01/10/2015 More Training's Hot Topic - October 2015 - Mental Health

Every year on 10th October the spotlight is shone on a particular aspect of mental ill health for World Mental Health Day. The theme for 2015 is Dignity in Mental Health. World Mental Health Day is the annual global celebration of mental health education, awareness and advocacy. For more information please visit: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/world-mental-health-day/

What is Mental Health?

Mental health refers to our cognitive, and/or emotional wellbeing – it is all about how we think, feel and behave. Approximately 25% of people in the UK have a mental health problem during their lives. Your mental health can affect your daily life, relationships and even your physical health. Mental health also includes a person’s ability to enjoy life – to attain a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

Mental Health and Work

If you’ve had time away from work, or have been long term unemployed due to mental or emotional health problems, you’re not alone. Almost 50% of long-term absences from work are due to mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

People who have had a mental health problem and been out of work often worry about going back. Common concerns include facing discrimination or bullying, and going back too soon and feeling unwell again.

According to a recent report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists on mental health and work, “…many people with mental health problems fear that, no matter how good a recovery they have made, their symptoms will be made worse by going back to work.”

However, although work can cause stress to some people in some situations, recent research shows that for most people:

  • work is beneficial to health and wellbeing

  • not being in work is detrimental to health and wellbeing

  • re-employment after a period of being out of work leads to an improvement in health and wellbeing

    The benefits of being in work can include:

  • a greater sense of identity and purpose

  • an opportunity to build new friendships

  • an improved financial situation and security

  • a feeling that you’re playing an active part in society

Going back to work after a period of ill health is usually a positive experience. This applies to people who have had severe mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder, as well as people coping with more common issues such as anxiety. For more information please visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/returning-to-work-mental-health.aspx


One of the most common forms of mental health is stress. It’s likely that most people have some understanding of stress. This may be through personal experience, friends, families or colleagues. It is vital we are aware of the signs and symptoms that could detect that you or someone you are close to is stressed


      Cognitive symptoms


  • Memory problems

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Poor judgement

  • Seeing only the negative

  • Anxious or racing thoughts

  • Constant worrying


Behavioural symptoms


  • Eating more or less

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Isolating yourself from others

  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities

  • Using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax

  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)


      Emotional symptoms


  • Moodiness

  • Irritability or short temper

  • Agitation, inability to relax

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Sense of loneliness and isolation

  • Depression or general unhappiness


Physical symptoms


  • Aches and pains

  • Diarrhoea or constipation

  • Nausea, dizziness

  • Chest pains, rapid


  • Loss of sex drive

  • Frequent colds

 Mental Health


Myths and Facts of Mental Health  


Myth: Mental Health Problems are very rare. 


Fact: One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. 


Myth: People with mental illness aren’t able to work.


Fact: We probably all work with someone experiencing a mental health problem.


For information from this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week please visit:  http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/mentalhealthawarenessweek/

Did you know?


Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31.  The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows' Evening also known as Hallowe'en or All Hallows' Eve.


Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced "sah-win"). 
The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. 


Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting ‘haunted houses’ apple bobbing and carving jack-o-lanterns. http://www.halloweenhistory.org