Men’s Health Week – 13th to 19th June 2022

Men’s Health Week presents a terrific opportunity for employers to bring awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately, and to encourage male employees to think more about their health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing Partners’ selection of relevant workshops include:

Men’s Health – presented by our award-winning men’s health educator and campaigner Peter Baker, this 60-minute live and interactive session encourages men to engage in discussion and learn about different aspects of physical and mental health that are most likely to impact men such as heart disease, prostate and other cancers, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction and other sexual health issues, diabetes, weight, alcohol and substance misuse, depression and more. The session promotes the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, providing simple, straightforward advice, and encourages men to think more about their wellbeing and access health services when required. (In-person or online)

Men’s Mental Health – presented by one our fully qualified counselling psychotherapists and men’s mental health specialists, this 60-minute live and interactive session focuses on removing stigma and shame around men discussing and seeking help for mental health issues, provides effective tips and techniques for how men can improve their mental health and wellbeing, and signposts men to the variety of support services they can access if required (including promoting services such as an EAP).

Mindfulness for Men – presented by our James Milford, our head of behavioural sciences and a fully qualified mindfulness-based cognitive therapist, this 60-minute live and interactive session offers your male employees an ideal opportunity to learn about the science behind mindfulness and to try a range of meditations as a highly effective form of DIY mental healthcare. Using evidence-based and scientifically proven mindfulness and meditation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety, overcome unhelpful thinking patterns, improve sleep and benefit overall health. (In-person or online)

One to One Wellbeing Sessions – our team of fully qualified wellbeing coaches include five male therapists, who we can make available to your employees during Men’s Health Week, or at any time of the year! These sessions offer tailored, confidential mental health and wellbeing support directly to your employees, including those who might be otherwise reluctant to access mental health support, based on their individual requirements. (In-person or online)

Employee Health Screening – Know Your Numbers – our team of registered occupational health nurses come to your workplace to provide employees with individual health checks onsite. Tests include cholesterol and blood sugar levels, blood pressure, waist:hip ratio & BMI; cardiovascular, discussion around alcohol consumption, exercise, smoking and diet, plus overall health. Each employee receives their personalised results in a graphical and easy to understand report, with signposting to specific health services where relevant. We also provide your organisation with an anonymous overview of the health of your employees, and a comparison with national average. (In-person)

Did you know?

Diabetes Week runs from the 8th to the 13th of June. Our fully qualified nutritional therapists present a range of relevant workshops such as ‘Sugar Awareness: Reducing Sugar from your Diet’ and ‘Nutrition and Healthy Eating’.

Healthy Eating Week runs from the 14th to the 20th of June and focuses on helping us be more aware of what foods we need to increase and avoid to balance our diet and eat more healthily. Our workshops include “Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating’; ‘All about Breakfast’; as well as Cooking Demonstrations and ‘One-to-One Nutrition Sessions.

World Yoga Day is on the 21st of June, a day for fun and learning about all the different types of Yoga and its benefits. We offer 45 minute sessions in-person or online with our fully qualified yoga teachers. All welcome from beginners to intermediate level. Yoga mats are provided for in-house sessions.

Getting Started

Enter your details below or call us on 020 3951 7685 to get started

18 May 2022

The Framework for Supportive Conversations

The Framework for Supportive Conversations

If a colleague, team member or indeed a friend or loved one is struggling with their mental health or has a personal life issue or crisis that they have disclosed to us, we can easily be drawn into those conversations and find ourselves offering advice, trying to fix them or rescue their situation, or perhaps we become overly involved in their issues, or end up giving them anecdotes about our own experiences in the hope that it will somehow be supportive for them.

But the truth is, none of these things are actually helpful to someone who is struggling with their mental health or a personal life crisis. Giving advice, trying to fix or rescue or self-disclosing our own issues is more likely to be damaging, disempowering and not really what the other person wants or needs. Especially within the workplace, where the added dimension of hierarchies can come in to play and fears of delayed career progression can be an actual or perceived danger for someone who discloses mental health issues.

So how should we navigate supportive conversations in a psychologically safe way? What are the right and wrong things to say and do if someone discloses to us that they have a mental health issue, is struggling, or is in crisis or distress?

The Framework for Supportive Conversations is Wellbeing Partners’ easy to understand, simple to follow “conversation map” that provides clear boundaries and skills for holding any type of discussion around mental health, distress, crisis or personal life issues, or even emotionally charged conversations around work matters.

