Mental health awareness week
14th to 20th May is mental health awareness week, an initiative in place to raise the general profile and understanding of mental health issues. We’re marking this by discussing the economic and wellbeing effects of primary school mental health counselling, and giving you some practical suggestions of simple ideas you could implement to celebrate mental health awareness week.
Last week, leading organisation Pro Bono Economics released a study implying that for every £1 spent on one-to-one counselling in primary schools, we could see a return of £6.20 in the investment in the form of improving future job prospects and cutting crime.
The study was based on one-to-one support offered by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, looking at the improvement of 4,548 primary school students across 251 schools in the UK. In the single year they ran the study, Place2Be claim that their investment of £4.2m could deliver £25.9m to society by improving each child’s long-term outcome – a benefit of just over £5,500 per child.
Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist and co-founder of Pro Bono Economics, said: “An estimated one in 10 children and young people in the UK have a mental health condition. Without effective intervention, these conditions can have a significant impact on their life chances and result in significant long-term costs.”
At APL Health we’ve invested in offering youth mental health first aid training to schools around the UK in a bid to support students and workers with their mental health issues. We train people to look out for early crisis signs, signpost appropriately, and understand how to work with an individual suffering from poor mental health.
If you’d like more information on attending one of our mental health first aid training courses, please get in touch with us.
Do something awesome for mental health awareness week
Here are six suggestions for easy to implement initiatives:
- Create a stress awareness space. Staff can share their thoughts and feelings when they are feeling stressed. Just allocated pin board to it in your staffroom, then download and handout these cards for people to share their feelings. Here’s a poster you can put up too.
- Order some booklets and leaflets. Mind offer some great materials, or why not shop around for something that you think would take your colleagues’ fancy?
- Create a wellness action plan (WAP). WAPs are an easy, practical way of helping you to support your own mental health at work.
- Relax. Use time before work, during your lunch break, or after work to relax. Some brilliant things to do include yoga, mindfulness exercises, or going for a walk outside.
- Talk to each other. Why not start an initiative in your school to ask somebody how they are each day? And encourage them to give you a full answer…”I’m fine” doesn’t always mean very much.
- Watch the World Health Organization’s video entitled ‘I had a black dog, his name was depression’. This was an analogy first started by Winston Churchill do describe his battle with mental health.