Mental health is the way we think and feel and our ability to deal with ups and downs.
Mental health is something we all have. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to do the things we want to do, and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives.
When we think about our physical health, there's a place for keeping ourselves fit, and a place for getting appropriate help as early as possible so we can get better. Mental health is just the same.
If you enjoy good mental health, you can:
- make the most of your potential
- cope with what life throws at you
- play a full part in your relationships, your workplace, and your community.
Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can fluctuate as circumstances change and as you move through different stages in your life.
What is mental health?
We all have times when we feel down, stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into a mental health issues like anxiety or depression, which can impact on our daily lives
Factors like poverty, genetics, childhood trauma, discrimination, or ongoing physical illness make it more likely that we will develop mental health issues.
Different mental health problems affect people in different ways and it’s key to understand an individual’s experience. Diagnosis is not a definite way to understand a person’s experience.
How do I recognise mental ill health?
If we have significant challenges in our life, the chances are that it has an impact on our mental health.
Mental health issues can have a lot of different symptoms and signs. As a rule, you should seek help from your GP if you have difficult feelings that are:
- stopping you from getting on with life
- having a big impact on the people you live or work with
- affecting your mood over several weeks
- causing you to have thoughts of suicide.
We might notice that we are more tired than usual. We might make uncharacteristic mistakes, find it hard to motivate ourselves, our timekeeping might slip, or we may be short tempered.
We might look or feel very tired or drained. We might find we isolate ourselves, avoid colleagues or friends or appear distracted. We might procrastinate more – or grind to a halt altogether. Or we might speed up or become chaotic, intruding into others’ conversations and work, and taking on more work than we can manage, outbursts of anger or emotion, absences, or not looking after their appearance as they normally would. You may see signs that they have been sleeping less or perhaps drinking more.
We may find these early warning signs hard to see in ourselves, and it can help to have colleagues or friends who can help us connect this to our mental health.
How can we help?
The College has a mental health and wellbeing team which consists of: HR, Student Services, Counsellors and Mental Health First Aiders.
External Mental Health and Wellbeing Services
The Eastleigh College Team has highlighted a range of resources around different topics to help support you with your mental health. Click on each subheading below to view the resources. All the books mentioned can be found in the Learner Hub.
Counselling for all learners
At Eastleigh College we offer a free and confidential counselling service to all learners and staff. It is here to help you work through anything that is worrying you, or causing you pain or distress. It’s a space where you can talk openly about anything that is on your mind, without judgement or criticism.
Learners can refer themselves to counselling, or they can ask a tutor or a supportive member of staff to refer them. There is an easy to fill in form here to refer yourself, or someone else. If you’d like to talk about a potential referral, you can either email firstname.lastname@example.org, or text or phone 07930 401 434 (this is a confidential number so you can leave messages and we’ll get back to you).
Counselling for staff
Eastleigh College offers the following two services free of charge to staff. Call 07845 936574 or email email@example.com.
1. Telephone Counselling
This is a dedicated counselling telephone line which is staffed by fully trained counsellors. The first call will be an exploratory conversation and following this a number of further telephonesessions (up to six) will be booked with the individual if they so wish. The 24 hour helpline is available throughout the year and is totally confidential to all members of staff. The calls are not recorded and the College is not involved in the process. Dependent on what is appropriate, the counsellor may at any time (either during or at the end of the series of sessions) suggest further self help groups who may be able to assist you. There may be a charge for these further services.
2. Face-to-face counselling
If you prefer, you can have up to six sessions of face-to-face counselling for any personal or work related issues within a twelve month period. An initial session will explore the background to the current difficulties, and identify a focus for the counselling sessions which follow, usually at weekly intervals. The timescale for resolving difficulties varies with each individual and situation. So, at any stage in the face-to-face counselling process, you may be referred on elsewhere for additional or more appropriate help. There may be a charge to you for these further services.
Anger Management, Coping With Anxiety & Managing Self Harm
We run groups and offer short term programmes of one to one work on these three issues. The groups are accessible through referral. To refer and for further information, just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call or text 07930 401 434.
Eastleigh College holds, as one of its highest priorities, the health, safety and welfare of all young people and vulnerable adults involved in courses or activities that the College are responsible for. We are committed to promoting practices that protect young people and vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect or significant harm and to the creation of a safe environment for young people and vulnerable adults through robust safeguarding practices. For more information click here.
EduCare Online Learning for staff
All staff can complete the following online courses for free:
- Mental Wellbeing in Children and Young People
- Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools