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Step into January – Exercise ideas at home

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We would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who signed up to take part in our Step into January campaign which launched last week. It’s all about getting active during January, focusing on its benefits and how this can improve our mental health and wellbeing. If you did sign up, we hope you are enjoying the campaign so far!

We know that with the new lockdown, you may feel a little stuck with what to do for Step into January so we wanted to give you some ideas.

There’s lots of things we can do to keep moving at home and exercise doesn’t just mean going to the gym or going for a run.

Here’s some ideas to help you get moving:

  1. Learn a dance and get the kids involved too! It’s great fun learning a dance and hard work. You’ll have lots of laughs and the more you practice, the better you get! You could also teach yourself something like salsa, there’s lots of information online to get you started.
  2. Play more with your pets – whether you have a garden or not, having a pet offers lots of opportunity to get active.
  3. Working from home? Every hour try to stand up and sit down again 10 times, it will raise your heart rate and get your blood moving.
  4. Create an obstacle course in the garden. You could use hoops, cones, sticks, balls, mats, mini trampolines, cushions and tunnels. Set them up so that it makes a course involving jumping, running and balancing and then do the course a set amount of times. This is a great one with the kids too, just make sure they help you tidy it all away!
  5. If you have stairs, use them! three 20-second fast stair climbs a day can improve fitness in only six weeks.
  6. Play Hopscotch. Either buy a Hopscotch mat or better still, chalk one onto the drive.
  7. Dancing to your favourite song gets your blood moving and releases endorphins into your bloodstream – lots of people are videoing themselves and sharing their moves on social media
  8. Wash and hoover the car, it will be gleaming afterwards and you’ll feel better for moving!
  9. Get creative – a suitcase with a handle, a pile of books, even bags of sugar or flour can all be used in home-based workouts.
  10. Skipping is a great activity for cardiovascular health – 10 minutes of skipping can burn over 100 calories. 
  11. Tidy up the garden. Gardening is a great form of exercise, if you are lucky enough to have a private outdoor space.
  12. Walk the dog! It’s still fine to be out of the house if you are walking your dog – a great excuse to spend more time bonding with your pet canine.
  13. Cleaning can be a great workout! Not only does it obviously help to keep your immediate environment as clean as possible, but activities like hoovering and scrubbing tough grime can burn up to 190 calories an hour!

We hope these give you some more ideas of how to get moving at home. We would love to hear how you’re getting on. Share your snaps on social media @MindHEY or in our closed Step Into January Facebook Group.

Lockdown and working from home

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Following on from the governments new guidelines to stay at home as much as possible, we know many people will once again be working from home.

We understand this can be difficult and can affect our mental health in many ways, so for this reason we wanted to share some resources we think you may find helpful whilst working from home for employers and employees.

Useful links to support working from home:

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/7-simple-tips-to-tackle-working-from-home/

https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/coronavirus-and-work/tips-for-supporting-yourself-and-your-team/

https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/coronavirus-and-work/tips-from-mind-staff/

https://www.humbergrowthhub.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Mental-Health-and-Wellbeing-Resources-Pack.pdf

https://www.mind.org.uk/media-a/5802/22078_work-from-home-wap-final.pdf

If you are struggling with your mental health and would like some information or advice, you can call 01482 240133 24 hours a day or email info@heymind.org.uk. You can also use their Freephone 0800 138 0990 or text 07520 633447.

New online support service launched across Hull and East Yorkshire to help men with their mental health

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A free online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service has been launched to help men living across the Humber, Coast and Vale area.

Men aged 18+ living in North Yorkshire, York, Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire can now register to use Qwell for Men – a free, anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing service which can be accessed anywhere using a computer, smartphone or tablet device.

In England, around one in eight men have a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Around three-quarters of registered suicides in England and Wales in 2019 were among men (4,303).

Two out of every three people who take their life have not previously had contact with mental health services so the Partnership is investing in different ways to support people with their mental health and wellbeing before it gets to a point of crisis.

Men can access Qwell, which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, to access one-on-one online sessions with qualified counsellors, receive and provide peer-to-peer support through moderated online forums, and read and contribute to articles.

