It's Mental Health Awareness Week!
Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) starts today (15 - 21 May 2023) and this year’s theme is anxiety.
MHAW is an annual event providing an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. Across the country, people will be talking about anxiety and sharing their own experiences and helpful ideas on how to manage it.
Anxiety is a normal emotion in us all, but sometimes it can get out of control and become a mental health problem. More than one in three UK adults are experiencing anxiety due to financial pressure.
Lots of things can lead to feelings of anxiety, including exam pressures, relationships, starting a new job (or losing one) or other big life events. We can also get anxious when it comes to things to do with money and not being able to meet our basic needs, like heating our home or buying food. But anxiety can be made easier to manage.
Focusing on anxiety for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week will increase people's awareness and understanding of anxiety by providing information on the things that can help prevent it from becoming a problem. At the same time, we will keep up the pressure to demand change - making sure that improving mental health is a key priority for the government and society as a whole.
Uncertain times: Anxiety in the UK and how to tackle it
Read an in-depth by the Mental Health Foundation looking what anxiety is, who’s experiencing it in the UK, how we’re coping and the things we can do to help to manage those feelings.
What can we do to cope with feelings of anxiety?
There are lots of things which we can do to help manage feelings of anxiety. The Mental Health Foundation lists nine evidence-based things you can try to help manage feelings of anxiety.
The week is also a chance to talk about any aspect of mental health that people want to – regardless of the theme.
Accord is proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week.
There are lots of ways that you can get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week:
- Get social - download the social media posts and graphics and share with your friends and family online - use the hashtags #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Share your experiences - what helps you manage your anxiety? Share your story with the hashtag #ToHelpMyAnxiety
- Connect - call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while, tell a family member how much you appreciate them or arrange a meet up outdoors
- Organise a Wear It Green Day at your workplace on Thursday 18 May to raise money and show your support
For more ways to get involved and show your support during the week, check out the resources available on the Mental Health Foundation website.
Mental health at work
Looking after your wellbeing when you're at work is so important.
Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%.
Below are some useful online resources available for supporting positive mental health at work:
- Download a copy of the ‘Support mental health at work’ guide, produced by The Mental Health Foundation, which covers how to manage your own mental health at work, how to reach out to a colleague in distress and how you can work with others to make your workplace more mentally healthy for everyone.
- Check out the Mental Health at Work website - it's got all the resources, tools, advice and recommendations you'll need to help support mental health in the workplace.
- Acas has published some really helpful information and tips on looking after mental health for individuals, managers and employers.
- Check out the 'Mental health at work' section on the Mind website for tips on burnout, working remotely, and looking after your staff.
- If you’re an Accord rep, check out the TUC’s ‘Mental health and the workplace’ digital workbook.
- The Bank Workers Charity has teamed up with PAM Wellbeing to offer you free access to the PAM Assist Wellbeing App which offers emotional and mental health support for mild to moderate issues including stress, anxiety and depression to improve all aspects of your wellbeing.
Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive.
- LBG’s Employee Assistance Programme (Validium): 0800 9700 100
- TSB's Employee Assistance Programme: 0800 0856 348
- Anxiety UK: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk
- Mind mental health charity: https://www.mind.org.uk/
- Bank Workers Charity: 0800 0234 834 — https://www.bwcharity.org.uk/
- Samaritans: 116 123 — https://www.samaritans.org/
- NHS 'Every mind matters': https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
- NHS (including 111): https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/
At Accord, all of our team of advisors have been accredited in Mental Health First Aid by MHFA England.
If you’re an Accord member and need a chat about support at work, call our helpline on 0118 934 1808.
Accord's ED&I Group
The Accord Equality Diversity & Inclusion group’s aim is to maximise our members' potential, regardless of background, and ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect. It’s a place where diversity is celebrated, without prejudice or judgement. It’s a chance to collectively learn from our experiences and enrich all our lives.