do so, freshers week is still a great opportunity to make new friends and connect with others. If your university is conducting freshers events online, ensure you make the same effort to get involved as you would if it was face-to-face.

 

Socialising within your household

The current guidelines for socialising at university this autumn includes limiting your indoor socialising to those in your household, such as your new flatmates if you live in university halls. Spending time in the common areas within your household could help to limit the isolation and loneliness you may feel having just moved away from home and in being limited in the socialising you can conduct outside of your flat.

 

However, if you find out that you don’t get on with your new flatmates, what can you do?

 

You can still meet up with new and old friends, just make sure that you meet up outside of your accommodation. It’s also a great idea to continue to use Zoom or Skype to keep connected with friends and family.

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Eating disorder stereotypes prevent access to psychological help

Eating disorder stereotypes prevent access to psychological help

Stereotypes surrounding those affected by eating disorders are thought to play a part in preventing access to psychological help. It is important to know what some of the existing stereotypes are so that we can decrease the stigma and help people struggling with eating disorders to seek support.

 

Eating disorders and race

Perhaps unsurprisingly, recent research found that when asked, 39% of people believed that white individuals were more likely to struggle with an eating disorder in comparison to those identifying as part of an ethnic minority group (Gordon, Perez & Joiner, 2002). This is not reflective of reality, as it has been found that eating disorders are not only as common in minority ethnic groups but may in fact be more common. The impact of this is that eating disorder difficulties may go unrecognised by healthcare professionals and family members in minority ethnic groups. In research carried out by the UK’s Eating Disorder Charity, BEAT, one participant said that her mixed race South Asian ethnicity played a role in her illness and subsequently a delay in her accessing help (BEAT, 2019).

The study also found that those who identify as an ethnic minority felt less confident in seeking help for their eating disorder (52%), with those who identify as white British (64%) stating they would feel confident seeking help (BEAT, 2019).

Eating disorders and income.

Similar rates of eating disorder are seen across all levels of both education and income. There has been a stereotype that eating disorders only affect those from more affluent backgrounds. However, this just isn’t the case. It had been found that symptoms of eating disorders are seen equally across all socioeconomic backgrounds (Mulders-Jones, Mitchison, Girosi & Hay, 2017).

 

Eating disorders and gender.

Eating disorders are typically seen as a problem only affecting women, despite the fact that up to 40% of those struggling with disordered eating identify as male. The stereotype of eating disorders being ‘only female’ contributes to the immense stigma and barriers to support that men face when seeking help for eating disorders (Hayaki & Free, 2016). A lot of awareness still needs to be raised regarding the prevalence of eating disorders in men, in order to combat the stigma of seeking help (BEAT, 2019).

 

Eating disorders and LGBT+ identifying people.

The oppression that members of the LGBT+ community face can take psychological toll which can contribute to the significantly higher risk of eating disorders in those identifying with sexual minority groups. Despite this, BEAT found that 37% of lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents expressed that they would not feel comfortable in seeking support in comparison to 24% of straight people (BEAT, 2019).

Eating disorders can be a highly distressing psychological problem, affecting many people irrespective of race, income, gender and sexual orientation. We need to work to raise awareness of who is affected by eating disorders in order to challenge the stereotypes and decrease stigma with the hope that this will make it easier for those struggling with eating disorders to seek help.

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Safeguarding International Student Mental Health

Safeguarding International Student Mental Health

UK universities often pride themselves on having a diverse student population, with international students from all over the world travelling to study here. Like any students, international students are at risk of suffering from poor mental health, however, studies have found that factors unique to international students may increase this risk further. Familial pressures, culture shock, travel costs and stigma are just a few factors that are more likely to be experienced by international students and have a negative impact on their mental health. This is reflected in the rise in use of wellbeing services by international students in the past few years.

Currently, many universities direct international students through the same channels put in place for students resident in the UK, which works….during term time. But what happens when these students travel to their home countries during holidays or breaks from teaching? Traditional wellbeing services cannot accommodate these students as they rely on face to face therapy which, obviously, cannot continue if it’s not possible to physically attend a session.

In best case scenarios, therapy is put on hold until the student returns to the UK and can resume their course. However, some services have in place, policies that mean that if a student cannot attend an appointment in a specified period of time, their therapy allocation is terminated and should they wish to continue receiving help, they must rejoin the increasingly long waiting lists.

It’s important that we recognise this flaw in the system that’s disadvantaging international students, and instead, utilise a system that means therapy can be accessed anywhere, anytime in any time zone across the world. The Dr Julian platform does exactly that. Students can begin their therapy in whichever country they happen to be in at the time of referral and continue with the same therapist even if they have to travel to another country during the duration of their therapy.

In addition to this, therapy can be received in a range of languages. This means that students whose first language is not English can receive therapy in their native tongue and need not worry about language barriers during such a difficult time, allowing them to speak freely and comfortably.

With innovative platforms like this available, universities have no excuse for not providing equitable mental healthcare for all students. By utilising modern technologies and ideas, we can help improve mental healthcare for everyone and work towards a better future of care.

 

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Better Patient Recovery With Dr Julian

Better Patient Recovery With Dr Julian

The true sign of a successful mental healthcare system lies, not in financial gains or widespread usage, but in recovery rates and patient satisfaction. As a mental health platform, we’re extremely aware that many of our patients comes to us during the most vulnerable periods of their lives, trusting that we will help them to get back on their feet and support them throughout their journey to recovery. While for us, Dr Julian is daily life, for many it’s a new experience that will bring up a mixture of emotions. The platform design aims to give control back to the patient when things, in general, can seem out of control. This, combined with high quality therapy, means that patient experience is more positive.

 

One of the main reasons that psychological therapies fail to result in recovery is patient dropouts. There are a multitude of reasons why a patient may not complete their course of therapy, but in order for a full recovery to be made, it’s crucial that they do. A recent study (KSSAHSN, 2020) found that the Dr Julian platform reduces patient dropout rates by 49.8%. It also reduces DNA (do not attend) rates by 50.9% (DNA is when a patient fails to attend any of their sessions, leading to the same issues as those who dropout along the way). It’s unclear from the study data exactly how the platform achieves these results, but as it was designed to eliminate factors known to lead to dropouts, such as travel distance/time or availability, it shows us that what we’re doing is working.

 

 

This was further validated when Dr Julian recovery rates were found to be 9.3% higher than those of current NHS IAPT services, with reliable improvement rates being 17.3% higher. Not only are we achieving better attendance to therapy sessions, but we are also delivering the recoveries that many of our patients are hoping for.

These figures have highlighted the fact that the platform is making quality mental healthcare more accessible and that, in turn, results in happier patients with better recovery outcomes.

 

At the end of the day, mental healthcare is about simply that. Caring for mental health. This report produced some wonderful statistics that give us motivation to keep expanding our services to reach more people, but it’s these statistics that give us the most joy. Dr Julian is a service that works, and that is all we ever wanted it to do.

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