Mental Health Awareness Week

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Health Assured team

13 May 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 will take place from 13th to 19th May 2024, and the theme will focus on ‘Movement: Moving more for our mental health’.

Being active is important for our mental health. But many of us struggle to get enough exercise regularly. We know there are many different reasons for this – work, looking after family members, domestic responsibilities – add everything up and our lives are suddenly busier than we anticipated.

However, this Mental Health Awareness Week we want to help people find moments for movement and exercise in their daily routines. The relationship between physical activity, exercise, and mental health plays a crucial role in promoting both our physical and mental wellbeing, with short and long-term benefits.

1 in 6 people experience mental health problems in the workplace and according to the World Health Organisation, over 12 billion working days are lost to depression and anxiety globally every year. Many psychologists believe that engaging in regular physical activity is the best way to alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.

Let’s explore how it positively impacts our mental health:

  1. Mood Enhancement: When we engage in physical activity, our bodies release feel-good hormones that can improve our mood. Regular exercise acts as a natural mood booster, reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. It’s like a mental reset button!
  2. Boosting Self-Esteem and Confidence: Exercise helps build self-esteem and confidence. Achieving fitness goals, whether big or small, gives us a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
  3. Increased Motivation and Focus: Physical activity enhances our cognitive function. It sharpens our focus, making it easier to tackle daily tasks and challenges.
  4. Stress Reduction: Exercise is an excellent stressbuster. It helps dissipate tension, anxiety, and mental fatigue. When life feels overwhelming, a brisk walk or a yoga session can work wonders.
  5. Calming the Mind: Dealing with difficult emotions like anger, frustration, or sadness? Exercise provides an outlet. It calms the mind and allows us to process emotions more effectively.
  6. Social Connection: Whether it’s a group fitness class, a jog with a friend, or a team sport, exercise fosters social interaction. Connecting with others reduces loneliness and promotes mental wellbeing.

Remember, any amount of physical activity is beneficial. Start at your own pace, find activities you enjoy, and gradually increase your level of movement. Adults should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, including strength-building exercises. Whether it’s a walk, a dance class, or lifting weights, every little bit counts!

Get closer to nature

We all live with worries and fears, uncertainties, losses that leave us feeling sad and pressures that make us feel stressed.

Being in nature can have a calming effect on us and help alleviate those feelings. We have been living around other animals and plants for thousands of years. Many people say nature helps them feel calmer, more hopeful, and less alone.

To get the best out of nature's healing effects, try tuning your senses to what's around you - the trees, plants, birds, and animals, for instance, and water such as ponds or the seashore. Take a deep breath and see how you feel. The idea is to get connected with your natural surroundings.

Reach out for support

This World Mental Health Week, remember to look after your mental health as well as others. If you feel like you are struggling to cope with life’s pressures and stresses, we can offer you help and support when you need it.

At Health Assured, our Assistance Programmes offer support, advice, and guidance on a wide range of mental health issues. Our wellbeing counsellors are ready to listen 24/7, 365 days a year on our dedicated helpline.

Talk to us 0800 206 2552

Support your employees with an EAP

With a Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), we can offer you practical advice and support when it comes to dealing with workplace stress and anxiety issues.

Our EAP service provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health in the workplace and at home. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support your employees' mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.


Find out more about EAPs


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