The Framework for Supportive Conversation provides clear guidance around what to say, what not to say, key questions to ask, and explains how to navigate these conversations successfully and skilfully so that they remain appropriate and helpful, and lead to appropriate support where required. The Framework gives clear guidance so that no-one becomes “enmeshed”, makes unhelpful comments, provides unqualified advice or gets overly-involved in colleagues’ or team members’ mental health issues or personal life difficulties.

The Framework for Supportive Conversations is one of the core elements of many of our short training courses, including Mental Health Training for Managers (2 hours), our Wellbeing for HR Course (90 minutes), and our Talking Mental Health Course for all employees (90 minutes).

The Framework provides the boundaries for supportive conversations, and includes:

  • Preparing for a supportive conversation – Where, For How Long, and When
  • How to Initiative a supportive conversation, simply and safely
  • Listening Skills – less is more
  • Validating – not advising or rescuing
  • Explore – key questions to ask
  • How and where to signpost for further support if appropriate
  • Closing the conversation – simply and skilfully

The training includes practical activities and exercises and all delegates come away feeling confident and relieved at the simplicity of holding a supportive conversation, and knowing the skills for navigating these often difficult discussions.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about the Framework for Supportive Conversations, Mental Health Training for Managers, Wellbeing for HR or Talking Mental Health for all employees.

27 April 2022

Letting Go

At some point in our life, someone will have said to us “you’ve got to let it go”.  Although the idea of “letting go” may seem easier said than done, it is an attitude that we can all cultivate and doing so can be liberating.

The last two years have been extremely challenging.  The almost total removal of the certainties of life was the equivalent of having the rug pulled from beneath your feet.  Everything was thrown up in the air and we had no idea how bumpy the eventual landing would be.  Every aspect of life – health, family, profession, finances and even human interaction – was filtered through the lens of the pandemic.  The constant uncertainty meant a lot of projection and anxiety as we tried to navigate experiences that were troubling and beyond our control.

We continue to live in a world of global uncertainty, regularly facing realities that we wish were not happening.  But resisting our reality feeds and endless cycle of stress, rumination and even despair as we rail against that which is already here.

In life we are always encountering uncertainty, in large and small ways.  The pandemic magnified the inherent uncertainty of the human condition but perhaps amongst all the difficulty, it opened a door to a more progressive way of approaching these challenges. Perhaps it is time to simply “let go” of that which is beyond our control.

When we face things beyond our control we often spend large amounts of time ruminating. This serves to increase stress without resolving anything. Instead, we can train our minds to accept our reality and let go – to respond with choice and self-care.

It is important to clarify that “acceptance” and “letting go” are not passivity.  It is not a mental shrugging of the shoulders, but instead a more thoughtful and nuanced response to meeting difficulties.

When we face a challenge in our life, we can begin the process of acceptance and letting go by asking ourselves a simple question:

Do I have any agency or control over this situation?”

If the answer is “yes”, then you can decide how you want to respond to it, giving you a sense of engagement.

If the answer is “no”, then you can decide how you support yourself through this challenge – to let go of that beyond our control. In doing so we do not give up on ambition, progress or affecting change, but we let go of those moments that compound stress and rumination, instead increasing our sense of calm and equilibrium. 

“Letting Go” is an attitude that is cultivated.  Mindfulness, anxiety management and consciously shifting our mindset are all effective ways of practicing acceptance and letting go.  They allow us to observe our difficult experiences without the need to fix or avoid them.  We nurture a mindset that allows the difficult to arise without it triggering behaviours that sustain stress and unease.  These approaches (that are further explored in a variety of workshops and courses by Wellbeing Partners – see below) can be easily woven into our day, giving us many moments to practice acceptance and letting go as the day unfolds, strengthening the habit.

This is the bedrock of an approach to life that ultimately gives us more choice over how we meet demands and challenges.  Each time we encounter experience with this attitude, we create new habits, behaviourally and neurologically, that become second nature over time. In doing so we expand our comfort zones and increase our resilience to difficulty. Letting go means growth, not retreat and the implications are massive.

