Time to Talk Day, Cups of Tea, A Good Old Chat & Lockdown Blue’s

If you are a regular reader of our blogspot and social media channels you will have picked up on the fact that we are passionate about sharing the importance of looking after your own mental health and encouraging others to speak about their own mental health issues.

Ollie Ollerton who you may know from the television show ‘SAS Who Dares Wins’ has coined the phrase Mental Health Wealth – making sure your mental health is looked after and balanced before you go onto helping other people is so important.  So, with that in mind we threw ourselves into supporting ‘Time to Talk’ day which was held on Thursday 4th February.

What with the COVID-19 pandemic with lots of us feeling worried, scared or anxious about everyday issues it is even more important to check-in with friends, family and work colleagues.  The Time to Talk website gives the following valuable advice:

If someone’s feeling anxious or worried, you don’t need to be an expert on mental health to support them. Think about using our three top tips:

1) Check in

If someone doesn’t feel ready to meet face-to-face, picking up the phone, having a video call, starting a group chat or messaging someone on social media lets them know you are there to talk and ready to listen.

2) Listen and reflect

Whether you have a mental health problem or not, this will be a challenging time for our mental health and wellbeing. If someone opens up to you, remember that you don’t need to fix things or offer advice. Often just listening, and showing you take them seriously, can help someone to manage.

3) Ask questions  

Ask how people are managing, and ask again if you’re worried they aren’t sharing the full picture. Asking again, with interest, can help someone to open up and explore what they’re feeling.

Time to Talk Day

Time to Talk Day is supported by Mind the mental Health charity and Rethink Mental Illness.  A staggering 1 in 4 of us will experience mental health issues this year. Yet, the shame and silence can be as bad as the mental health problem itself.  The phrase ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ is so important in these challenging times.

So, what did we do to support Time to Talk Day? Members of our team who were available arranged to have an on-line coffee and chat with a small number of colleagues from the South West of the country to connect, check-in and have a moan about our ‘lockdown blues’ which was thoroughly enjoyable.

PTSD999 Trauma Charity

On Wednesday evening (3rd February) members of our team, lifeboat crew, HM Coastguard Rescue Officers and special Police Constables from the Metropolitan Police Service were very fortunate to be part of an on-line briefing from PTSD999 Trauma charity

Members of the emergency services by the very nature of their role are more susceptible to suffer from mental health issues and PTSD999 are key in helping support and help those in need of help when suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).   PTSD999 was founded by Gary Hayes and is fortunate to have Graham Cole OBE as their President (who played the role of PC Tony Stamp in the TV drama ‘The Bill’ a few years ago), Dany Cotton (former Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade) as their Patron.

PTSD is a very complex topic area and is a specialist area of medicine in it’s own right. However, Post Traumatic Stress can be triggered by any of the following:

  • Serious road accidents
  • Violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • Prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
  • Witnessing violent deaths
  • Military combat
  • Being held hostage
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis
    (NHS Choices 06/09/2015)

If you are a member of the emergency services’ including HM Coastguard and Lifeboat and are interested in PTSD999’s work, why not have a look at their website or get in contact. 

All Call Signs

I caught up on a pre-recorded Instagram TV  featuring the award winning peer support organisation ‘All Callsigns’ and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of Staff’s Committee (SEAC) Glenn Haughton OBE (senior non-commissioned soldier in the British Army and mental health champion).  All CallSign’s is designed for veterans and serving military personnel. Their chat app is manned by over 700 volunteer listeners with experience of life in uniform and their digital caseworkers bridge the gaps in veteran’s mental health services for hundreds of users seeking help.  Glenn Haughton is massively inspiration with his daily postings on Instagram encouraging everyone to look after their mental health by getting outdoors and doing some form of physical exercise whether it’s a walk, run, jog, cycle ride or some form of circuit training. Glenn is definitely worth a follow if you are into your social media.

‘All Callsigns’ are extremely proud to have partnered with Solent NHS, Walking With The Wounded & other strategic partners to deliver a brand new mental health service for veterans in the South East. The High Intensity Service is an NHS-led initiative to provide more complete wrap-around care to veterans and their families experiencing mental ill health. Simply call NHS 111 and tell them you’re a veteran and you’ll be triaged into the High Intensity Service and connected to a Peer Support Worker who will help co-ordinate your care pathway.

With more and more veterans and service personnel suffering from mental health issues it is more and more important to have an organisation who understands veterans issues that can provide help and support quickly and effectively.   There are numerous examples of how All Callsigns and their social media following have helped save the life of a veterans.

If you need to talk now and you are a Veteran or a serving member of the military you can chat with one of the All Call Signs trained volunteers

You may know a serving member of the HM Forces or a veteran who has a mental health problem and needs help and support.  Why not drop them a text or Whatsapp message and suggest All Callsigns?

If you are on social media then why not give All Callsigns a follow on social media, you don’t need to be a veteran to support their work and your help could help save someone’s life.

Conclusion

In concluding our support for the Time to Talk awareness day, I believe it was a very worthwhile way of promoting the theme of making Time to Talk with family members, friends and work colleagues about our mental health.  I certainly picked up lots of tips and reached out to anumber of people who I hadn’t connected with for a long time to check-in to see how they were coping with the current lockdown and the pandemic.  I have published below a series of useful links and telephone numbers incase you need further information or support.  Remember it’s good to talk and reach out to people even more so today.  Look after your own mental health by making alittle time for yourself, it doesn’t have to much maybe a nice cup of tea or coffee, putting on your favorite piece of clothing, reading a book, take a walk around the park, or whatever you like doing. Be kind to yourself.

Thank you for reading this blog and stay safe out there.

Useful links and resources

PTSD999 

MIND

All Callsigns

Samaritans

Combat Stress

Useful contact numbers

All Callsigns (serving military and veterans) – 0330-320-1185

PTSD999 (emergency service personnel) – 07778 485 528

Samaritans – 116-123

MIND – 0300-123-3393

Combat Stress – 0800-138-1619

Papyrus (help to everyone feeling suicidal) 0800-068-41-41