How to be a good colleague
Wellbeing at work: How to be a good colleague
Many of us have experienced changes to the way we work over the last two years. It’s important to maintain wellbeing at work as we spend so much time at our jobs and with our co-workers. Here are some tips on how you can be a good colleague…
Express your appreciation
When people feel unappreciated at work, they can become unmotivated and unwilling to make an effort. It can be very frustrating if you’re not being recognized for the hard work you are doing.
Make sure you thank your colleagues or team members for the work they have done, especially if it’s something that has helped you in your role. Either thank them face-to-face or write a thoughtful email.
Respond to emails or calls promptly
Try to reply to your colleagues as soon as you can. They may be relying on your response to move a piece of work forward or meet a deadline. Alternatively, if you don’t have time to respond properly at the time, just send a quick email to explain you’re held up at the moment and you’ll get back to them later – you could give a rough timeframe to help manage their expectations and so that they don’t chase you again.
Steer clear of gossip
It’s never nice to talk about someone behind their back. Office gossip can be risky and unprofessional. It’s best to keep all lines of communication open with your colleagues so that you can be transparent and honest, then there’s no room for speculation or rumour-spreading.
You don’t have to sell yourself short to be humble. The ability to recognise your own limitations and shortcomings can make it easier to develop more meaningful relationships with your colleagues.
Avoid annoying office habits
If you share office space or meeting rooms, make sure you clean up after yourself and keep the space tidy. Be conscious of how loud you play your music or how frequently you take long calls. If you have an Zoom meeting or long phone call, try take it in another room so as not to disturb your co-workers. Be aware of things like time management and eating at your desk. Be considerate and respectful of each other.
Reach out to new teammates
It’s always nerve-wracking when starting a new job. Make your new colleagues feel welcome by offering to help, answering any questions they may have, ask them welcoming questions, and make an effort to make them feel at ease.
Be respectful of people’s time
We’re all busy and stressed. We’re all dealing with things we don’t want to deal with. And, we all wish there were more than 24 hours in a day.
You can take small steps towards making things more manageable by respecting your colleagues’ time. Make an effort to show up on time and come prepared. And if a meeting ends early, don’t try to fill the time – let people go!
It’s always lovely when someone offers you a treat! Why not, every once in a while, make your colleagues smile and bring in a few snacks to enjoy – obviously, always be mindful of food allergies!
If you overhear a colleague struggling with an IT problem and you know how to solve it, step in and offer to help. It only takes a few minutes out of your day and will be very much appreciated. Or, maybe someone is looking for a contractor and you know someone perfect for the job, introduce them!
Support in absence
If a co-worker is off sick, offer to pick up some of their tasks while they’re away. This will help reduce their worry and stress, and they’ll likely return the favour if you’re ever absent.
Sometimes the best thing we can do to support someone is to listen. We all need to vent now and then, so if a colleague is frustrated and needs to get something off their chest, lend your ear and let them talk. By listening, it will help you to understand what they’re going through and maybe help to find a solution.
For more information…
Find more tips and advice on HubSpot.
You can find further information and resources to support wellbeing in the workplace on the Mind website.
If you need support with your mental health, you can refer yourself to Community Living Well by completing this online form.
Samaritans Talk to Us campaign
Throughout July, Samaritans will be running its annual awareness-raising campaign, Talk to Us. The campaign aims to let people know that Samaritans volunteers are here 24/7 for anyone who is struggling to cope.
In 2021 Samaritans volunteers spent over one million hours responding to calls for help.
To show our support, we will be raising awareness on social media throughout July, as well as marking Samaritans Awareness Day on 24 July.
If you’d like to get involved, you can help raise awareness this month by sharing Samaritans’ messaging on your own social media pages using #TalkToUs and #SamaritansAwarenessDay.
When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected], or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.
Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 5th July 2022
Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community
Although June is known as Pride Month, our support for the LGBTQIA+ community continues all year round.
LGBTQIA+ people are 2 or 3 times more likely to experience a problem with their mental health, and this has got to change.
If you identify as LGBTIQ+ and are looking for mental health support, Community Living Well can help.