To learn more about our workplace workshops such as Introduction to Mindfulness, and Navigating the New Normal, or our courses such as Facing Anxiety and Flourishing or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – please get in touch

Open MHFA Course

Would you like to become a Mental Health First Aider?
Our next two day mental health first aid course takes place on 26th and 27th April – online and interactive with our nationally-accredited MHFA instructor. 
This course trains you as a certified Mental Health First Aider, giving you:

  • An in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of a range of mental health issues
  • Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress using the Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether through self-help resources, internal support such as EAP, or external sources such as their GP
  • An understanding of how to keep themselves safe while performing their duties
     

Format

  • This is an online course delivered in a live and highly interactive format by our nationally-recognised and accredited instructor
  • Learning takes place through four live training sessions, spread across two days, with self-learning activities in between. 
  • Each session is built around a Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • We limit numbers to 16 people per course so that the instructor can keep people safe and supported while they learn
     

Takeaways

Everyone who completes the course gets:

  • A certificate of attendance to say they are a Mental Health First Aider
  • A manual to refer to whenever they need it
  • A quick reference card for the Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support their own mental health
     

The price per delegate is £300 plus VAT. 

Getting Started

Enter your details below or call us on 020 3951 7685 to get started

30 March 2022

The Levity Series – uplifting ideas for your 2022 employee wellbeing programme

The Levity Series is our range of in-person sessions and classes that aim to boost the wellbeing of employees through energising, interactive, fun and collective experiences.

The uncertainties inherent in the last 2 years have contributed to a marked increase in stress, anxiety and burnout as well the undermining of skills such as collaboration, creativity, self-confidence and social interaction.

At Wellbeing Partners we offer an innovative approach to meeting these challenges. Our “Levity Sessions” are in-person sessions and classes (also available online if you prefer) that aim to boost the wellbeing of employees as well as foster connection with other colleagues in an experiential way, reduce burnout and help promote mental positivity and resilience.

CREATIVE

Research shows how creativity can help boost mental health and promote emotional equilibrium.  These sessions allow you to bring that creativity into the workplace:

Art For Mental Wellbeing: Enjoyable and interactive 1-Hour painting and illustration classes guided by a professional art therapist. It is not about winning the Turner Prize but engaging in the flow of creativity, finding joy in expression.

Cooking Classes: Engage with a qualified nutritional therapist as they take you through enjoyable cooking lessons, mixing practical guidance and nutritional information. Classes include healthy eating, vegan cooking, sustainable eating and keto. Good nutrition is essential for mental and physical wellbeing meaning these classes have benefits that extend beyond the sessions!

Both classes available as regular and ad hoc sessions

MOVEMENT

Keeping the body active lifts mood and energy as well as helping boost mental and physical wellbeing. We offer a variety of different types of movement practice:  

Movement, Posture and Stretching is a 45-minute interactive class that boosts energy and educates employees on the importance of posture and stetch-based movement during the day. Led by our fully qualified Physio and Pilates teacher, this is fun, practical and energising

If you want to raise the heart rate as well as the mood, energetic classes such as our 45-minute Fitness Classes or Zumba Classes are a perfect mix of fun and challenge

Another great movement option is Yoga Classes run by our team of qualified yoga teachers. All abilities and levels of experience catered for.

All available as regular and ad hoc sessions

FOCUS

We offer Dynamic Mindfulness sessions that extend beyond the traditional practices by utilising movement and techniques to engage the senses to help us really connect with the present moment. Our fully qualified mindfulness teachers develop mindfulness into a shared, sensory experience and teach skills that can be taken into our busy days. A combination of mindful movement activities and soundscape meditations using gongs and bells over 45-60 minutes. Participation in this session is a great conversation starter!

Contact us for more details

ONE to ONES

Sometimes we need that extra bit of individual attention, and Wellbeing Partners can cater for this:

For the body we offer Massage Sessions. The practice of massage can lower stress and anxiety whilst boosting the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are the basis for positivity. The fully qualified massage therapist will focus on the shoulders, neck and upper back. Employees are fully clothed and sitting up and forwards in a special massage chair. Ideally 20 minutes per massage

For the mind we offer One-to-One Wellbeing Sessions. Guided by our counsellors with a wide range of wellbeing knowledge and experience, these one to ones allow confidential and safe spaces to discuss any issues that are hampering an employee’s ability to function well

WELLBEING WORKSHOPS

  • Some of our most popular one hour wellbeing workshops for employees include Recovering from Burnout; Wellbeing in Hybrid Working; From Anxious to Calm; Six Pillars of Health; Back on Track-Mental Wellbeing Post-Pandemic; plus more than 30 others – https://wellbeing.partners/wellbeing-workshops/

Getting Started

Enter your details below or call us on 020 3951 7685 to get started

16 March 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week – 9th to 15th May 2022

The topic of this year’s event is “Loneliness”

Our new wellbeing workshop for employees – Building Connection and Belonging – provides relevant and timely methods and ideas for helping your employees to overcome isolation and loneliness

Loneliness is part of the human condition, and it is something that we all will experience in our lives.  However, humans are a social species, one that has evolved to crave connection and prolonged periods of separation and loneliness have been shown to have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health.

