Mental Health and Wellbeing

At school

InsideOut Awards

We are very proud to announce that James Thompson (Deputy Headteacher) and the Fen Rivers Academy Team have been shortlisted for awards that celebrate organisations and individuals which showcase leadership, innovation and best practice in focussing on the mental health agenda at work.

InsideOut Recognition of services: Celebrating our mental health and those who champion it

Emotions

Good morning everyone,

I hope you are well and taking care of you.

For today’s well-being focus and linking in with National Men’s Mental Health awareness this week, I am sharing some information from Blake Psychology around why there are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ emotions and how this mindset can impact our mental health.

Basically, there are no good or bad feelings. They are JUST feelings.

We like happiness, joy, contentment, peace, love and accept these more willingly. Whereas many of our emotions might not feel as good like anger, shame, fear, anxiety and jealousy so we push them away, trying to not feel them.

However, ALL emotions are like the brain and body’s internal GPS… they are messengers letting you know information if you are on course or not, and the more you are able to welcome them without judgement but curiosity, the better it is for your overall well-being and perspective for life.

All emotions are valid, but of course, it is not ok to express emotions in a hurtful, irresponsible, or violent way.

All emotions are teachers and let us know something internal may need addressing or adjusting or just simply acknowledging.

Either way… as the saying goes… if it’s not being expressed, it’s getting stored and that can get heavy.

So, I hope you can practice the pause next time you feel an emotional response, be curious and non-judgmental and try to listen to what the emotion may be highlighting. This can help us become more reflective and self-aware as well as more empathic when trying to connect with others. To feel is to be human so none of us are alone.

All emotions don’t necessarily need to be justified, they just need to find a safe space to be felt.

Look after yourselves and each other!

#mentalhealthmatters #emotions #becurious #internalGPS #signalsnotinstructions #mensmentalhealth #humannature #wellbeingweds #igotafeeling #expressitnotstoreit #breakthestigma

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

The power of glimmers

A message from Jude Henson, Wellbeing Champion

Morning everyone,

I hope you all had a restful half term and looked after your mental health and well-being.

Today’s well-being focus is just a short one as I have been chatting a lot with many of our students recently about ‘the power of glimmers.’

We often talk so much about triggers but there is an opposite and these are called glimmers, which are small but simple moments of happiness or joy that you can find in everyday, to get through the tricky times to help keep your mindset positive and bounce back.

Finding small moments of glimmers can make us feel a sense of calm, connection, peace and safety. They can be little things we notice every day, that can instantly elevate our mood, even when we might be feeling down or in the midst of a bad day.

I’ve attached this month’s calendar from Action for Happiness as it is all about Joyful June with a small focus for each day.
https://actionforhappiness.org/sites/default/files/Jun%202024.pdf

As the saying goes “misery might like company, but so does joy… and joy throws much better parties.” – Billy Ivey

I hope you all have a joyful day in some way, shape or form and look after yourselves and each other.

#joyfuljune #glimmersmatter #makethemostofmoments #simplethings #findjoy #mentalhealth #wellbeingweds

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

The importance of sleep

A message from Jude Henson, Wellbeing Champion

Hello everyone,

I hope you are well.

As we draw closer to the much needed half term break, I’m sharing some information from Mental Health Foundation around the importance of sleep and how this impacts our wellbeing.

Another issue that links to this is a phenomenon called RBP – Revenge Bedtime Procrastination.

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination (RBP) is where individuals deliberately delay their bedtime routines, often sacrificing sleep in favour of reclaiming personal time and freedom during late hours. This pattern has become increasingly prevalent, particularly since the onset of the pandemic, affecting various demographics.

Among those affected are:

1. Busy parents of young children, who cherish the quiet moments of solitude after a hectic day.

2. Individuals grappling with occupational stress and burnout, seeking solace in late-night activities to decompress.

3. People who feel overburdened by their professional or caregiving responsibilities, neglecting self-care in favour of productivity.