Our Peer Support service, provided by Kensington & Chelsea Mind, runs a regular LGBTQIA+ mental health peer support group, where you can connect with others who may share similar experiences. See our events calendar for all the details.
The NHS Talking Therapies (IAPT) service can help if you are struggling with anxiety, stress or low mood.
You can refer yourself to Community Living Well by completing this online form, call us on 020 3317 4200, or speak to your GP.
Commemorating the Grenfell 5th Anniversary
Tuesday 14 June marks the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Our thoughts are with the individuals and communities affected by this tragedy, today and always.
If you need support during this time…
The Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service is running online sessions and continue to offer their usual support services. You can find more information on their website.
The Grenfell Memorial Commission is working to ensure that the bereaved families, survivors and North Kensington residents lead decision-making on the long-term future of the Grenfell Tower site. You can find out more about their work and how to get involved on their website.
Grenfell United is holding a Memorial Service at Grenfell Tower on Tuesday 14 June at 4pm. Find out more here.
Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 9th June 2022
SilverCloud: Online CBT
SilverCloud enables people to access the same quality therapy online, as they would meeting with a therapist face to face.
National studies, and our own data looking at the effectiveness of SilverCloud, have shown high improvement rates for depression and anxiety; helping people overcome and manage their mood better whilst increasing their sense of wellbeing.
SilverCloud is interactive, flexible and available 24/7, online via a computer, tablet or mobile phone. You can use the SilverCloud programme entirely at your own pace and to fit in with your busy schedule.
Telephone assessments are completed and SilverCloud is introduced in the second follow up call, once it has been discussed with a Supervisor.
SilverCloud is being offered in both Supported (with a therapist leaving reviews and checking in via phone calls) and Unsupported modes (pure self-help).
Unsupported is often offered when:
- Waiting for Groups or 1-2-1 sessions.
- Relapse Prevention (as a discharge tool).
Supported is used as a standalone intervention and is offered after having an assessment.
For more information…
To use SilverCloud you must be registered with the Community Living Well Talking Therapies (IAPT) service. To refer yourself please complete this quick online form or call 020 3317 4200.
Find out more about the Talking Therapies (IAPT) service
Talking Therapies (IAPT) is available for people aged 16 and over who are registered with a GP in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, or the Queen’s Park and Paddington areas of Westminster.
MHAW Keeping People Connected Campaign
The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 was loneliness. To support the week, Community Living Well ran its own campaign, ‘Keeping People Connected’.
The aim was to highlight all of the incredible organisations in our local community who work to keep people connected and reduce loneliness.
IAPT and Community Living Well recognise that the impact of loneliness and isolation on our health is a great as smoking or obesity and as an a wraparound, holistic service we were well positioned to host this campaign. IAPT is aware that at times the reason people do not connect with others is because they are experiencing low mood, anxiety or depression, IAPT and Community Living Well are here to support them through brief psychological therapies to start living the life they deserve.
We asked organisations to record a short video message highlighting activities or events they run that connect people, helps them to make friends and reduce loneliness. We created a guide to support organisations to make the videos and encouraged them to create clips in community languages as well as English. These included videos created by the IAPT team both in English and in their mother tongue languages, not only to be able to connect with those for whom English is their second language but also to reflect the diversity within our team.
We shared the video’s across a variety of platforms such as participating GP surgeries to ensure that we reached those who are impacted by the digital divide or are vulnerable and on our Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
The ‘Keeping People Connected’ campaign was a huge success with 18 videos received, 189 on-post engagements, and 1,705 total video views.
The online campaign has boosted uptake for the local organisations that participated. Mahbuba Parvin Sabur, Community Development Worker/Healthworks Enable Project, who works closely with the Bangladeshi community said: “My video has so many views on Twitter, people are calling to find out more about what I do and are signing up! I love helping people, I want to work more closely with IAPT to help more people.”
As part of Mental Health Awareness week we also worked in partnership with statutory and community organisations such as Lancaster West Residents Association, RBKC Libraries, Operation Cup of Tea and RBKC Leisure centres. We visited community anchors and held stalls, talks and workshops and had Large information displays in locations such as the Children’s Centre’s.
