Being Mindful for Mental Health Awareness Week with the Bank Workers Charity
We are fortunate to live in a society that seems more open to talking about mental health. With celebrities discussing their experiences of mental illness, or politicians pledging to support mental health programmes through the NHS, Mental Health is becoming acceptable to talk about. The Banking industry is no exception, and many banks are taking the issue of employee mental health seriously.
Whereas more conversation is a good thing, the issue still remains that discussions around mental health are usually negative. There is another side to this story however, a positive, inclusive message that we can all share and take part in: Mindfulness.
The 11-17th May is Mental Health Awareness Week, run by the Mental Health Foundation. This year’s focus for the week is on highlighting mindfulness, and more broadly the positive steps people can take to increase mental resilience.
Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based training that helps people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences - especially stressful experiences – and is recommended as a treatment for people with mental health problems. It is a form of meditation that allows you to find a space in which you can void distracting, negative thoughts and focus on what matters.
The Bank Workers charity supports the focus on Mindfulness because there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that it is good for us. Being mindful has many benefits. It helps to reduce stress, it boosts working memory, it makes it easier to focus on things and avoid distraction and it makes it easier to enjoy the pleasures in life as they occur, and is recommended by National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) as a treatment for depression.
If you feel mindfulness may be right for you, there are a growing number of academic institutions, organisations, and individuals teaching mindfulness across the UK. The Mental Health Foundation provides an index of mindfulness teachers in your area, and a 4 week online course designed to teach you the basics of mindfulness based therapy.
The Bank Workers Charity also provides resources to those wanting to take control of their wellbeing. Our guides on A short guide to Depression and Techniques for Managing Stress provide useful tips on managing and understanding your mental health, and a number of other guides on wellbeing can be found here
If you require more personalised assistance, we also provide a helpline to current and former bank workers and their families, staffed by specially trained advisers on 0800 0234 834, 9-5 Monday to Friday.
Please also follow us on Twitter, and tweet you your thoughts, comments and suggestions on wellbeing to pictures to @bwcharity, where we will be retweeting advice and guidance throughout Mental Health Awareness Week.