We all breath right – but do we breath the best way?
Check out the video – I guarantee you’ll never look at nose hair in quite the same way again!
We all breath right – but do we breath the best way?
Check out the video – I guarantee you’ll never look at nose hair in quite the same way again!
Some years back, I was introduced to Adam who had just started working with Jamie at a national recruitment company.
Sharply dressed, seemingly able to talk to anyone at any level confidently and make up really good raps for audiences ‘off the cuff’. A real ‘presence’ in the room, Adam was late teens when I met him not sure of the path he would ultimately take.
Several different jobs over the years followed before Lockdown hit. At Christmas 2020, after almost a year of uncertainty the global pandemic has brought us all to trying degrees, Adam took the massive, in my view, step of getting on a plane and going to Tanzania. Without a job/home to go to there, Adam wanted a complete change.
He reached out to me to discuss his next moves and explore his thoughts – I was honoured.
I was shocked by the reality of Dar es Salaam from the photos Adam sent me which were the polar opposite of my perceptions of what this African City would be like.
Curtesy of Adam, I share a photo of his new home City:
According to Adam the pace of life is much slower compared to London and has given him time to think what he really wants to do.
Taking the time to ask ourselves ‘are we happy?’ and ‘does it feel right’ enable us to take the pulse of where we are and helps answer those questions of whether to keep going down a certain path or change.
Adam’s had the time and space to figure out his next move by relocating to Tanzania – even if to some of us it feels like a step too far.
Of course, it may not be practical to relocate to the other side of the world to find what we want to do. We don’t have to. Giving ourselves some space alone to think about our own happiness and whether what we are doing ‘feels right’ will give us the same ignition for our own next steps.
Watching French24 tv, I was heartened by the amazing work French billionaire Alain Merieux has achieved. He set-up L’enterprise des Possibles or Company of Possibilities just two years ago.
In the interview he explained why he chose to set-up this initiative up at the age of 80. Looking back to his childhood – which many of us seem to do as we get older, he noticed there was no homeless when he was a child. People shared what they had and took care of each other. Over recent years, he noticed that caring and sharing has been lost and homelessness is everywhere. The same could be said of countries around the world.
Alain’s idea was to join businesses with homeless charities. Companies and their employees could donate their time, annual leave or volunteer for the charities to make a real long-term difference.
Over the two years L’enterprise des Possibles has been operating, 60 companies have signed up raising over €1.1m and housing 550 people in Leon alone. One of these was a Congalese asylum seeker and her two young children who had been sleeping in fear wherever they could find space in the three years they had been in France. Now she proudly showed the news team around her chalet provided by L’enterprise des Possibles and spoke of her feeling of safety now. One of seven chalets she and her children now had a real support network in which to flourish and rebuild their lives.
The calmness on her face and positivity for the future was inspiring. The woman and her family had literally nothing. Now they have peace, security and a future – how rich is that?
Just as inspiring is Alain. Most 80+ people would be looking inwards, not what they could do for others. In the week that Captain Sir Tom Moore sadly died we are reminded of the amazing difference someone can do, no matter their age or ability, to make a difference and inspire others on what is truly the richness of life.
Earlier this week I was contacted by someone who had been selected to take part in Growing Talent in 2019. Growing Talent is an employment empowerment programme I run, which has been on hold since March 2020 due to Covid (www.growing-talent.co.uk).
At the time they had many personal pressures to deal with which had reduced their self-confidence to an all-time low whilst greatly increasing their anxiety – exhausting as we all know.
They worked hard to complete the Orientation Week – confidence building workshops – prior to going on the employer’s site working well with their peers on team and individual challenges. Gradually shoots of growing self-confidence started to appear. More importantly, a smile returned to their face.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t maintain the routine of work back in 2019 and left before completing the programme. This made their contact this week even more thought provoking.
They have been a carer for over a year working extensive shifts caring for the vulnerable is tough enough for anyone let alone doing this role in the middle of a global pandemic. The people this person supports all have varying stages of dementia – challenging for individuals, family, friends and carers.
Finding the strength to make decisions and changes in their personal life took massive courage. With everything going on, they still put others first and decided to move into the care home to support their peers and residents as much as possible. Unfortunately, they got Covid themselves and had to self-isolate. Now the residential care home is currently Covid free – a big relief for all.
As I’m reading all of this information they sent, my pride and admiration swelled. Their growth from 2019 to now is inspirational. The reason they wanted to get in touch now was to not only share their journey but thank me for my teachings.
‘Anyway, my point is, that, no way could I have gotten through the turmoil of Covid in a Dementia Care home and self-loathing induced by personal pressures if it hadn’t been for your teachings and even that week of lessons really in prep for growing talent. Thank you for the lessons, thank you for the courage and the self-belief you instilled in me, before I could really believe in myself’.
As a trainer/facilitator passionate about encouraging people and businesses to be the best they can, I often wonder about those who aren’t ready to move forward. I know see, even instilling a short time of self-belief and proactive personal nurturing makes a difference to them long term.
What’s the point in sharing this with you? To share we may not always know the outcome of something we do – that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful and positive.
