This week it’s been mental health awareness week, as well as learning at work week. While at first they may look like two completely separate issues, I see a lot of synergy between the two when looking at them through the lens of resilience.
I hear the word resilience a lot these days. At meetings I attend there are a lot of conversations about ‘resilience of the system.’ What I want to talk about today is personal resilience – how to withstand the stresses and strains of everyday life and work and still flourish. And perhaps come out even stronger.
At the same time it is important to recognise that ASPH as an organisation, and the wider NHS system, has a duty to support you in doing difficult jobs in challenging situations. We need to ensure our culture, policies, procedures, and the way we work align to minimise the call on your personal resilience, allowing you to maintain the compassion and empathy which led you to choose careers at ASPH.
In recent years we’ve seen a huge increase in awareness of the considerable efforts to remove the stigma traditionally surrounding mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Children and young people at schools and universities, and now people at work, are learning skills to help us be more resilient. We have done a lot to address issues within Team ASPH and there will be more in the future. At the same time, we are all unique so it’s important to learn how to be aware of our own personal triggers, which can unbalance our emotional wellbeing.
Learning at Work week is all about having the right skills and ways of working to allow you to do your job to the best of your ability. Your learning will be personal to you. If you have the right skills and training to do your job, you will be better placed to be resilient when things go wrong, or when you face challenges, as we all do. It’s no surprise that Keep Learning is a key element of our Wheel of Wellbeing.
As part of Learning at Work Week we’ve held a range of educational and drop-in learning events from 13 to 19 May. Activities have ranged from the Management of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease to a session of Smartcard self-reset, Windows & NHS Mail password reset process! The Schwartz Rounds session on Thursday on ‘To Feed or Not to Feed’, is an excellent example of how learning and sharing issues and dilemmas can support emotional wellbeing.
As we come to the end of mental health awareness week, I would urge you all to take a few minutes to consider your own emotional wellbeing. How are you currently? What are the things that impact on your personal emotional wellbeing and how does this impact on your resilience?
There are a few things we can all do to optimise our emotional wellbeing and promote good mental health. These include having a break, taking regular exercise and eating well. In the past we’ve run mindfulness sessions, and the yoga sessions we run at Ashford are proving very popular. It’s National Walking Month throughout May, which aims to add more walking to people’s daily routine, be it at work, to school, or around your neighbourhood. If you have children at school, you might already know that next week is Walk to School Week.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to remind you about our next Dragons’ Den event in June. We have an additional £10,000 to invest into staff ideas and initiatives. I look forward to seeing again the incredible creativity and team spirit I saw last year as we all work towards providing outstanding experience and outcomes for patients and Team ASPH.
With very best wishes,