Qwell for Men can also be used to keep an online journal and track your wellbeing via an interactive goal tracker. There are no waiting lists or thresholds for use, so men can use the free service as soon as they register.

Qwell for Men, delivered by Kooth, the UK’s largest provider of online mental health services – has been commissioned for use by the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership. This marks the first time a digital mental health service has been commissioned specifically in response to male suicide.   

The Partnership is made up of NHS organisations, local councils, health and care providers and voluntary and community organisations, who are working together to improve the health and wellbeing of the 1.7 million people living in Humber, Coast and Vale – an area which includes the cities of Hull and York and large rural areas across East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

Recent data from Qwell has shown the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on adult mental health. One in five (21.3%) are presenting with suicidal thoughts, more than half (54.6%) are presenting with anxiety and 27.10% are presenting with sadness.

Jo Kent, Suicide Prevention Programme Lead at Humber, Coast and Health Partnership said:

“We are really pleased to announce that Qwell for Men is now available to men in the local area. We know that men can often find it difficult to talk about their mental health and the way that they are feeling. With free access to Qwell, we can ensure that they have access to the right support, wherever and whenever they need it.

Qwell for Men is available 24 hours a day and those accessing support have the option to remain completely anonymous. This service is crucial and we encourage men from all walks of life to use it.”

Dr. Lynne Green, Kooth’s chief clinical officer added:

“We’re very pleased that Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership are looking at new and innovative ways to support adult men.  Our national data is showing an increase in suicidal thoughts amongst adults and Qwell will support the Partnership’s strategy to help tackle this issue. We encourage those struggling to use our self-help tools to connect with others who may be experiencing something similar. Our qualified counsellors are on hand to provide support and guidance 365 days of the year.’

Qwell for Men can be accessed by visiting https://www.qwell.io/hcv – you can also find local support near you at www.talksuicide.co.uk/get-help

Get motivated for Step Into January – Dan’s Story

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We wanted to share some stories from people within the company about their take on fundraising, getting active and Step into January. Read Dan’s story below.

Why I run

As a child I loved running.

I ran to school. I ran in the garden. I ran when I was told to walk.

My nose ran a lot too.

I ran cross-country through choice and not as a punishment. I was never fast or first, but I always smiled.

I ran on the beach during my summer holidays at Primrose Valley with my Mum, Dad and my sister Sophie. We raced each other, we had competitions, but mostly we just ran and smiled. A lot.

As I grew older, running became less frequent and only when absolutely necessary. I occasionally ran for a bus and always ran for last orders at the bar. Lots of other things took over. And I smiled less.

Years passed and a form of depression arrived. Coming and going, mostly with no rhyme or reason. No warning of its arrival. I call it ‘my fog’ and it took away my smile.

I didn’t know what would help.

As time passed and my life improved I wanted to get fitter and healthier, so I ran. Well I jogged to begin with. At first 400 metres, then a pause, catch my breath and then another 400 metres and repeat until I couldn’t. Weeks passed and I set myself goals. 800 metres before the pause. Cracked it. What a sense of achievement. Satisfaction. What a smile. My face hurts. (So do my legs)

As I progressed in distance so I also noticed my mood was much improved each time I went for a run. This is great. Where have you been? What’s next? A race. Done. BIG smile. Another race, another big smile.

Then suddenly like a horrible storm ‘the fog’ appears, ruining everything.

I don’t want to get up and go for a run. In fact I don’t want to get up. I want to stay here. I need to stay here.

I indulge ‘the fog’. And it hurts. It hurts me. It hurts my relationships.

One day my rock at home says to me “Do you think you should go for a run?” So I do. And I smile.

Lots of races now ticked off. The distances have increased but I always remember those first 400 metres. I always will. They started everything.

The fog still comes and I still indulge it, only this time I run.

I used to think I was running to get away from it but actually I’m running towards it. To embrace it. To own it. To smile.

That’s why I run.

To sign up to Step Into January, click here.

