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World Mental Health Day – 10th October 2017
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27th September 2017

As a Teaching School Alliance  we are really forward thinking in terms of mental health and we have Mental Health First Aiders in most of our schools-trained by the teaching school. We also have many senior leaders with a focus on ‘wellbeing’ not to mention other things like our commitment to ‘coaching’ and physical activity like ‘the daily mile’. We know that all these things make our schools a nicer place to work in.

As you know World Mental Health Day founded by the World Federation for Mental Health, is fast approaching ( 10th October). The day offers an opportunity for everyone to talk openly about mental health and for schools to share the important work they are doing to make mental wellbeing a reality for people worldwide.

This year’s theme is mental health in the workplace. Stress, anxiety and depression are the biggest cause of sickness absence in our society, with work-related stress accounting for 45% of all working days lost to ill health in 2015/16. Mental health related absences cost UK employers an estimated £35 billion per year – over £1,300 per employee – on top of the productivity lost to presenteeism every day.

As a teaching school with a focus on ‘wellbeing’  we are encouraging our schools to use World Mental Health Day to review their wellbeing strategy and make sure we all know how to look after ourselves and each other. We have some suggestions for how you can mark this important day:

  • Explore and share the new Workplace Wellbeing toolkitIn the week commencing 2nd October, MHFA England is releasing a unique workplace wellbeing strategic toolkit filled with tips, videos and downloadable resources to help guide your workplace clients step by step through a whole organisation approach to mental health. This is building on the highly successful Take Ten Together toolkit.
  • Take 10 Together pods: Don’t just encourage staff and children  to talk openly about mental health, take the next step and suggest that they create a unique space to do this. These ‘pods’ are simple to set up – download our ‘Take 10 Together at Work’ poster and place it above two chairs, and then encourage colleagues to take the opportunity to take ten minutes to talk openly about how they’re feeling in the pod.
  • Time to Change Pledge: Encourage colleagues to sign the Time to Change Employer Pledge and demonstrate your commitment to ending the stigma around workplace mental health. By signing the Pledge organisations will join a growing movement of more than 500 employers in England across all sectors from FTSE 100 companies and leading retailers to Government departments and local authorities.
  • Train new Mental Health First Aiders: why not add to your team of trained YOUTH Mental Health First Aiders : http://allianceforlearning.co.uk/cpd/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/youth-mental-health-first-aid/

We’d love to hear about how you’re recognising World Mental Health Day 2017! You can email us, tweet us @AFLTeachingSch @MHFAEngland or share your photos on #WMHD17 and #MHFA.

You may want to read our latest blog here about our work in Warrington : https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/blog/positive-impact-Youth-MHFA/