Tag Archives: mental health

Go Scouting for better mental health?

The problems caused by poor mental health have been rising steadily up the health agenda, which is why a study that suggests taking part in the Scouts or Guides can help lower the risk of mental illness in later life has grabbed people’s attention.

Children who participate in these organisations, which aim to develop qualities such as self-reliance, resolve and a desire for self-learning, are likely to have better mental health in middle age, the findings show.

Scouts are 15% less likely to suffer from anxiety or mood disorders

Scouting, which frequently involves being outdoors, also seems to remove the relatively higher likelihood of mental illness in those from poorer backgrounds.

The findings come from a lifelong study of almost 10,000 people from across the UK who were born in November 1958, known as the National Child Development Study.

Around one-quarter of study participants had been in the Scouts or Guides, and those were found to be around 15% less likely to suffer from anxiety or mood disorders, compared with others.

Researchers say their findings suggest programmes that help children develop skills such as self-reliance and teamwork, and encourage being active outdoors, may have lifelong benefits. Food for thought?


Health and wellbeing begins between the ears

Health and wellbeing begins between the ears
That’s the slogan for Men’s Health Week, which runs from 15th-21st June. This year it focuses on how you can beat stress.

Too much stress can damage your immune system and heart.

Too much stress can damage your immune system and heart, and increase your chances of serious health problems. Stress can also cause mental health problems which, if unchecked, can also be serious. About three quarters of the people treated for depression are women, but about three quarters of the people who commit suicide are men.

A relentless build-up of pressure, without the opportunity to recover, can lead to harmful stress. The important thing is to recognise the warning signs and do something about it. Common signs are:

• Eating more or less than normal
• Mood swings
• Low self-esteem
• Feeling tense or anxious
• Not sleeping properly
• Feeling tired and lacking in energy
• Withdrawing from family and friends

You can find out more about how to beat stress at the Men’s Health Forum – www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Pester power not exclusive to young children – employers are good at it too

Did you get away for a well-deserved break over the holiday period? Did your boss try to get in touch while you were away?

An online YouGov poll commissioned by the mental health charity MIND has found that 24 per cent of workers said their employer had tried to contact them while they were away. The survey of over 1,250 employees highlights how the boundaries between work and life are becoming increasingly blurred.

Work/life balance is linked to good mental health

The research also indicated that only half of respondents said that their manager respects that they have a life outside work, while nearly 3 in 10 (28 per cent) admitted that they often check work email outside of work.

MIND points out that we all need a good work/life balance to help unwind and stay mentally healthy. With stress now the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, it’s in employers’ interests to ensure that they look after the wellbeing of their staff, says the charity.

Mental health first aid

People are generally pretty ignorant about mental health and what to do if someone is distressed or in a crisis situation.

This is despite the fact that in any one year, around 1 in 4 British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem. So how about taking a course in mental health first aid (MHFA) instead of the more traditional physical option?

What would you do if someone is distressed or in a crisis situation?
What would you do if someone is distressed or in a crisis situation?

MHFA is taken seriously in the US, where this year the US government has put has $15 million towards the cost of such training for front line staff, including teachers and youth workers. Teachers are in the front line since a staggering three quarters of all adult mental health problems start before the age of 18, and they can spot the early signs and symptoms in children.

Find out more at: http://mhfaengland.org/