4. Those plagued by anxiety, finding it difficult to unwind and experiencing restless thoughts that keep them awake.

5. Individuals struggling with time management and procrastination, procrastinating on sleep in favour of unfinished tasks or leisure activities.

6. Pre-teens and teens craving autonomy and connection, finding solace in late-night interactions through gaming or social media.

Recognizing the detrimental impact of RBP on overall well-being, it’s essential to take proactive steps toward change. Whether for yourself or a loved one, addressing RBP and improving sleep habits is paramount to physical and mental health and well-being.

So, there are lots of small, simple things you can do to give yourself the best chance of getting high quality sleep.

Take a look through the sleep advice and tips and find what works for you.

I hope you all have a much-needed restful half term. Look after yourselves, because you matter!

#sleep #recharge #qualityoflife #wellbeingweds #mentalhealthmatters #restwell #dailyroutines #lookafteryou

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

Taking notice

A message from Jude Henson, Wellbeing Champion

Hi all,

I hope you are well and looking after your mental health.

As it is Mental Health Awareness week, I’m writing a short note as a reminder about “taking notice” and how this links to our mental health and well-being in our minds and bodies.

Becoming more aware of the present moments in life can help us interact more positively with the world around us, as well as understand ourselves better. When we become more aware, we can begin to experience things in a fresh way, when we may have been taking it for granted beforehand.

When we become more aware of the present moments, this improves our mental well-being. It includes your thoughts, feelings, your body sensations and the environment around you.

Taking notice can help to:

  • improve your mood
  • make you feel more relaxed
  • feel calmer and less stressed
  • feel more able to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings
  • cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts
  • be kinder towards yourself
  • can strengthen and broaden awareness (of self and others)
  • reflect on your day and experiences
  • appreciate the world around you.

So, I hope today you will take notice by taking a little bit of time, to stop, pause, be still and look around you.

Notice 3 things:

  • What energises you
  • What you are grateful for
  • What’s not working and why.

Take the time when you can, because you matter! Look after yourselves and each other.

#mentalhealthawareness #noticecheck #thoughtsandfeelings #bodyscan #youmatter #presentself #wellbeingweds

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

Positive Conversations

A message from Jude Henson, Wellbeing Champion

Hi everyone,

I hope this email finds you well and taking care of you.

For this weeks Well-being focus I’m sharing about the importance of positive conversations.

We all know in todays busy bustling workplaces, where tasks can pile up and demands loom, the importance of fostering open dialogue in the workplace is not just beneficial but essential.  Conversations can evoke emotions and establish connection and bonds between you and others.

Every interaction is an invaluable opportunity to gather information on how things are for someone, which in turn, can then help direct effective support and clarity for the situation.

So why is it good to talk and how does this positively support our mental health and well-being?

A few things:

  • Improved Collaboration: when people feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns, it fosters a culture of collaboration. Through open communication, teams can brainstorm innovative solutions, troubleshoot challenges, and work together more effectively towards common goals.
  • Enhanced Problem-Solving: Effective communication allows for the free flow of information, enabling teams to address issues promptly and find solutions efficiently. Whether it’s resolving conflicts, overcoming obstacles, or adapting to changes, clear communication is key to problem-solving.
  • Boosted Morale and Engagement: Feeling heard and valued in the workplace is essential for morale and engagement. When people take the time to listen actively and communicate openly together, it creates a positive work environment where everyone feels motivated to contribute their best.
  • Reduced Stress: Miscommunication and misunderstandings can lead to unnecessary stress and tension in the workplace. By encouraging open dialogue and providing opportunities for people to express themselves, can minimise conflicts and create a more harmonious work environment.
  • Support for Mental Health: In today’s fast-paced work culture, mental health is more important than ever. By normalising conversations about mental health and creating a supportive atmosphere where people feel comfortable discussing their struggles, seeking support and organisations can promote overall wellbeing and reduce stigma.

With this in mind, I hope you initiate some positive conversations with each other today, whether it’s sharing your thoughts, expressing appreciation for a task well done or discussing a need and finding a supportive solution.