Never stop trying to do what you know is right. You are having a bigger, positive impact than you may realise.
As businesses we know how important it is to have a healthy, inclusive workplace where staff can thrive. A business that makes positive mental health and wellbeing training part of their DNA will get commitment, higher productivity, increased brand reputation and increased bottom lines. But, it has to be the right training! Especially in the time of Coronavirus uncertainty.
I’ve worked in the Mental Health, Wellbeing and Inclusive Employment fields for many years. I still see a fear within businesses – large and small – to address positive mental health training for all staff.
Traditionally, non-accredited training – either a half day awareness level, one day champion level or two day ‘first aider’ course is selected by businesses without considering some key facts:
I’ve been hugely impressed by this innovative programme because of it’s standout features. Some of the key ones are:
Interested in knowing more? Contact me.
Absolutely. This has been proven time and again in various research reports in delivering added value to bottom lines, brand reputations and staff retention. It’s more relevant and vital to business operations in the Coronavirus/Covid-19 era.
Of course, you have to ensure you implement the right training otherwise the impact made to your bottom line, brand reputation and staff retention could be negative!
I’ve been working in this field for over a decade now. I’m often asked what course I would recommend. See the table below for some key features of three training programmes I deliver.
|Feature||i-act||FAA levels 1,2,3||MHFA England|
|Proactive – designed to prevent mental ill health||Yes||No||No|
|Specifically designed for the workplace||Yes||No||No|
|Accredited course for delegates||Yes||Yes||No|
|Over 50 tools for self- care/building resilience||Yes||No||No|
|Signposting to professional help||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Delivered virtually or classroom||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Instructors can deliver nationally||Yes||Yes||No|
I’ve been so impressed by i-act’s proactive standpoint of aiming to prevent mental ill health in the workplace, vast array of self-help tools as well as tools to evaluate and develop skills of those delivering first stage support, that after 12 years as a MHFA England Instructor, I will no longer be delivering their products.
For employers who do like a formal, first aid approach to mental health, the FAA Levels 1, 2 and 3 deliver Ofqual regulated accreditation on the same three adult programmes MHFA England offers – half day awareness, one day champion and two-day first aider.
In this day and age, it’s more important than ever for employers to select the right product for their environment and team. Having the choice between accredited/non accredited and proactive/reactive training enables them to make this choice confidently and cost effectively.
Around May 2019, I saw a news feature with Duke & Duchess of Cambridge launching the 24/7 UK crisis text line Give Us A Shout.
The idea seemed simple and brilliant. Mobile providers waived their fees for texts to this service. Anyone struggling with their emotions from feeling lonely to idealation to complete suicide, any age, could text the word SHOUT to 85258 and get help to take them from a hot moment to a cool calm.
As a completely text service 24/7, those struggling didn’t have to overcome fear or anxiety of speaking to someone via a telephone line. Nor did they have to take part in a video call.
This idea peaked my interest. The new launch was to engage with volunteers to train to go on the platform and support. The training was long and intense.
A coach is assigned from joining Give Us A Shout until a volunteer decides to leave.
This wrap around support for texters and volunteers is unique so I applied and thankfully was accepted.
Starting off as a baby chick (new volunteer) I could only take one texter at a time. The commitment is to give 200 hours to the platform before deciding to leave.
That target seemed light years away and completely unattainable. However, I received the following email from my Coach – I didn’t even realise I passed the landmark!
‘Congratulations on having spent 200 hours on the Platform.
Thank you for giving so much of your time and empathy to our texters. We really appreciate every second you’ve spent with us on the Platform…….720,000 seconds to be exact!
I’m sure that when you made a commitment to do 200 hours of volunteering with Shout it seemed almost unattainable, and yet you have made that commitment a reality and for that we are all so grateful to you.
We look forward to you continuing to support texters and other Shout Volunteers with your invaluable experience for many more hours to come.‘
My plan is to continue volunteering as long as I can for this unique service. Feedback shows me, it really makes a difference to those struggling.
I always teach people I work with ‘Never look at big targets. They always feel unattainable. Instead, look at bite sized steps. You’ll soon achieve your end goal and learn so much along the way.’
I know I have.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, no matter the time of day or night or issue that’s on your mind, text the word SHOUT to 85258. Help is there. You don’t need to go on any struggle alone.
I came across this film on Eventbrite. A two part event from Australia.
Genevive is a film maker from Bondi Beach, Australia who has spent years making this documentary. If follows a group of men – all ages and backgrounds in their journey through the ups and downs of mental ill health and their strength in finding ways to make a difference to others.
I’ve been interested in mental ill health and wellbeing for many years and seen diverse projects/films/discussions trying to capture the stigma and loneliness felt by those living with mental ill health – none touched this film.
The sensitivity, respect and inclusion Genevive showed, John, Jake, Grant, David, Ivan, Dave and their families/friends conveyed the real range of emotions felt. The passage of time from the 50s/60s to today hasn’t demolished the stigma mental ill health causes. Still a taboo subject.