Living through a global pandemic has meant increased isolation for many as lockdowns and changing rules have limited interaction with others.  Protracted home working has normalised disconnection and research has shown that this has caused unfortunate side-effects including increases in stress, anxiety, rumination and burnout.  Loneliness is not something to be taken lightly and is affecting employees not only in the UK but across the globe.

The Mental Health Awareness Week theme for 2022 is Loneliness, and it provides a timely opportunity to support your employees to rebuild a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation that are so pervasive across society at this time.

In our new one hour wellbeing workshop for employees – Building Connection and Belonging – we look at how we can change the narrative around loneliness, and rebuild a sense of connection through incremental, empowering changes. We explore how we can increase and improve the social bonds that are essential for our personal and professional lives. 

The session looks at:

  • The importance of human connection
  • Research on the impact of loneliness on our physical and mental health
  • How to rebuild bonds and boost social confidence through intentional connection activities
  • Using self-care to build the self-esteem and resilience to manage periods of loneliness
  • How to use social media effectively to undermine loneliness and build in person connection
  • Effective ways of processing difficult emotions and boosting positive emotions
  • Guidance on seeking further professional support

Contact [email protected] or complete the form below for more information or to book the Building Connection and Belonging wellbeing workshop for your employees

10 March 2022

Recruitment

We do occasionally bring in new highly qualified and experienced specialists to join our team.

We are currently seeking a fully qualified mental health professional to join our mental health team.

In order to apply for the role, you must meet the following essential criteria:

  • Fully qualified counsellor / psychotherapist, BACP or UKCP registered, or qualified clinical psychologist, with a minimum 10 years continuous experience working clinically
  • skills, experience and confidence in training, presenting, teaching or workshopping to groups, both in-person and on zoom/other online platform.
  • experience of working in a corporate environment – either in current role, or prior to training as a mental health professional. Previous experience in line management would be ideal.
  • A strong working knowledge of overall wellbeing. Able to confidently discuss examples of evidence-based tools that improve overall health and contribute positively to mental wellbeing.

Highly desirable:

  • a qualification in an evidence based form of mindfulness, such as MBSR or MBCT experience in teaching mindfulness to individuals or groups
  • Certified Mental Health First Aider
  • Instructor member of MHFA England.

The role will initially be on a freelance basis, with potential to develop into a permanent position.

If you meet the above criteria, please forward a covering letter explaining why you feel you’d be a good match for our company, and a current CV highlighting where you match the above criteria, to [email protected]

All applications will be handled confidentially

We welcome applications from across the spectrums of diversity, particularly those underrepresented in mental health care.

3 February 2022

Nearly half of HR managers have considered quitting due to pressure of employee mental health crisis

  • Experts warn of risk to HR wellbeing and retention
  • Ability to set boundaries around mental health support at work essential
  • Ninety percent of HR managers noticing signs of burnout in workforces
  • Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) admit to having conversations with employees about their mental health outside of working hours
  • Over a quarter (27%) regularly have to complete tasks outside of working hours due to volume of mental health issues they’re facing

New research reveals that almost half of HR managers (45%) have considered leaving their current roles due to the pressure of dealing with employee mental health and burnout. Concerningly, the research shows that 90% of HR managers are currently noticing signs of burnout in their workforces.

The survey of 200 UK HR managers by Wellbeing Partners, clinical experts in employee mental health, reveals that when handling rising burnout and mental health concerns, HR is struggling to set boundaries for their own psychological safety. 

Thirty-eight percent of HR managers admit to having conversations with employees about their mental health outside of working hours, nearly a third (31%) look at emails outside of work and over a quarter (27%) regularly have to complete tasks outside of working hours due to the volume of mental health issues they’re facing. 

On top of this, more than 1 in 4 (26%) feel they can become overly involved in employees’ personal lives and/or mental health issues and 23% have compassion fatigue from supporting struggling employees.

