09 October 2020 14:43

Mental health United Kingdom World Suicide Prevention Day

'Every Mind Matters' is the focus of this year's World Mental Health Day in Bedford on Saturday (10 October). And while ordinarily, Harpur Square would be full of activity to raise awareness on the day, this year's events are taking place online to prevent the spread of coronavirus. From a virtual coffee morning to online mindful yoga and a wellbeing Q&A, there are a number of ways to get involved to raise awareness of mental health this year. For a great many people, the global pandemic, months of lockdown and the continued uncertainty has been tough. Our mental health may have been affected in various ways.

According to recent research conducted by MIND, more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health got worse during lockdown. Many people will be feeling lonely, isolated, stressed and anxious during this difficult period, so it's important we do all we can to look after each other and support one another's mental wellbeing. Cllr Louise Jackson Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Wellbeing said, "As we all feel the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, it has never been more important to continue to raise awareness and encourage conversations around mental health. "Looking out for each other can help during these difficult times by reducing isolation and stress, strengthening relationships, developing community and deepening solidarity. "It's important to remember it is OK to feel stressed or anxious and that everyone reacts differently.

Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most people, these difficult feelings will pass." Mindful Yoga + Wellbeing Q+A with Ben Salmons and Robert Lindsay 3pm – 4.30pm, Friday 9 October Please visit www.bedfordsportlive.crd.co and scroll down to the WMHD link on Friday to join the FREE session Every Mind Matters Webinar 11.30am – 12.30pm, Saturday 10 October Mind BLMK (Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes) are holding a free Every Mind Matters webinar on Mental Health Day to discuss how to look after and support mental wellbeing. Every Mind Matters is a NHS approved campaign that aims to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others. To book a place on the webinar email [email protected] Kooth Free safe online counselling for children and young people (for age 11 until their 26th birthday) across Bedfordshire. Kooth gives young people access to professional help and support from qualified counsellors 7 days per week. It can also support adults struggling due the mental health of their child can get access. It is accessible from any device just visit www.kooth.com. For tips on how to take care of your mental health and wellbeing visit www.bedford.gov.uk/wellbeing. Senior lawyers to 'pass the badge' on World Mental Health Day 2020 ​A group of senior figures from Scotland's legal profession are to kick start a 'pass the badge' to mark World Mental Health Day this month. As part of the Law Society of Scotland's work to challenge mental health stigma, its president, Amanda Millar, and chief executive, Lorna Jack, along with senior figures from organisations including the Faculty of Advocates, Royal Bank of Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council, are sharing their stories about mental health and challenging stigma and discrimination around mental health, from Saturday, 10 October 2020. The Law Society is encouraging anyone working within Scotland's legal sector to share positive actions, big or small, they take to maintain positive mental health through the 'Pass the Badge' campaign, created by See Me, the Scotland-wide programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination. The group launching the campaign will invite colleagues in the profession to take part. Passing the badge are: Amanda Millar, president, Law Society of Scotland Lorna Jack, CEO, Law Society of Scotland Iain Reid, CEO, Faculty of Advocates Kenny Robertson, head of outsourcing, Technology & IP, Royal Bank of Scotland Elaine Motion, chairman, Balfour and Manson Karen Wiles, head of legal and governance services, Aberdeenshire Council John Scott QC The campaign follows Law Society research in 2019 in partnership with See Me, which was the first of its kind to be carried out on a sector-wide basis in Scotland. The findings showed that: 46 per cent of respondents believed opportunities for staff to have open and honest conversations about mental health would create a more positive attitude 39 per cent of respondents felt the senior leaders in their organisation show their commitment to staff mental health Ms Millar, who is an accredited specialist in both mental health law, and incapacity and mental disability law, said: "We are committed to tackling mental health stigma and discrimination in the legal profession. "Opening up conversations around mental health is an important part of our efforts towards changing workplace culture. As leaders in the profession, we have to be the ones to start those conversations and encourage others to share challenges they may have faced themselves, what they do to maintain good mental health or how they act to challenge mental health stigma and support colleagues in the workplace. "There is no place for such stigma in the legal profession. I hope that by sharing these stories and by 'passing the badge', we can shine some light on an issue many of us shy away from for fear of possibly being seen as not committed enough or it being a sign of weakness at work, particularly in what can be a fast-paced and pressurised career. "I'm very grateful to everyone who has committed to sharing their story and passing the badge on World Mental Health Day and throughout October. I encourage everyone to share their own story or support those taking part."