Let’s Talk

Is how, as a company, we would like to support your health and wellbeing
including any mental health issues.

Working Together

Caring and Teamwork are two of our core values which means that we are committed to understanding and helping wherever possible colleagues to maintain their general wellbeing and mental health.  We realise the effect the pressures of not only everyday life but working in a care environment and the after effects of Covid 19 have on everyone’s mental and physical wellbeing.  We will give support and help to anyone who may need it, not just with mental health but things that can affect your every day life and become a factor when finding things difficult to cope with.  Let’s Talk is the first step of many that we want to take.  A new edition will be released every quarter and each edition will have a feature topic with hints and tips on health and wellbeing which we hope  you will find useful. If there is a topic you would like us to feature or an article you would like your colleagues to be aware of, please email karen.ragan@autographcare.co.uk.  We realise a leaflet/pamphlet/booklet, what ever you want to call it is not enough, we want to do
more. We would like every colleague to know that there is someone they can talk to, someone to  unburden to, someone who will listen, someone who can help and support you.

How we achieve our goals – Join our committee

The role of the Mental Health First Aider

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course, designed to
teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a
first aid basis. In the same way as learning physical first aid, MHFA teaches people how to
recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health and feel confident to guide someone
to appropriate support. Embedding MHFA training within the company also encourages
people to talk more freely about mental health, reducing stigma and creating a more positive culture.

Give a deeper understanding of the issues that impact on and relate to people’s mental health
Teach practical skills that can be used every day, including being able to spot the signs
and symptoms of mental health issues and feel confident guiding people towards support

Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health
Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
Listen to the person non-judgementally.  Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm
Encourage the person to access appropriate professional support or self-help strategies
Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary.  Maintain confidentiality as appropriate
We will include Mental Health First Aiders’ identities alongside the physical first aiders’ identities at key places within the workplace
All Mental Health First Aiders will have lanyards or badges for easy identification to colleagues
All Mental Health First Aiders will be provided with a presentation that they can deliver to colleagues to help start conversations

Becoming a Mental Health First Aider

To become a Mental Health First Aider you must complete an MHFA course. This is an
awareness and skills course, which includes a mix of presentations, discussions and group work activities.

We will encourage any colleague to become a Mental Health First Aider

The course will:

Mental Health First Aiders are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.

Mental Health First Aiders are trained to:

Promoting our Mental Health First Aiders
We will strive to make colleagues aware of who the trained Mental Health First Aiders are
within the company so that they know who to approach if they are experiencing mental health issues.

Work Group Chat

Monday again…
Yeah, the weekend flew by, got much on this week ?
Loads. So stressed but no motivation. Feeling really overwhelmed
That’s rough, did you say you’d called your doctor?
Tried but I couldn’t get through. All feels a bit hopeless
Give it another go.
Wanna catch up later,
we can have a proper
chat about things ?

Talking about Mental Health can be tough

Help your colleagues, take the time to have that chat.
It’s OK to ask if you think someone is not OK
Or try these resources to give you the confidence to
have the conversation:

CALM – Campaign Against
Living Miserably – Lines open 5pm to midnight
0800 58 58 58

NHS mental health advice
If you need urgent mental health advice

If you need help supporting or dealing with mental health issues – 0300 304 700
(4.30pm–10.30pm every day)

To talk about anything that is upsetting you
24hrs a day 7 days a week
Call 116 123
Email: jo@samaritans.org

‘Sometimes when I say “I’m okay”,
I want someone to look me in the eyes,
hug me tight and say, “I know you’re not”
‘Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to be
strong and say “I’m fine”
Sometimes I just want someone to
look me in the eye and say, “It’s okay
to not be strong all the time”
‘I say “it’s fine” and “I’m Okay” a lot,
but most of the time it’s not Ok and I’m
not Ok but it’s just easier to say that

Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A
diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.

Drink sensibly
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only
temporary. When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest
of your body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.

Keep in touch
There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible. You can also give
them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!

Ask for help
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.
If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer
practical help or a listening ear. Local services are there to help you.

Take a break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.
It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring
somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.

Do something you’re good at
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past?
Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving
something boosts your self-esteem

Accept who you are
We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else.
Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good
self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

Care for others
‘Friends are really important… We help each other whenever we can, so it’s a two-way street, and supporting them uplifts
me.’ Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring
you closer together.

Getting Help

Crisis Text Line If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support. Shout can help
Text Shout to 85258 (UK).
CALM National helpline for Men to talk about any troubles they are feeling. Call 0800 58 58 58 from 5pm-midnight 365
days of the year.
The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day – in full confidence. Call 116 123 (UK) – it’s FREE or
email jo@samaritans.org.uk

Talk about your feelings

Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental
health and deal with times when you feel troubled.

Keep active
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you
concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and
your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit
towards improving your mental health.

Eat well
As launched in our November newsletter, here is a reminder of the benefits you receive
through Westfield Health once you have completed your probationary period with
Autograph Care. The scheme is paid for by the Company at no additional cost to yourself
and gives a range of benefits to you and your family via Westfield Health

Money back on everyday health for the policyholder

Optical – Up to £65
Dental – Up to £60
Dental Accident – Up to £200
Chiropody – Up to £25
Therapy Treatments – Up to £150
Fast access to diagnosis and treatment for the body and mind
Doctorline for the policyholder and their family
Consultation for the policyholder

24hr Advice and Information Line including online Health e-Hub for the policy holder
and their family. Counselling, health and wellbeing advice and online resources.
Including up to six sessions of face to face counselling for the policyholder

Use your login details for access to this service
Register on Westfield Rewards website and you can look forward to special offers on your favourite goods and services from over 600 leading online and high street retailers,
enjoy exclusive discounts by purchasing reloadable cards for high street stores and supermarkets or receive Cashback from participating retailers.

Doctorline – 24/7 GP Helpline – Call 0345 612 3861

From anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, you and your resident family can pick up the phone and arrange a call back from a practising UK GP, to discuss any health issues and receive advice
or a diagnosis. You can even choose to have a webcam consultation so you can see and speak to a doctor while you’re at home or at work. It’s the closest thing to a surgery appointment, but
without the wait. Use your login details to access this service.

• Speak to a GP for as long as you need, at a time convenient to you
• Receive confidential advice, information and reassurance
• Discuss any health query from surgical procedures, diseases, injuries and
prescriptions to new treatment, foreign travel, exercise and nutrition
• Request a call back
• Call the service as often as you’d like
• Use the webcam consultation to show the doctor your symptoms, helping them to
diagnose your condition and recommend your next steps

Thursday 3rd February – National Time to Talk Day

Thursday the 3rd of February is National Time to Talk Day run by MIND and re-think Mental
Illness and is the nations biggest mental health conversation.
Time to Talk Day is all about opening up the conversation about mental health. Whether it’s one-to-one or with a large group.
This is a terrific way for us as a Company to start our campaign on mental health awareness and create an open environment for all colleagues.
Time to Talk Day is about us all being open to the idea of talking – we all have mental health, and by having conversations about it we can help ourselves and others. It’s not about encouraging people to talk about a mental health problem if they don’t want to. When someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person as they were before.
And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple.

Do the things you’d normally do.
If someone does open up about their mental health, we know it might not always feel easy to know what to say. But it doesn’t have to be awkward, and being there for someone can make a big difference.No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s ok – the fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time