A lack of boundaries surrounding mental health support is contributing to high numbers of HR professionals contemplating leaving their organisations, according to an expert. 

Lou Campbell, Programmes Director at Wellbeing Partners, states:

“While HR has a duty of care to support employees suffering with their mental health, they often neglect to look after themselves. For people in supporting roles, it’s useful to know what the appropriate boundaries are when discussing mental health issues with colleagues, to avoid becoming enmeshed or overly involved. Appropriate boundaries ensure that the conversation stays psychologically safe for the employee, and avoids compassion fatigue for HR.

“Knowing the skills around setting boundaries and signposting to appropriate support is even more vital in a time when attracting and retaining staff is highly competitive; organisations must support HR to reduce the risk of key HR talent leaving their organisation as they deal with surging levels of employee burnout.”
Indeed, the study supports wider research revealing increasing symptoms of burnout HR needs to respond to. In the Wellbeing Partners survey nearly half of HR (49%) say their employees are struggling to find motivation and stay focused, over 4 in 10 (42%) agree that employees appear regularly tired or drained, a third (33%) say that employees seem to careless about work and over a quarter (28%) feel that employees are finding tasks overwhelming or uninteresting. As well as this, 26% state that employees appear resentful or cynical towards work or their own colleagues.


Campbell summarises:

“It’s clear there is mounting pressure for HR, but there are some initial actions they can take to support employees while setting boundaries for their own wellbeing. Ensure that supportive conversations with employees follow a framework, and schedule these conversations at a time when you have the energy and capacity to be supportive. Aim to finish work on time most days and give permission to switch off to avoid compassion fatigue.

 “Knowing when to signpost employees onto wellbeing counsellors and EAPs is also a technique that HR professionals can learn, affording them more time and energy for their wider role, and ensuring that employees get appropriate professional support.”

For more information about Wellbeing Partners suite of services for HR and people teams please contact [email protected].

24 January 2022

Insights into Anxiety

Anxiety. The word alone can make us uncomfortable, conjuring up aversive emotions, tricky thoughts and unpleasant sensations. It is understandable that we would rather not experience it, but we actually need some anxiety. It is part of our evolutionary inheritance, helping us respond effectively to perceived threats and challenges. It can help us focus at testing times such as an exam or job interview and it can motivate us to work out solutions to potential setbacks. 

However, anxiety can become more pervasive and problematic. It can distort our perception, becoming the prism through which we view our life and experiences. This process happens incrementally, with the anxiety response arising more regularly and severely, creating a vicious cycle of further distress.  The more situations and experiences we perceive as threatening, the more anxious we feel and the more anxious we feel, the more we will find threatening.  This process might sound familiar – anxiety like this is quite common and it can dictate our mood and behaviour.

The good news is that we can learn to manage our own response to anxiety and there are some effective tools for helping us with that, bringing long term relief. For example, rather than experiencing anxiety as an enemy to be defeated, we can learn to view anxiety as something that requires attention. We can learn to familiarise ourselves with the experience of anxiety and take back agency and control over how we choose to respond. This strategy combines “in-the-moment” practical actions to reduce anxiety when it hits and longer-term strategies to reduce anxiety in the long run.

Another way to address anxiety is to learn how thoughts, especially unhelpful thinking patterns, are the fuel in our mind that feeds anxiety.  These thoughts interpret our experience through absolutes, (eg “I’m not good enough”, “this could go disastrously wrong” or “I am a failure”) and we can then learn how to relate differently to these destructive thoughts and negative thinking patterns, thereby defusing their impact on us.

The key to overcoming pervasive anxiety is to learn more about what effective tools are available and understand how to put them into practice.

If you or someone you know struggles with pervasive anxiety, you may be interested in our four-part course called Facing Anxiety and Flourishing. The course is one hour per week for four weeks, and is online, instructor led and immersive. The course teaches practical skills and techniques from mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, compassionate mind training, emotional intelligence and wellbeing coaching, all tied together in a supportive and non-judgemental environment.

If you are struggling with anxiety, this course will provide you with the skills you need to develop resilience in the face of anxiety, help you to be liberated from patterns of behaviour that sustain anxiety, and to flourish even in challenging times. 

The Facing Anxiety and Flourishing course runs monthly throughout the year and costs £180 per person for the four parts, materials and lifetime access to the Mindfulness UK app.

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