A Time for Relfection!
Mental Health Awareness Week (10th to 16th May 2021) is a great time to reflect on how we have all cared for our mental health during what has been one of our most challenging years yet!
We recognise that it is not only the people we support who have faced significant challenges over the past year but our staff too and we thought that this week would be a good time to take a look at how well we have all supported each other.
One of the ways we supported staff and ensured they had tools available to them to help maintain good mental health throughout the pandemic was to hold a number of digital WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) sessions. The aim of the sessions was to provide the people who attended an opportunity to connect which was very important and, for many, has been a lifeline.
What is WRAP?
WRAP is a tool that can aid an individual’s recovery and its underpinning principles support the recovery approach. WRAP is a way of monitoring wellness, times of being less well and times when experiences are uncomfortable and distressing. It also includes details of how an individual would like others to support them at these different times.
WRAP has 5 key principles:
- Hope: people who experience mental health difficulties get well, stay well and go on to meet their life dreams and goals.
- Personal responsibility: it's up to you, with the assistance of others, to take action and do what needs to be done to keep yourself well.
- Education: learning all you can about what you are experiencing so you can make good decisions about all aspects of your life.
- Self advocacy: effectively reaching out to others so that you can get what it is that you need, want and deserve to support your wellness and recovery.
- Support: while working toward your wellness is up to you, receiving support from others, and giving support to others, will help you feel better and enhance the quality of your life.
The sessions were positively received with one member of staff saying: -
“I thoroughly enjoyed all my sessions attended. We were fortunate to have a good group and I enjoyed the aspect of multiple people interacting online so much more than face to face sessions. I took part in these sessions initially to meet other people in a similar situation to myself and my initial thought was that it would be good for a chat and a catch up. However, by week 3 everyone was being so open and honest and I realised I was getting so much more from the sessions than I had envisaged. I enjoyed listening to others and got hints and tips on the methods and tools they were using to keep well and was able to adapt them into my own daily routines. It has been great connecting with other colleagues and being able to express myself in a safe environment”.
Pam Butter, Area Manager and Advanced WRAP Facilitator added: -
“It was no doubt that the staff have done a remarkable job during the lockdown and shown great resilience to coping through it all, but as time has gone on and people have had so many ‘curve balls’ thrown at them we have all started to need that additional support to help us get through this time. It has been brilliant to have had the opportunity to work closely and differently with staff at this time”.
The difference it has made to some has been amazing! For some staff who were shielding the course helped them by giving them a real connection with colleagues and the opportunity to be heard and learn from others on what they were doing to care for themselves and get through a difficult period. In one case, the sessions prompted a staff member, who said they were not in a good place, to go and seek more support for themselves.
Staff were also able to access the organisation’s Employee Assistance Programme - LifeWorks and they have been a fantastic and invaluable support to each other.
If you would like to know more please email email@example.com or if you are staff member and need support, please speak with your Line Manager.