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Due to the nature of working in health and social care, many staff are working in highly pressured and potentially stressful environments. Within these environments, it may be easier to put other people’s wellbeing before our own, such as our patients’ or colleagues. As we work in a caring profession, looking after other people comes naturally to us. However, taking time for your own wellbeing is essential when working in these roles.

This could look like anything from taking a 5-minute coffee break in the middle of a busy day, to speaking with a mental health professional about any potential concerns. Either way, deciding to take time for yourself is key to maintaining your health and wellbeing at work.

This section highlights practical support and links to external resources that you can use to ensure you are prioritising your wellbeing. The resources linked below may be helpful to understand why we experience certain thoughts, feelings and emotions relating to our work, and how we can avoid potentially negative consequences.

Have you heard the 1 in 4 statistic?

1 in four people will suffer with a common mental health problem at some point in their lives

But how helpful is this statistic?  It suggests that there are two distinct groups- people who do not have mental health problems who are presumably happy and content at all times; And people with mental health problems;

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Clearly, this is too simplistic.  We all have periods in which our mental health might need a little more support than it usually does.  We all have mental health, which we all need to look after just like our physical health.  It's ok if you're noticing that your mental health has dipped recently, either a little or a lot.  We don't feel in peak physical condition every day either.

But if you felt severely physically unwell, or if you felt not quite yourself for a couple of weeks, perhaps you should go to a doctor.  The same is true of your mental health. 

Let's rate your current wellbeing

Where would you put yourself on this chart overall in the last week?

Please note that the things you might notice in yourself will be different for everyone- you won't experience all of the potential symptoms in each category, but you will know what is "normal" for you.

In Crisis

What you might notice

What to do

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  • High anxiety and/or
  • Very low mood
  • Feeling unable to function
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Not going to work or other activities
  • Very poor sleep
  • Sleeping far too much
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Frequent panic attacks- a sudden rush of frightening physical symptoms
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self harm

Things sound really tough.  We would recommend asking for help as soon as possible. 

Here's a link to the self referral form;

www.sussexstaffinmind.nhs.uk

it's very quick and easy and someone will be in touch within 2 days to make a time to talk.

In the meantime, if you need urgent help please call The Sussex Mental Health Line on 0800 0309 500, contact your GP, or you can attend an A&E department in an emergency.

You may also benefit from reading below ways in which you might be able to help yourself.  But don't expect too much of yourself at once- just a little at a time.

Struggling

What you might notice

What to do

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  • High anxiety and/or
  • Very low mood
  • Feeling unable to function
  • Feeling tired
  • Not able to perform to your usual standard at work
  • Irritable
  • Poor sleep
  • Poor appetite
  • Muscle tension- perhaps causing a painful back, neck, or jaw
  • Thoughts of being better off dead
  • Thoughts of self harm

We all have weeks like this, and it's very positive that you've noticed that things aren't quite right for you at the moment.

You're probably wondering what you can do to improve things for yourself.

If you think that you might be in need of some help, you could fill in a self assessment HERE.  This will result in someone contacting you to make a time to speak with one of our practitioners, if you would like to.  It will also give you a score on some questionnaires which assess for low mood and anxiety.  This might help you to know whether you need some help.

Alternatively, maybe you want to see what you can do for yourself first and just monitor how you feel in a week or so.  Have a look at advice below about ways to improve your wellbeing.

Surviving

What you might notice

 What to do

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  • Just getting through the day
  • Feeling worried/ nervous
  • Feeling sad
  • Not enjoying things as much as you used to
  • Feeling withdrawn
  • Feeling"I can't be bothered"
  • Everything just feeling more difficult than it usually does
  • Worrying more than usual- a lot of "what if" thoughts
  • Self criticism

We all have weeks like this, and it's very positive that you've noticed that things aren't quite right for you at the moment.

You're probably wondering what you can do to improve things for yourself.

If you think that you might be in need of some help, you could fill in a self assessment HERE.  This will result in someone contacting you to make a time to speak with one of our practitioners, if you would like to.  It will also give you a score on some questionnaires which assess for low mood and anxiety.  This might help you to know whether you need some help.

Alternatively, maybe you want to see what you can do for yourself first and just monitor how you feel in a week or so.  Have a look at advice below about ways to improve your wellbeing.

Thriving

What you might notice

What to do

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  • Feeling positive and calm
  • You're performing well at work
  • You're sleeping well
  • You have a good appetite
  • You have enough energy to do everything you want to do
  • You have a good balance of activity/ rest

That's great.  It might be worth thinking about what it is that you're doing that is currently working so well for you, so that you can keep doing it.

Excelling

What you might notice

What to do 

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  • Joyful, cheerful, fully realising your potential
  • You're excelling at work
  • You feel energetic
  • You're enjoying things you would expect to enjoy
  • You don't pay any attention to negative thoughts about yourself
  • You're sleeping well
  • You are eating well
  • You have a good social life

That's great.  It might be worth thinking about what it is that you're doing that is currently working so well for you, so that you can keep doing it.

 

Our key messages to you

  • If you’re having trouble coping, it's ok to ask for help.
  • Staff in Mind is a confidential service that can offer you a one-to-one consultation with a clinician outside of your immediate organisation.
  • The purpose of this is to have a conversation about what your needs are and how we can help.
  • This might be through simply having a 60-minute chat, or through making a referral for an intervention with support services.

Click here if you would like to make a self-referral:

Get Started

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