It's okay not to be okay
This Saturday, October 10th 2020, is World Mental Health Day- as recognized by the World Health Organisation. Here at ICS, we take mental health very seriously and ensure that we do everything we can to keep our community supported with any mental health challenges they may face. Over the summer all our staff took part in Mental Heath First Aid training. It was a week-long course with a wealth of learning, tips, and exercises to ensure our staff can support clients when they get in touch.
Mental Health and ICS
We have been regularly calling all of our clients to check-in and ensure that they are in a good mental and physical space. We provide an ear to listen to any problems they are facing or simply for a nice chat and catch-up.
Over the summer, we had the pleasure of partnering with the brilliant team at StressMatters HQ who delivered a course that covered skills to help with managing every day stress.
They also made a video link of the course available so that clients could complete the learning at their own time, in their own space.
The sessions help you to identify and dissect the core of stress alongside providing the skills and tips to combat it with a variety of visual exercises. The session host, Laura, explained that by breaking it down into smaller problems, you can de-escalate the stress in your life at a realistic pace. Some of our community stated:
"It really felt tailored to me specifically which I loved"
"The exercises are so simple and easy to refer back to outside of the sessions"
As many of you are aware, we are unable to run our lunch clubs at present. However, we did have the pleasure of being able to host smaller tea-cake club sessions where members of our community were able to catch-up, laugh and share some treats. Even on a small scale like this being able to meet up safely, catch up and enjoy seeing your friends makes such a difference. Its important to us to try to keep this alive for our community as much as possible.
Taking care of your physical health is scientifically proven to improve your mental health. Experts maintain that exercising regularly relieves symptoms of depression and a study found that walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.
We understand that is harder to be active in these times so, as part our online community project, we have been hosting a weekly online chair exercise class for people to stay active and keep moving. The ICS walking group has also returned and runs every Friday at 1pm. As well as the physical benefits of both these sessions, they are great ways to socialise with members of your community which helps in improving mental health also. For further details on how to get involved with these groups, contact Jo on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you ever feel overwhelmed, we are always here to help.
You are more than welcome to call or email us. We have a be-friending service and a team of wonderful volunteers who can keep in touch with you regularly.
Alternatively, talk to friends or family about anything bothering you or just for light-hearted conversation.
Do get in touch if you would like to take part in any of these activities and to hear our full range.
It is so important to stay connected at a time like this and prioritise your mental health and Irish Community Services is here to help in any way we can. Until next time… stay safe!