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World Mental Health Day

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While every day is Mental Health Day for leading providers of mental health services like North East Lincolnshire based NAViGO, October’s annual World Mental Health Day is a chance to further raise awareness and drive positive change

It’s also a chance to talk about mental health, how we need to look after it and where to get help if you are struggling.

Talking is good for your mental health. And talking about mental health is important.

But we know that starting a conversation isn’t always easy – whether that is talking about how you are feeling. Or whether it is checking in with someone you are concerned about.

Here are some top tips for how to approach a friend or family member if you think they might be struggling with their mental health.

Talk to them

If you’re worried about a mate, talk to them about it. Just talking about their feelings with a supportive pal who offers a listening ear can help them feel better. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the solution. A phone call, a WhatsApp message or a surprise visit can have a huge effect on their wellbeing.

The most important thing you can do is be there for them in their time of need – and point them towards professional help if they need it.

Ask direct, open questions

Don’t ignore your gut feeling if you’re worried about someone. Some people won’t open up until they’re directly asked about how they’re feeling. Ask open questions so the person can respond in more detail than just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and give them time to answer in the way they want to.

Do your best not to judge them. It can be incredibly difficult for people who are feeling low to open up. Put the kettle on, get comfortable and be ready to listen to how they’re feeling.

Ask if they’re suicidal

Research has shown that asking someone if they’re suicidal can protect them. It also gives you the chance to let them know they’re not a burden.

Speaking about suicide won’t make them more likely to act on their thoughts – in fact, it decreases the likelihood of that happening. If they say they are having suicidal thoughts, take them seriously – and don’t skirt around the subject.

Encourage them to look for support and make them aware of the services that can help locally.

Stay calm

If you think your mate is struggling, you can help – by staying calm, not judging them and, most importantly, listening to how they feel.

You might not have the solutions, but you can help practically – help them to write questions to ask their GP, or offer to ease the load by arranging childcare or doing a food shop.

And while it’s great that you can recognise when your friend is struggling, it can also affect your own mental health. If this starts to get on top of you, consider looking into support to help you deal with anxiety and stress.

Please remember, if you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, you are not alone. There are lots of professional support services who are here to help.

Know Your Numbers

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Awareness week. 4th – 10th September

When did you last check your blood pressure? Know Your Numbers week is a national campaign to raise awareness about the importance of checking your blood pressure, especially for those who are over the age of 40. Around one third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure which rarely has noticeable symptoms but if untreated, it increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Know your numbers campaign is designed to raise awareness and encourage people to make healthier lifestyle choices. It helps people understand the link between high blood pressure and stroke. It raises awareness of other risk factors too, like atrial fibrillation (a type of irregular heartbeat), and smoking.

By understanding your numbers empowers you to make informed decisions about diet, exercise, and overall health. Let’s make wellness a priority! To watch and hear more from
Dr James Crick click here

Let’s get better. Here’s how you can get checked, and what the numbers mean:
👉🏻 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/blood-pressure-test/
👉🏻 https://www.bloodpressureuk.org/know-your-numbers/

If you would like anymore information surrounding the Know Your Numbers campaign you can sign up to the free public webinar via the following link.
Know Your Numbers Week Community Webinar Tickets, Thu 7 Sep 2023 at 12:00 | Eventbrite

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

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As we observe World Breastfeeding Week, it is essential to shed light on the positive experiences of mothers across Humber and North Yorkshire who have embraced this extraordinary bond.

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and fundamental acts that connect a mother and her child. It is a beautiful journey filled with countless benefits that extend beyond physical nourishment.

In this blog, we will explore the inspiring stories of three mothers, Georgina Birley, Marta Pereira and Elizabeth Carter, who share their unique breastfeeding journeys and the profound impact it had on their lives.

Embracing the Challenges: Georgina’s story

For Georgina Birley, breastfeeding was more than just a choice – it was a way of life deeply ingrained in her upbringing.

Despite the initial struggles she faced, Georgina remained determined to give her daughter, Alba, the best start in life. Alba was born with a severe tongue-tie, and Georgina experienced an inverted nipple, which made the beginning of their breastfeeding journey challenging.

However, Georgina’s perseverance and the support she received from healthcare professionals paid off. After a small procedure to treat Alba’s tongue-tie, breastfeeding became a breeze, and the bond between mother and child grew stronger.

Georgina’s commitment to providing the best for Alba ensured her consistent growth, which continued to be in the 98th percentile.

Even after returning to work, Georgina didn’t let her breastfeeding journey come to an end. Instead, it became a precious moment of reconnection after a long day. Georgina’s experience highlights the importance of support, determination, and a positive attitude in overcoming breastfeeding hurdles.

Trusting Your Instincts: Marta’s story

For Marta Pereira, the breastfeeding journey she had with her children exemplifies the incredible bond that can be formed through extended breastfeeding.

Marta embraced breastfeeding as the healthiest option for her children – she breastfed her eldest child for four and a half years and continues to breastfeed her youngest.

Despite facing challenges with her youngest child’s latch, Marta’s unwavering trust in her instincts and her dedication to feeding on demand helped her navigate through the difficulties.

By following her instincts and embracing her children’s cues, Marta nurtured strong connections and supported their wellbeing through the power of breastfeeding.

Strength in Community: Elizabeth’s story

For Elizabeth Carter, breastfeeding was a natural decision, influenced by her family’s tradition of nurturing through breastfeeding.

Her early journey with her eldest child had its challenges due to tongue-tie, which required the use of nipple shields. The support Elizabeth found at breastfeeding groups allowed her to navigate the difficulties and grow in confidence as a breastfeeding mother.

Connecting with other mothers on similar journeys provided her with valuable advice and a sense of belonging. As she breastfed her eldest child for 18 months, Elizabeth found joy in the camaraderie of the group and built lasting friendships, making her maternity leave truly enjoyable.

When her second child was born, Elizabeth’s experience was much smoother, and she continued breastfeeding her for 5 years.

The support and understanding from her community allowed Elizabeth to nurture her children through breastfeeding, leading to a remarkable bond between mother and child.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

These stories exemplify the benefits of breastfeeding that go beyond physical nourishment:

  • Emotional Bond: Breastfeeding fosters a profound emotional connection between mother and child, promoting feelings of security and love.
  • Nutritional Excellence: Breast milk is a blend of nutrients tailored to meet the baby’s evolving needs, bolstering their immune system and overall health.
  • Community Support: Engaging in breastfeeding groups provides a sense of belonging and allows mothers to share experiences, exchange advice, and find encouragement during challenging times.
  • Long-Term Health: Studies suggest that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of certain illnesses for both mother and child, promoting lifelong wellbeing.
  • Positive Parenting Experience: Breastfeeding can lead to positive parenting experiences, fostering patience, and a deeper understanding of the child’s needs.

During this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, we celebrate the incredible journey of all breastfeeding mothers. Their experiences highlight the beauty of this natural bond and the transformative impact it has on both mother and child.

Breastfeeding goes beyond providing nutrition. It nourishes the soul, creates unbreakable bonds, and establishes a supportive community of mothers.

Let’s continue to support and encourage breastfeeding mothers, recognising the immeasurable value they bring to their children’s lives.