“Our mental health influences how we think and feel about ourselves and others, as well as what’s happening around us”
This quote made us think about how we all experience life by looking through our own lens, which is adapted and constructed by the state of our mental health, affecting in turn how what we feel about what is happening around us. It’s a good reminder that we all have a different way of looking at things, but we can help cope with ‘stressors’ by helping build resilience. At Stepping Stones, ‘building resilience’ is a key factor we focus on with families, by finding what stressors a parent/child is dealing with, and which of their mental health needs are perhaps not being met. Key words that came up during the training were – ‘connection, attention, stimulation’ and the need to be ‘valued, appreciated, understood’. These are factors that cover all strands of our work, from 1:1 intensive support, to group work and supports in school. We were reminded that life is 10% what you experience and 90% how you respond to it – and how we can help clients reflect on constructive responses to support those around them or be able to deal with challenging situations.
We were also asked to consider on our own environment at work and how we cope with our own stressors when supporting families. We recognised how important it is to look after our own mental health to be able to support others, and talked about how we can support this – focusing on things that you can control, establishing healthy boundaries, to keep talking to our peers, and finding ways to relax in stressful situations. We also need to be ‘valued, appreciated and understood’ in our jobs and a lot of work already happens in our day to day work to support this. We have recently appointed an inhouse ‘Wellbeing group’ to schedule activities into our working week that means that we can take time to step back; find space for ourselves and with each other. So far this has included a games morning, wellbeing walks and meditation. We are looking forward to lots more to come, with the knowledge that in order to continue to support our families in the best way, we continue to focus on healthy minds and positive wellbeing for ourselves.