Together, let’s create a workplace where positive communication flourishes, collaboration thrives, and everyone feels valued and supported.

After all, it’s good to talk!

#mentalhealthmatters #good2talk #community #wellbeingweds #positiveconversations #talkitout

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

Meaningful with purpose

A message from Jude Henson, Wellbeing Champion

Hi everyone!

I hope you are looking after yourselves and each other.

For this week’s ‘Wednesday Well-being’ focus I’m sharing about how being ‘meaningful with purpose’ can support our overall well-being, individually and collectively.

Having a purpose and feeling fulfilled in life has a big impact on our overall happiness and mindset.
When you have a clear purpose, it gives you direction, you start to know yourself better and can make decisions that align with your core values and beliefs- have you ever asked yourself what really matters to you?

This is different for everyone and often best viewed as a process or journey – one that involves becoming self-aware and what drives you.

Motivation and joy are not sentiments that can be faked. We might tell ourselves we enjoy doing something good but actually only some activities truly and innately resonate with us, whereas others may not.

Passion is about authentic internal drivers that can arise from personal experiences in life. Purpose is the reason behind why these things motivate us.

Although it’s not possible to feel 100% passionate all the time, purpose and meaning are our reminders to keep going, and remembering why we started. Passion fuels purpose!

Humanity is hard-wired to feel empathy and fulfilling activities that indirectly or directly help others helps us feel needed and appreciated in return.

Meaningful activities can also include things we do for ourselves such as physical, social or leisure activities, that serve our needs and preferences – giving us a sense of purpose in life, structure, skills, challenge or self-expression and self-confidence.

Helping others also makes us happier and healthier by fostering connection, supporting exchange of ideas, developing purpose and creating stronger communities.

With this in mind, I’ve attached the latest Action for Happiness calendar for some thoughts for each day and I hope you all have a Meaningful May because we really are ‘better together’.

#motivation #passion #selfawareness #team #community #empathicliving #wellbeingweds #mentalhealthmatters #whatsyourpurpose

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

Addressing Stress

A message from Jude Henson, Wellbeing Champion

Morning all,

As we reach the middle of the week, I hope you are keeping yourselves well.

If you weren’t aware, the month of April is stress awareness month so as a small reminder on the importance of addressing stress, I’m sharing a brief overview of tips from Mental Health UK.

Stress is our body’s response to pressure that manifests itself in many different ways. It’s the feeling of being overwhelmed and finding it hard to cope emotionally and/or mentally. Taking time to identify the emotional and mental pressures in our lives and addressing them is a good way to understand and protect our mental health and well-being.

When stress is left unchecked, it can take a huge toll on our physical and mental health. That’s why it’s important to know some simple techniques to draw on to help manage stress daily.

For further reading and to learn more about ways to manage stress please click here: https://bit.ly/3q3sGM3

Take care and look after yourselves, in all ways, always!

#StressAwarenessMonth #mentalhealthmatters #wellbeingweds #priorities #lookafteryou

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

The importance of personal and collective wellbeing

A message from Jude Henson, Wellbeing Champion

Morning everyone,

I hope you all had a great Easter break and took the time needed to rest, recharge and replenish yourself.

Today I’m sharing an article by another work-based ‘well-being champion’ Nano Kofi Nyarko-Appiah about the importance of personal and collective wellbeing.

“Wellbeing, a word tossed around a lot these days, often in boardrooms and company retreats. But true wellbeing isn’t just a corporate buzzword; it’s the foundation for a fulfilling and healthy life.

The good news? Our wellbeing is largely in our own hands. We can cultivate healthy habits, prioritize sleep, nourish our bodies with good food, and move our bodies regularly. We can nurture relationships, find activities that bring us joy, and practice mindfulness to manage stress. These choices, big and small, create a ripple effect, influencing our energy, resilience, and overall happiness.

