Talking mental wellness remains a priority

With the physical and social isolation measures that are in place to protect us during the current Coronavirus pandemic, many of us are noticing a vast difference between the things that were important to us even a few weeks ago versus the things that are consuming our thoughts today.

Prior to the national lockdown, Mind, stated that approximately 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem in the UK each year and MHFA England report that 91 million working days are lost every year with stress, anxiety and depression - the biggest cause of sickness absence in our society. The WHO organisation and the Royal Society for Psychology are now predicting an unprecedented rise in emotional and psychological issues over the next 12 months.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. At Aster, good mental health, wellbeing and resilience are priorities in our work and across our communities. 

Over the last six months, we have trained over 500 people in the community and within Aster. Our courses include Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health Champions, Mental Health for Leaders, Emotional Wellbeing and Mindfulness.  We now have approximately 120 colleagues trained as Mental Health First Aiders providing support and signposting here at Aster, something that has become even more important as people deal with the anxieties the current situation has caused. 

Through our Aster Foundation we have worked with Green Square Housing Association, L.V Insurance, Devizes Community Leaders, young carers at Carer Support Wiltshire, Wiltshire Service Users Network and disability charity, Enham Trust. We will also be training a group of pupils at Clyst Vale School to become mental health ambassadors, and teachers and sixth formers will attend our 2 Day Mental Health First Aider course. 

In order to continue providing the support needed for our Aster colleagues and communities the Aster Foundation mental wellbeing and resilience courses have had to be responsive and evolve rapidly to meet the challenges of social isolation and we are now delivering our standard courses as well as bespoke sessions online.

I’m so proud and privileged to be able to support organisations like Devizes Community Leaders who provide a valuable service to their communities and help to raise awareness around mental health.

You can find out about our mental wellness and resilience courses here.

Daran Bailey

Aster mental wellness and resilience partner 

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