It is mental health awareness week. The theme is “kindness”. Recognising the significant difficulties faced by those who suffer with mental health issues is always relevant. Similarly the message of “kindness” or to “love thy neighbour” is always necessary. It is right that these two linked matters are focused on by society and it is good to remind ourselves to care for those who might be suffering. Moreover, it is important for those who are suffering to know that they will be listened to and supported, that help is available.
Even in a “normal year” 1 in 4 in the UK will at some point experience a mental health problem. However, now, perhaps more than ever, the above message carries significant weight. As we live through a time of lockdown with the threat of economic collapse and of course a deadly virus on our doorstep many will be struggling. It is “ok to be not ok”. We need to look out for one another. We need to “be kind”. We need to talk.
Together with my colleagues at Jackson Boyd, I am very familiar with the struggles being faced by many during this season. Psychological injury and feelings of isolation, anxiety, economic instability, vulnerability, hopelessness and many more besides have all been expressed by many of my clients as a result of injury being suffered due to accidents, abuse, assault and medical negligence. At Jackson Boyd we strive to be more than just a lawyer for our clients, but also someone they can trust and turn to for support and guidance during some of the most difficult and unsettling times of their lives. The firm is proud to support the Scottish Association for Mental Health (Sam H).
However, at Jackson Boyd we also recognise that being familiar with the struggles and sufferings of others does not make you immune to suffering the same difficulties yourself.
Jackson Boyd has a number of measures in place to look after the psychological welfare of their employees. The firm utilises an “Employee Assistance Programme” run by BUPA. This programme provides an entirely confidential helpline for staff (and their families) to phone to discuss myriad of issues both personal and work related. For matters specifically related to mental health there is the opportunity to speak with a fully trained counsellor. In addition the firm has also trained me in “First Aid for Mental Health”. As a mental health first aider I am always there for members of the firm whether it is simply to listen, talk or sign post available help and assistance via charities and the NHS.
During this difficult season let us take care of each other and be alert to those around us who are “not ok”. Moreover, if you are struggling, do not bottle it up, talk to someone, help is available.
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