However, individual efforts alone can only go so far. Companies and institutions have a responsibility to move beyond the “wellbeing talks” and action on their words. This means creating a work environment that actively supports employee wellbeing. Flexible work schedules, wellbeing programs, and on-site facilities are all positive steps. But it goes deeper. Cultivating a culture of open communication, offering mental health resources, and prioritizing work-life balance are crucial.

Here’s why this matters.  When employees feel truly cared for and supported, they’re more engaged, productive, and loyal. A company that prioritizes wellbeing fosters a positive and collaborative environment, attracting and retaining top talent.

Imagine a world where personal and collective wellbeing efforts work in hand-in-hand. Individuals empowered with the knowledge and resources to thrive, while companies invest in creating a supportive ecosystem. This is the future we should strive for.

So, let’s take charge! Let’s make healthy choices for ourselves, hold companies accountable for creating supportive workplaces, and advocate for a future where wellbeing is not just a trend, but a way of life. It’s time to move beyond talks and prioritize actions that empower all of us to flourish.”

So, that in a nutshell is why our personal and collective wellbeing is so important, the culture and environment we need to create as we start a new term together and should remain a top priority for us all!!

Look after yourself and each other.

#wellbeingweds #workplaceculture #noIinteam #selfcare #mindset #worklifebalance #mentalhealthmatters #livewell #removethestigma #inittogether

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

Happy Easter and look after yourselves

A message from Jude Henson, Wellbeing Champion

Hi everyone!

It’s the last day!!!!….. So for well-being Wednesday this one is simply going to say……..

**** Well done! You made it! *******

Enjoy every second of your well-deserved break after today, rest well and most importantly switch off from work mode!

Oh, and here’s a bunch of quotes saying the same! 

Happy Easter and look after yourselves. 

#mentalhealthmatters #restwork+play #relax #recharge #wellbeingweds #itsoktodisconnect #takeabreak #unwind #selfcareisntselfish

Best wishes,

Jude Henson

Advocate / DDSL
Mental Health and Grief First Aider
Wellbeing Champion
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Lead

Inner Peace

Managing Stress

Difficult Days

Mindfulness

Self-Care

Connection

Self-help books

A head full of blue

N Johnstone, 2003

 

I had a dog: his name was depression

M Johnstone, 2007

 

The mindful way through anxiety: Break free from chronic worry and reclaim your life

S.M Orsillo, 2011

 

Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

M Williams & D Penman, 20011

 

Quiet the mind: An illustrated guide on How to Meditate

M Johnstone, 2012

 

Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A slef-help guide using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

D Veale, 2009

Helpful contact references

Finding a therapist

British association for behavioural and cognitive psychotherapies.
0161 7054304
Website: www.babcp.com

 

Abuse (domestic, child, sexual)

One in four, Charity supporting childhood sexual abuse
0208 6972112
Website: www.oneinfour.org.uk

 

NSPCC

0808 800 5000
Website: www.NSPCC.org.uk

 

Addiction and substance misuse

Adfam, Families Drugs and Alcohol support
0207 5537640
Website: www.adfam.org.uk

 

Anxiety

Anxiety UK, support
08444 775774
Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

 

Bereavement 

Bereavement advice centre UK
0800 6349494
Website: www.bereavementadvice.org

 

Crime victims

Victim support
0808 1689111
Website: www.victimsupport.org.uk

 

Debt

The Money Advice Service
0800 1387777
Website: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

 

Depression

Depression UK
www.depressionuk.org

 

Eating disorder

BEAT National support group
Youth no: 0345 6347650
Adult no (over 18yrs): 0345 6341414
Website: www.b-eat.co.uk

 

Employment and mental health

ACAs – Advisory conciliation and arbitration service
0300 1231100
Website: www.acas.org.uk

 

Family, Parenting, Relationships

Family Action
0207 2546251
Website: www.family-action.org.uk

 

LGBTQ

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender switchboard
0300 3300630
Website: www.switchboard.lgbt

 

Self harm

NSHN – National Self-harm Network
Website: www.nshn.co.uk

Signposting Support

"It is okay not to be okay, but it is not okay to do nothing about it."