Get motivated for Step Into January – Gayes Story

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We wanted to share some stories from people within the company about their take on fundraising, getting active and Step into January. Read Gayes story below.

Whether I’m feeling lethargic, stressed, bored or just generally fed-up there’s nothing that makes me feel better than getting outside, preferably in a natural environment, and getting my body moving.

It doesn’t need to be especially athletic; running can give me the world’s best buzz but some days it just feels too daunting to run. So a brisk walk, just round the block or all day long, is often just as good. Breathe in the fresh air and feel your body coming alive.

And perfect if done with friends and with the opportunity to experience nature in all its glory too. Our long walk this weekend took in a sunrise and a sunset plus bird-spotting, singing and even a bit of dancing – total bliss!

To sign up to Step Into January, click here.

Christmas tips to help you stay well

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We’ve put together some tips to help you stay well over Christmas.

Whether or not Christmas is part of your life, your mental health might be affected by it happening around you. It’s a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us, and can affect our mental health in lots of different ways. For example, you may feel alone or left out, wish you didn’t have to deal with Christmas because of other events in your life or feel frustrated by other people’s views of a ‘perfect’ Christmas.

Your mental health might also make it hard for you to spend Christmas how you want and it may be harder to access services that normally help you.

Tips for coping during Christmas

If you find Christmas a difficult time of year, here are some tips to help you get through it:

Be gentle, generous and patient with yourself

It’s ok to prioritise what’s best for you, even if others don’t seem to understand,

  • Think about what you need and how you might be able to get it.
  • Consider talking to someone you trust about what you need to cope.

Plan ahead

Think about what might be difficult about Christmas for you, and if there’s anything that might help you cope. It might be useful to write this down. For example,

  • Make a note of what helps during difficult moments and services that can help too.
  • If you’re going to be somewhere unfamiliar for Christmas, think about what you need to help you cope. Could you plan to spend less time in difficult places, or not go at all?
  • Also, think about whether you really need to do things if you’re not looking forward to them.
  • Maybe plan something nice to do after Christmas to look forward to.

Manage relationships

  • If people’s questions are difficult, you could plan some answers in advance so you’re not caught off guard. For example, about your plans or how you’re doing.
  • Think about how to end difficult conversations. It’s ok to tell someone you don’t want to talk about something.
  • Suggest an activity or an easy way to move on, if you want to help end an unwanted conversation.
  • If other people don’t seem to understand how you’re feeling, you could share this information with them.

Look after yourself

  • Set a ‘start’ and ‘finish’ time for what you count as Christmas. Remind yourself that it won’t last forever.
  • Set your boundaries. Say no to things that aren’t helpful for you.
  • Let yourself experience your own feelings and have the things you need.
  • Take time out. Do something to forget that it’s Christmas or distract yourself, watch a film or read a book that’s set in the summer.
  • If you can’t avoid something difficult, plan something for yourself afterwards to help reduce the stress or distress you might feel.

Talking to other people

  • Let people know you’re struggling. It can often feel like it’s just you when it’s not, It doesn’t have to be people who are already in your life. You could join an online community.
  • Tell people what they can stop, start or continue doing to help you. For example, you could let them know any activities you’d like to be involved in, and what they can do to support you during Christmas.
  • You don’t have to justify yourself to others. But you might feel pressured to, especially if someone asks a lot of questions. It could help to let them know that certain situations are difficult for you.

Here at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, we will be continuing to work 24/7 over the festive period to support you and your mental health. You can call 01482 240133 or Freephone 0800 138 0990. You can also email us at info@heymind.org.uk

If Christmas is a hard time for you, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Use these tips and the services available to help with your mental health.

Charity responds to latest Christmas Covid-19 restrictions amid fears for those experiencing poor mental health

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Local mental health charity Hull and East Yorkshire Mind has responded to the latest government guidance about the Christmas holiday, by reminding people that they remain open 24/7 over the festive period to support local people with their mental health.  

On 19th December, The Government announced tougher restrictions and an introduction of a new Tier 4 for areas with higher Covid-19 rates. It was also announced that those living in Tier 1, 2 and 3 areas will only be allowed to form a Christmas bubble for Christmas Day, rather than from December 23 to 27 as had previously been stated.

