This week, Monday 9 May to Sunday 15 May, is mental health awareness week and the theme this year is loneliness.
We know that since the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness is affecting more of us and having a big impact on our mental wellbeing. We've had to isolate from our friends and families and many of us had to adapt to a new way of working from home.
We have lost those ‘Water Cooler’ moments which allow us break away from the busy work environment and have casual conversations with colleagues. It can also feel harder to reach out and discuss an issue that might be concerning you while working remotely, meaning problems can go unsolved and lead to more stress.
For many people, social situations may feel more daunting than they used to. People may feel as if they have forgotten how to socialise and may even feel lonely in a crowd.
Here at the Devon Wellbeing Hub, we were set up during COVID-19 so have never had a base and until recently, some of us had never even met in person! We are still able to work productively but we miss out on those face-to-face relationships and informal conversations with one another.
Last week, we got together as a group for our own team away day and took part in Horsemanship for Health. It was a brilliant experience being with the horses and it gave us some valuable time to slow down and focus on connections. During the day, we were reminded of how important it is to be in the moment and we were able to communicate with one another openly. The Devon Recovery Learning Community (DRLC) are offering similar experiences for individuals which you can book through their website.
We also have monthly reflective practice sessions as a team, which enables us to discuss anything that may be on or minds – whether related to work or our personal life – and support one another in a safe and confidential space.
Our team of psychologists and psychotherapists in the Devon Wellbeing Hub run workshops or reflective groups for teams who would like support and an opportunity to think about collective wellbeing. The aim is to offer your team an intervention that is bespoke to your collective needs. Referrals can be made by a team manager and we will be in touch to offer an initial meeting.
For those who may be struggling, our Senior Colleague Wellbeing Practitioner, Natalie Canepa, has put together some top tips on how to manage loneliness:
Get in touch
Getting support from the Devon Wellbeing Hub is simple. If you work in healthcare, social care or the police and are struggling with any aspect of your wellbeing, please get in touch by emailing email@example.com or by calling 0300 303 5455. You can also fill out the simple referral form on the Devon Wellbeing Hub website.