Every year, for Mental Health Awareness Week, communities and decision makers come together to think about how to make our society more compassionate, aware and supportive when it comes to mental wellbeing. The campaign was started around 27 years ago by the Mental Health Foundation, with the hope of inspiring and educating people to understand and prioritise their and others’ mental health. This year, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from Monday 15 – Sunday 21 May, with the official theme being ‘anxiety’.
Did you know that 1 in 10 people in the UK will be tackling the challenges of living with an anxiety disorder at any one time? Anxiety awareness has become more prevalent in recent years, largely due to the rise in the cost of living, but also factors including exam pressures, relationships, and isolation, amongst other factors.
This year, to raise awareness and to help those either struggling themselves or who have loved ones living with mental health difficulties, we have launched our latest qualification, Mental Health Awareness Level 3.
This qualification paves the way for both personal and professional growth. You will gain invaluable insights into working in the field of mental health, equipping yourself with practical skills and knowledge. Upon successful completion, you will receive an accredited Level 3 RQF qualification.
If you are, or think you may be experiencing anxiety, here is some advice from our Head of Counselling, Niki Welch and our Director of Learning Carol Chapman:
One technique that can help manage anxiety is called grounding, often referred to as First Aid for Anxiety. Here's how it works:
Take a moment to pause, regardless of where you are (except if you're driving, of course!). You can mentally repeat this word, say it out loud, jot it down on a post-it note, or visualize it as a sign in your mind.
Focus on your breath, taking slow and steady breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth at a comfortable pace. Repeat this calming breathing exercise three times.
Engage your senses to distract your mind from anxious thoughts. A common technique to help with this is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 exercise:
- Identify five things you can see around you. Look around and observe your surroundings.
- Notice four things you can physically feel. It could be the sensation of your feet in your shoes, the touch of your watch on your wrist, or anything else you can feel.
- Pay attention to three things you can hear. Listen for sounds around you, whether it's birds chirping, a clock ticking, or the sound of rain.
- Acknowledge two things you can smell. Take notice of pleasant scents like coffee, your perfume, or the aroma of flowers.
- Finally, focus on one thing you can taste. Be aware of the taste of something you're consuming or simply the taste of your mouth.
This straightforward grounding technique can be remarkably effective in helping you regain a sense of calm and control.
Remember, you're not alone, and taking these small steps can make a significant difference. Take care of yourself, and if you ever need further support, don't hesitate to reach out to an organisation like The Mental Health Foundation, Mind, or a local support group in your area.
For the whole of Mental Awareness Week, Oxbridge will double the donations made by our students to the Oxbridge Foundation – an initiative to help those not currently in a position to enhance their own lives through education.
Ready to enrol and take the first step towards making a difference in people's lives? Learn more about the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Mental Health Awareness course here or speak to one of our learning advisers on 0121 630 3000.