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Sunday 17 December 2017
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Take time to think about your own mental wellbeing this World Mental Health Day

Richard Morrow
Richard Morrow
On today’s World Mental Health Day (10 October), Richard Morrow, the Trust’s interim Assistant Director of Public and Physical Healthcare shares his thoughts on mental health and wellbeing.

Having recently started in a new role within the organisation and thinking about how we progress holistic healthcare, I have been listening to lots of conversations about mental wellbeing and things that can both help and hinder. 

Across the span of our services, Derbyshire Healthcare offers healthcare to the newest arrivals in our society, the most vulnerable and the oldest friends and relatives in our society.  Whilst thinking about World Mental Health Day today, it struck me that 2017 has been an amazing year for conversations about mental health in its many forms – good, bad and ugly. 

The candour that Princes William and Harry have expressed in describing the grief and loss that they felt whilst encouraging young people to open up about a whole range of mental health issues has been inspirational through the work of the charity Heads Together. Sports personalities, engineers, the LGBTQ community have all spoken about mental health and wellbeing through many forums, in an effort to reduce stigma and increase people’s confidence to talk about their own needs and those of others.

As NHS workers we are highly likely to experience stress, fatigue and debt, as well as being regularly exposed to the tragedy and loss of others as well as our own personal struggles. However, we are also highly privileged to work with children, young people, adults and families who really benefit from all of our help, knowing this can help when the days feel long or tough. If I think about the people I know within the organisation there is an amazing breadth of knowledge, humanity and compassion shown each and every day, which aides the delivery of services and makes the work we do rewarding, even in the most difficult circumstances.

There is some great support out there and it is important that we seek support when we need it. Whether it be debt advice from websites like Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert or sleep advice from the NHS. Dry January and Stoptober are all times when we can take a step back, exercise a little Mindfulness and make some choices about our lifestyles - or not, as the case may be. Above all, talking and sharing with others is really important, human connection and mutual support are absolutely essential to wellbeing. 

We all know the links between physical and emotional wellbeing are strong. Enjoy the walk from the car to wherever you are going and feel the fresh air as the seasons change; there is an app which allows you to track your progress active 10. As the seasons are changing take advantage of the flu vaccination programme; it will likely save you from the uniquely miserable experience of having the flu.

So today, take a little time to think about your own mental wellbeing.  Give yourself time to walk the long way round, make someone a drink who looks like they need one and above all make time for yourself and what you need. 

When we understand the connection between how we live and how long we live, it's easier to make different choices. Instead of viewing the time we spend with those close to us as luxuries, we can see that these relationships are among the most powerful determinants of our well-being and survival.