It’s always struck me – where does this stigma come from? We aren’t born with it. If we’ve learned it, we can surely unlearn it? Why does the mind scare us so much that we feel unable to say ‘hey, how are you feeling? I’m really concerned about you’….. The mind is just part of the body. We wouldn’t fear asking ‘how’s you leg? healed ok?’.
Happy Sad Man tells the story of a group of men. An emotional awakening of understanding on how these men feel on their rollacoaster journeys. Little gems are littered throughout the films. Grant’s synergy of living with mental ill health is like a recipe. You have to balance everything. Using fluorescent colours to start a conversation on Bondi Beach about mental health every Friday morning at 6.30am. Flouro Friday is now on 200 beaches across 40 countries. Using bright clothes and surfing to spark a conversation. Can we adapt this idea to fit the communities we live in?
David’s wet dog perfume was another highlight. His goal wasn’t to make money but to get people smiling and talking.
Jake’s journey from film maker to war photographer was stark. Even in such dire circumstances he was able to teach children in Syria, Aleppo etc to skateboard and do the things that kids everywhere do. He also taught them how to make films on their mobiles to capture the environment they live in the the futility of war.
The overall message of hope was uplifting.
There is still time today to register on Eventbrite to watch this outstanding documentary and join the live Q&A session tomorrow.
You can follow Genevieve at:
For the 10+ years I’ve been a MHFAEngland Instructor, I’ve been looking for a mental health and wellbeing programme to deliver which was accredited by a qualifying body delivering real value rather than the usual courses that just end with a Certificate of Attendance.
I stumbled across http://www.i-act.co.uk who devised mental health and well-being products specifically for the workplace. Both courses come with a 168 page manual, 50 self-help tools to use and 95 referral organisations for different mental health issues.
Having done the manager’s course – Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and WELLBeing – accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists with CPD points – I knew this was a key product which would deliver real value to my clients.
I decided to apply for the Instructor’s accreditation to deliver both the manager course and the ‘Understanding and Promoting Positive Mental Health and WELLbeing in the Workplace’ for non-management employees.
At the start of this week myself and others from all corners of the UK, Bahrain and Hong Kong met online with one of the co-founders Pete – a Clinical Psychiatrist and mine of information – also our Instructor. After watching Pete deliver, we then had to deliver the whole programme in our own style with a couple of peers giving feedback.
Solid connections were made. Messages of encouragement flowed over WhatsApp as we all became accredited instructors.
I now intend adding these two excellent courses to my portfolio of training to employers looking to ensure their staff at all levels are maintaining optimum levels of wellbeing duding real value to their bottom line and brand reputation.
The opportunities that open up when you least expect them can lead to incredible places.
When life throws you a curve ball, you can either crumple or run with it. With the lockdown continuing and people’s strange new life continuing it seemed apt to change person-to-person training to virtual where possible.
A little sceptical of how good it could be, I was astonished how well received my first course was. An informal discussion on coping with lockdown, the new challenges faced, new skills learned. Working with 16 team members at all levels of management from ISS in London, the conversation, ideas and laughter flowed. So what was the outcome? You can see some of their feedback below – and they’ve booked more courses kicking off with the key steps to starting a conversation, managing it if dark thoughts emerge and self care – critical to building resilience
‘Jane is a first class facilitator, she makes each session impactful and enjoyable which is a really difficult balance to achieve, I would wholeheartedly recommend.’ Andy Ingham, National Operations Manager – This is great feedback for me as Andy was the client and is a facilitator himself.
‘Good, not too formal, interactive and encouraged all team to participate throughout.’ Alison
‘I got a lot from the session just by listening.’ Leon
‘Jane was very open, calm and keep the session flowing easily. Jane felt like one of our team.’ Loraine
‘The information given on the session was perfect and it gave me the knowledge to look for signs and how to deal with difficult conversations especially where personal circumstances are concerned.’ Mark
So, if you are presented with an opportunity to do something different – don’t overthink it. Definitely don’t let self-doubt in. Tell yourself it will be a great experience and you will learn more about yourself doing it. What’s the worse that can happen?
Courses coming up include:
From June, the licensed global Mental Health First Aid full Adult course can be run online following MHFAEngland’s intensive collaboration with global partners to develop the new virtual programme.
As a Crisis Volunteer with Shout for the past year, I’ve seen how dealing with crisis via text messaging has literally saved lives. Who would have thought texting could have such a positive impact? Nancy Lublin the founder of Crisis Text Line in USA helped set-up Give us a Shout in the UK. Along with HRH Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Nancy spoke about why she started the text line.
Using text instead of phone lines enables people to gather their thoughts and reflect on what they are ‘writing’ in their texts. They can also reflect back later on the empathetic responses from the crisis volunteer. What Nancy discovered was those in fear of their lives from others could get help without being heard using a phone. There are now crisis text lines springing up in more countries. Mobile carriers waive the costs of texting to Shout in the UK so it’s accessible to all. If you are in trouble – text Shout to 85258.
As an Associate Tutor with British Safety Council, many of their courses including Start the Conversation, Management the Conversation, Train the Facilitator could be delivered online – something they are looking into.
We all need to think of how to do things differently. This could be a fantastic opportunity. We just need to not let doubt in.
Carpe Diem – Seize the day!