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Thrive this Mental Health Awareness Week

Screenshot from the Thrive app

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (13 - 19 May). The focus for 2019 is how we feel and think about our bodies.

Body image is an issue that can affect anyone. How we think about how we look can have a real impact on how we feel; our mood and our mental health and wellbeing.

To mark the week the Mental Health Foundation is running a body image challenge. If you’d like to take part, just post a picture on social media of a time or a place when you felt comfortable in your own skin - this could be something current or from any time in your past. It can be a photo of yourself or something else that reminds you of the moment. To join in, use the hashtags #BeBodyKind and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Mind is running events for Mental Health Awareness Week in Brighton and Hove. They are encouraging anyone to drop by the following venues to explore the impact of body image on mental health and wellbeing through activities, short films, information and conversation:

  • Tuesday 14 May – 10.00am to 3.00pm, Jubilee Library, Brighton (map)
  • Friday 17 May – 3.00pm to 6.00pm, Wellsbourne Health Centre, Whitehawk (map)

As part of Commit to Get Fit month, Organisational Development are also offering the following free staff wellbeing workshops during May: Mindfulness in the Workplace; Finding Balance - In the mind-set; Finding Balance - In the mind, body & emotions; Wild Mind at Sussex; and Personal Resilience. Book online now.

Help for Sussex staff

If you’re struggling with any issue - at work or at home - it’s worth remembering that all University staff have access to a dedicated 24 hour / 365 days-a-year counselling and advice service.

Care First provides advice and help on a range of issues, whether is it a family matter, moving house, moving job, a major life event, neighbourhood concerns, consumer rights, or even a brush with the law.

It’s easy to get in touch with them, by calling their free and confidential telephone help line on 0800 015 5630. In some circumstances, if - following telephone counselling - the Care First professionals believe that face-to-face counselling is appropriate this will be arranged with a suitable counsellor that is convenient to you.

Another user-friendly option is the Thrive app.

Thrive uses games to teach methods of taking control of your stress and anxiety. The app's Mood Meter lets you track your mood, the emotions you feel and the situation you were in at the time. It then reminds you of how you reacted on a previous occasion to make your feel better.

You can also learn relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing to help you cope better with stressful situations and manage negative thoughts. Its techniques are evidence-based and can be used to relax before a stressful situation or on a more regular basis to help you live a happier, less stressful life.

Beth O’Leary – Senior Technician at the Attenborough Centre – is a fan of the app: “I’m proud Sussex is taking staff mental health seriously and Thrive is a great stepping-stone to better mental health for everyone. It’s aptly named – like having help in your pocket. 

“It’s a private and personal way to seek advice and using it has helped me focus my attention. It encourages you to track your moods and gives you little goals to achieve based on your input. It can also put you directly in contact with a therapist should you need one.”

How to access the Thrive App

Step 1.

Find the log on page.

Step 2.

Enter your e-mail address, and verify it.

Then enter a password of your choice.

Step 3. 

Enter the University of Sussex Company access code: AVIVAIYP1116

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By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Tuesday, 14 May 2019