What is mental health?

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Being mentally healthy means that we feel good about ourselves, make and keep positive relationships with others and can feel and manage the full range of emotions.
These can range from happiness, excitement and curiosity through to less comfortable feelings such as anger, fear or sadness.
Good mental health allows us to cope with life’s ups and downs, to feel in control of our lives and to ask for help from others when we need support.

When do we cover mental health in our curriculum at Lister?
At Lister, we cover mental health through our curriculum with students in a range of ways:

  • PSHE lessons
  • Weekly Thought for the Week
  • Extended Tutor Time Sessions
Top Tips for Supporting Mental Health 
It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.
  • Talk to someone instead of sending an email or a social media message.
  • Speak to someone new.
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you.
  • Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is.
  • Share the journey home with someone else.
Be active
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:
  • Take the stairs not the lift
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Walk into work – perhaps with a friend – so you can ‘connect’ as well
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
  • Organise a sporting activity
  • Have a kick-about in a local park
  • Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning
Take notice
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:
  • Get a plant for your home or workspace
  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
  • Take notice of how your peers or colleagues are feeling or acting
  • Take a different route on your journey to or from work or school
  • Visit a new place for lunch
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:
  • Find out something about your peers or colleagues
  • Sign up for a class
  • Read the news or a book
  • Set up a book club
  • Do a crossword or Sudoku
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Learn a new word.
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
Talk openly about mental health
Just as you might encourage people you care about to eat fruit and veg to keep their bodies healthy (and model this behaviour yourself), talk openly about, for example, staying connected with others or being physically active in order to take care of our minds.
Further links: 
by Tessa Hall

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