Non-mental health organisations – promoting mental health and wellbeing

Purpose 

A stepped approach to the promotion of mental health and wellbeing is recommended, whether you are considering staff, resident wellbeing or both. Not everyone will require signposting to specialist mental health services, and input at an early stage can often prevent later mental health distress. 

Non-mental health organisations have a big part to play in the promotion of mental health and wellbeing. This section of the website focuses on what you can do to support others, as a non-mental health organisation. 

The model below provides a guide for you to plan and structure your organisation’s response to mental health and wellbeing. This model may help you identify areas of strength in your organisation, and also areas to focus on. On this page you’ll find a description of each step, suggested actions at each level, and links to recommended signposting and resources. 

About 

The Framework for Action has been developed to support non-mental health organisations to promote mental health and wellbeing in Derby and Derbyshire. The framework is relevant for any organisations that are supporting others right now – including staff, volunteers, or residents. 

Look after your wellbeing

Look after your wellbeing 

We all have mental health and we all need to look after it. We are all human; it is okay not to be okay and it is okay for us to ask for support. 

You are going through the pandemic at the same time as those you are supporting. Though everyone’s situation is different, this can be an added challenge to consider. 

For many leaders at this time, it can feel hard to have permission to be human, and to having a human response. It’s okay for you not to have all the answers, no one does. As leaders your wellbeing matters too, and it’s a really important place to start. 

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Key actions 

  • Take a moment, and check-in with yourself. How have you been doing? What do you need? What do you need to do more of? Less of? Who can support you? 
  • Before you consider the wellbeing of others, consider what you need to put in place for yourself. Perhaps daily wellbeing reminders? Regular breaks? New ways to socially connect? Permission not to be available 24/7. 

Key signposting and resources 

Staff Support Joined Up Care Derbyshire website. You’ll find a range of information on looking after your wellbeing and mental health on these pages. Including support around bereavement, trauma, and managing anxiety. 

Mind wellness action plan and website. Mind has a great range of information and resources to support personal wellbeing at this time. 

Wider determinants of mental wellbeing

Address the wider determinants of mental wellbeing 

Mental distress is often an understandable response to life circumstances (i.e. financial insecurity, housing problems or food poverty). 

Key actions 

  • Make time for ‘Quality Conversations’. Take time to ask open questions (What..? How..? Who...? When...?); these questions help us find out more about the situation of another person. Listen to the response carefully (without jumping to assumptions) and respond with empathy (i.e. that sounds really tough for you). 

A range of factors impact on the mental health of our community members, staff and volunteers including social and economic factors. These factors make it more likely some people will experience mental distress (i.e. due to financial insecurity) and less likely some people will access support (i.e. due to a range of barriers such as lower levels of literacy). 

Key actions 

  • When it’s appropriate, signpost to resources and support. Let’s make sure we support those we’re speaking to so they get help. When people are anxious it can be harder to reach out for help. Remember that for one person a phone number or a website address may be enough to seek support, for another person there may be reasons that this still means they can’t access the support they need (they may not have the internet), or the confidence to do it by themselves. 

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Key signposting and resources 

Derbyshire County Council website or the Derby City website for community support, social care support and financial support. 

Healthy, warm and well Derbyshire for a range of support services and advice to stay healthy, warm and well. 

Derbyshire Winter Pressure Single Contact Point (professional referral only) or Derby City Cold Weather support (public facing support). 

Visit the Quality Conversations website for a range of resources, tools, and free training offers to support your skills in having conversations about wellbeing and mental health. 

Promote mental wellbeing

Promote mental wellbeing 

Environments and cultures can promote and enable positive wellbeing. 

Key actions 

  • Make time for listening and connection. Listening well can make a big difference to improving wellbeing. As an organisation can you create more time when staff or clients/patients experience being listened to, meaningfully i.e. protected 1:1 time, some meetings with time for 2-way discussions. 
  • Promote and support the Five Ways to Wellbeing. These evidence-based steps to wellbeing are to be active, take notice, give, connect, and to learn new skills. Can you adapt these to the groups you are working with i.e. supporting staff teams to keep moving in the day, or support communities to have the opportunity to connect differently during this period? 

Think about creating space in workplaces or communities where it is safe to talk and where it is okay not to be okay. Consider how you can support a workplace culture where time for a break and looking after yourself is both encouraged and also enabled (i.e. meetings and tasks aren’t over lunch breaks). 

Key actions 

  • Share, embed, and model core mental wellbeing messages. Messages to consider, include; ‘It’s okay not be okay’ ‘We’re all human’ ‘Anxiety is a normal human response’. How can you show staff and communities these messages have meaning? (i.e. creating safe environments for people to talk about how they’re feeling such as more uninterrupted settings/meetings). 

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Key signposting and resources 

Five Ways to Wellbeing. Information on the Derbyshire Council website on the Five Ways to Wellbeing and how to apply the principles during the pandemic. 

Psychological First Aid Training. Free accessible training on promoting mental health and wellbeing at this time. 

NHS apps library - Mental Health A list of NHS-approved apps to promote mental wellbeing, the majority are free of charge. 

Live Life Better Derbyshire or Live Well Derby for Lifestyle Change support. 

Increase mental health awareness

Increase mental health awareness 

For many, mental health self-help information and guidance can be beneficial and reassuring. For some people, this may even prevent the need for services, and reduce the likelihood of further mental health problems arising. 

Key actions 

  • Normalise talking about mental health. Create workplaces and communities where it feels safe to talk about mental health and myths about mental health are challenged (i.e. online mental health awareness or discussion sessions in standard meetings). 
  • Increase access to trustworthy information on common mental health problems, self-help resources, and local and national mental health services. Think about how you can share this information most effectively (i.e. websites, sign-in pop-ups, screensavers, leaflets, posters).

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Key signposting and resources 

Mental Health training Derbyshire County Council. Access to free mental health training (currently online). 

Mind - Coronavirus and your wellbeing. A comprehensive website with information on a range of mental health problems. 

Signpost to mental health and crisis services

Mental Health and Crisis Services 

Some people you work with, and support, may need mental health support from a mental health professional – now or in the future. It can feel complicated to know where to signpost people, and what to tell them to expect. Sometimes this support may be needed in a crisis, and this can be anxiety-provoking. 

Key actions 

  • Create a culture of conversations - Ask questions about how people are feeling, listen and then respond. Listening can make a big difference. Take all self-harm and suicidal thoughts seriously, it’s ok to ask, ‘have you had any thoughts of wanting to harm yourself lately?’ 
  • Reinforce the message that there is always someone to talk to. Some people have felt cautious to ask for help during the pandemic, it’s important to address this and encourage people to still ask for help if needed. It’s important to share the message that support is there as usual – GPs (telephone appointments) and A&E (when there is a medical emergency or life threatening situation). 
  • Promote the Derbyshire Mental Health Support line tel: 0800 028 077. It’s a free 24/7 phone number, for all ages, and staffed by mental health professionals. It can be considered a single point of access for support. 

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Key signposting and resources 

Derbyshire Mental Health Support Line. A free phone 24/7 support line which can offer mental health support, including crisis support, during this period. Staffed by local mental health professionals, and for all ages. Professionals can also call for advice. 

Samaritans offers 24/7 free phone support for those in distress. Tel: 116 123. 

Zero Suicide Alliance training. Brief online training on suicide awareness.