Reconnect with nature this Mental Health Awareness Week
This Monday (10 May) marks the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.
The week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from 10 to 16 May.
This year, the theme for the week is ‘Nature’. Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways.
Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role for our mental health.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health.
“During the week, we want to hear millions of people’s stories about how the natural world has supported their mental health.
“We also want to highlight the huge disparities between who is and who isn’t able to access nature. We want the week to explore how everyone across the UK can connect with nature and experience the mental health benefits wherever they live.”
Healthy minds start here
Throughout May, ICAS will be highlighting the importance of maintaining good mental fitness through various activity including articles, podcasts and the May edition of CA Magazine which is dedicated to the topic of mental health.
ICAS will also be hosting two ICAS Insights webinars in May with expert speakers examining common causes of poor mental health and providing advice on how to manage them. Mental wellbeing campaigner Geoff McDonald and mental fitness advocate Jonny Jacobs CA discussed how to address the stigma linked to mental health during the ‘Ending workplace stigma linked to mental health’ session on Thursday 6 May.
ICAS Vice President, and host of the CA Agenda podcast, Indy Hothi CA will be joined by Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist Gin Lalli for an innovative session titled ‘How to empty your ‘stress bucket’’ on Tuesday 11 May. Using examples and metaphors, Gin will provide an accurate, straightforward explanation of brain function and how, by improving just one underestimated area of your life, you can empty your ‘stress bucket’.
Beyond this month, ICAS has made a long-term strategic commitment to the wellbeing of its Students, Members and colleagues in the launch of its new Mental Fitness Pledge. The three-year plan aims to break down the stigma surrounding mental ill-health in business, provide access to resources and see ICAS become a leading voice for the promotion of mental fitness.
When announcing the pledge, Bruce Cartwright CA, ICAS Chief Executive said, “the crucial thing for each of us to remember is that we’ve all got mental health. For some, a difficult event may create a temporary change. For others, it is a long-term problem, a part of their daily life that requires long-term support.”
“Whatever your own circumstances, we want ICAS to be a community you can rely on and by signalling our intentions with the launch of our pledge we want to ensure that the message is communicated far and wide.”
What resources are available to help?
There are some great sources of information available to those who want some guidance on how to look after their mental health, with much of it specifically focusing on doing so while living in lockdown.
The Mental Health Foundation has some helpful advice around keeping your mental wellness a priority, signposts for people to follow if they want to reach out for support and some great tips on how to get out and make the most of nature.
The mental health charity Mind also provides help and support both for those who are looking for information for themselves, and those who want some guidance on how to help someone else.
Additional support for CAs
In August, ICAS launched CA Wellbeing, a place for ICAS Students and Members to learn more about wellbeing-related topics, with debate and ideas, and links to information and assistance.
SCABA – The Scottish Chartered Accountants’ Benevolent Association (SCABA) is a charity which supports CAs, their dependants and prospective CAs who are in need. SCABA was founded in 1919 and since then has supported hundreds of members and their families. Life-changing events mean that support may be needed for a variety of reasons such as ill-health, redundancy, debt, re-training etc. Find out more about how SCABA can help you.
Mentoring – At ICAS we understand the importance of career mentoring and the vital role it can play in a Chartered Accountant’s professional success. If you are looking for any guidance or support at the moment, then consider reaching out to another CA via our mentoring platform.