Looking at the Facts

Mental illness affects approximately one quarter of the UK population each year, with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among the most common types. Although the number of people with mental health problems hasn’t increased on a large scale in recent years, the way people are coping with it does appear to be getting worse, despite the increasing awareness for mental health help in the UK. Roughly one in five of people with mental illness have had suicidal thoughts and the suicide prevention and emotional support charity Samaritans receives on average one phone call every six seconds.

These statistics were reported before the coronavirus pandemic struck. On top of the mountain of troubles we faced in everyday life before our world changed, we have the additional boom of COVID-19 related issues. Whether it’s being stuck indoors and not able to see people, worrying about getting sick, feeling a financial pinch or trying to juggle too much responsibility, there’s a lot going more on that we can relate to and it’s important to talk about it.

Sowing Seeds of Hope – A Different Approach

To help boost confidence and increase communication, concentration and self-belief in the many people affected, a recently founded organisation named Life at No. 27 is hosting its second Growing for Wellbeing Week. Through promoting the benefits of gardening and growing your own produce, they are spreading the message that mental and physical health can be improved by discovering a new skill, connecting with other people and by being outdoors.

Gardening and growing produce is a therapeutic activity that anyone can get involved with, regardless of age or fitness levels. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does require long-term attention with a rewarding and fulfilling payoff, reflected in the foundation’s message of It’s not what you grow, it’s how YOU grow. In the current climate where care staff and key workers are experiencing intense pressures on mental health wellbeing, it might be worth encouraging your staff or colleagues to get involved as a way to unwind in their downtime. There’s also a one-to-one telephone and text support service dedicated to social care workers called Our Frontline.

Through the Life at No. 27 website, participants can find out how to share photos, stories and thoughts across social media, add favourite gardening songs to a public Spotify playlist, take part in or listen to live daily chats with experts and have a go at different challenges with the chance to win prizes. They have also put together a free downloadable resource pack including activities that anyone can get involved with from schools, businesses and care homes. If you’re looking to improve the mental wellbeing of your care home residents, why not consider introducing it as a regular activity to get them active and social?

Using CareDocs

When you initially assess your residents using CareDocs, you will be asked about their mental health. The assessment includes questions on conditions including anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and more, and the answers you provide will then form part of their personalised care plan. The care plan will set out appropriate care for the resident and existing conditions can be monitored using a range of behavioural forms.

To find out more about behavioural forms in CareDocs, please contact our friendly support team today 0330 056 3333 or via email at support@caredocs.co.uk.

Sources

MIND – Mental health facts and statistics: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/

Thrive – Why gardening is good for your mental health wellbeing: www.thrive.org.uk/how-we-help/what-we-do/why-gardening-is-good-for-our-health/why-gardening-is-good-for-your-mental-wellbeing

Samaritans – What we do: www.samaritans.org/about-samaritans/our-organisation/what-we-do/

Our Frontline: www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/ourfrontline-socialcare/

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