The charity believes that although tougher restrictions are needed to control the spread of the virus, this may leave local people across Hull and East Yorkshire feeling lonely and isolated over the Christmas period. New rules mean that people across the local area might have to spend Christmas day alone, or have traditional Christmas plans changed – whether it’s because of the pandemic or for other reasons.

Back in April, Hull and East Yorkshire Mind revealed that they had extended the hours of their Information and Advice Line to 24 hours a day to support local people who may be finding things difficult during the current Covid-19 crisis. This was made possible as part of our partnership with Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust. 

Emma Dallimore, Chief Executive at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind said:

“Whether or not Christmas is part of your life, your mental health might be affected by it happening around you. It’s a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us, and can affect our mental health in lots of different ways.

If Christmas is a hard time for you, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Our Information and Advice Line will be continuing to operate 24 hours a day over the festive period, should you need information, advice or support, or simply want someone to talk to.”

If you are struggling with your mental health and would like some information or advice, you can call 01482 240133 24 hours per day or email info@heymind.org.uk. You can also use their Freephone 0800 138 0990 or text 07520 633447.

Alternatively, you can visit www.heymind.org.uk/coronavirus for more information on managing your mental health during the pandemic. The webpage also includes tips on how to cope over the festive period.

Share your experiences of working within the Blue Light services during the pandemic

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Mind, the mental health charity, is leading on the Blue Light Programme, funded by The Royal Foundation, to support the mental health of people working in the emergency services. Mind want to hear about current experiences and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the mental health of staff and volunteers working in emergency services in England and Wales.

Everyone working in fire, police and ambulance services is welcome to take the survey – Mind want to hear from as many people as possible, so please feel free to share the link with relevant contacts.

The survey closes on Sunday 10 January. Thank you for helping Mind to ensure that staff and volunteers in the emergency services get the support they need.

Get motivated for Step Into January – Mike’s Story

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We wanted to share some stories from people within the company about their take on fundraising, getting active and Step into January. Read Mike’s story below.

My reasons for getting involved in Step into January are many but I mostly join in because I want to motivate myself to begin the year in the right frame of mind for future organised events I will compete in. These are usually 5k and 10k runs and organised walking events. I also like to take part because it’s a great excuse to get moving again after perhaps being a bit lazy over the Christmas break. Plus of course probably eating too much!
I always feel better after taking part in something like Step into January. I feel the benefit both physically and mentally. I really like the time I spend exercising outdoors, even though it’s often cold and wet in January. It helps me focus on goals for the year, clears my mind and helps me manage my physical health. 


But perhaps my major motivation to join in is to promote the benefits to our mental health and to support Hull and East Yorkshire Mind. I sit on the Board as Trustee and this gives me a chance of putting something into the charity and actively promoting what we do. In previous years we have had a little celebration event at the end of the month. The best part of that is to see and hear how people have overcome their own issues to do their best to complete the month long challenge. It’s great to hear how creative people are in overcoming their doubts and taking part. Every single person I have met has always said one thing, “I’m really pleased to have taken part, I didn’t think I could do it!” Their smile in telling me this says it all.
For me it’s getting up and moving and not giving myself a hard time if I miss a day because I can catch up tomorrow!


Any activity counts. You don’t have to run like me. Just a walk to the shops, clearing the garden of leaves, vacuuming the front room, no matter what it is you do, it all counts. Just move around and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve!

To sign up to Step Into January click here.

Let’s Talk over 50’s helpline

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Let’s Talk is providing a dedicated helpline for people over the age of 50 struggling with alcohol.

The helpline is staffed by experienced practitioners, is completely free and confidential. The service can be used by individuals who are struggling or others who are concerned about someone they care about.

We know that recent lockdowns have exacerbated feelings of loneliness and isolation among older people and Let’s Talk want to offer a safe space in which individuals can offload and seek advice.

The helpline operates between 12.00-20.00 Monday to Friday and 10.00-16.00 at weekends, call 0808 8010750 for support and advice.