Here are our ‘Keeping People Connected’ videos…
Notting Dale Community Champions – Buggy Walks
NHS Talking Therapies (IAPT) in Urdu
Women’s Yoga at North Kensington Resource Centre
Activities and volunteering opportunities at Meanwhile Gardens, North Kensington
Community Champions programme at Dalgarno Trust
NHS Talking Therapies (IAPT)
Women’s Zumba class at Venture Centre
Volunteering in Partnership at Dalgarno Trust
Peer Support provided by Kensington & Chelsea Mind
Dalgarno Trust Community & Maternity Champions
NHS Talking Therapies (IAPT) in Albanian/Kosovan
Dalgarno Trust Community Champions
Queens Park Community Champions
Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 19th April 2022
Talking Therapies: Amal’s Story
Amal, who is a part of the local Muslim community, had been struggling with difficult feelings for a while, but she didn’t know why or how to cope with them.
She had tried to seek help before but could not find someone who understood her situation, and it ended up making her feel worse. Determined to feel better, she spoke to her GP who introduced her to the NHS Talking Therapy service.
Amal wanted to share her story with us in the hope it would encourage others to try Talking Therapy.
How did you hear about Talking Therapies?
It was from my GP. I went to see her because I was experiencing flashbacks, night terrors and intrusive thoughts. I didn’t know what it was. An incident had occurred in my life, and it all started soon after that, I just didn’t realise that they were related.
I’d been feeling this way for a long time, but it wasn’t until my GP mentioned that my symptoms matched those of post-traumatic stress, she suggested I see a specialist.
What happened after you’d been referred?
I was referred to the Talking Therapies service, but while I was waiting for an appointment, I was introduced to the Talking Therapy workshop about PTSD. This is where it all came to light for me.
The workshop taught me how to deal with the symptoms and helped me to understand why I was feeling this way. I learned some techniques in the workshop before I started my sessions, which worked really well for me. It was a great eye-opener and good introduction to the therapy.
The workshops were held online, which really helped as people could have their camera turned off – it made them feel more comfortable if they wanted to speak. You could talk to each other as a group, and we got the chance to share our own stories and experiences about what we’re going through.
Knowing that there are people out there who are going through something similar really helps, then you know that it’s not just you. You’re not the only one feeling like this.
When you started your sessions, how were theses arranged?
My sessions were over the phone due to Covid. My therapist understood that there are cultural differences, and this really stood out. When speaking to me, she mentioned to me about my culture and my background and that made me think, ‘wow, this is good!’
People in the Muslim community find it difficult to go for therapy because of the cultural differences. There are certain things we can’t do or aren’t accepted in Islam, so we need the therapist to understand these things. The impact of a trauma on yourself is one thing, but the impact it has on your religion is another trauma altogether. So, to find someone who understood this was very good.
Can you talk me through how the sessions were run? What did they involve?
My first session didn’t start well. I was angry, I was frustrated and annoyed. I hadn’t had the correct help in the past, so it had all built up inside me. The way the therapist dealt with the situation really caught my attention. She was so professional and the way she turned it around and how she handled the entire conversation, it developed into something really positive.
The whole service in itself was good. It felt confidential and personal. My therapist helped me to develop goals and to use tools to manage my symptoms. I was taught to be kind to myself, to have control over my thoughts and feelings, and also to know that it’s ok not to feel ok.
Would you recommend Talking Therapies to someone who is going through something similar?
Yes, absolutely. Coming from a Muslim community and background where mental health is taboo, I would recommend this service most definitely. They are very sensitive to our norms and values. I feel like there’s a lack of Muslims getting professional help, because they think they’ve tried something in the past that didn’t work, that wasn’t compatible. I wanted to share my story to show other Muslims, and people from other religions and cultures, that this can work.
In my area, there are people that have not only witnessed Grenfell, but they’ve also had their own traumas to deal with. So, trauma on top of trauma. I would encourage people not to give up, and to keep trying. I came out of this service a different woman, and I wanted to share that.
If you need support with trauma, stress, anxiety or depression…
If you have experienced something similar to Amal and would like try Talking Therapy, you can refer yourself by completing the form available here or call 020 3317 4200.
Learn more about Talking Therapies and how it can help you here.
This story was originally published in the Autumn/Winter 2021 edition of the Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. You can sign-up to our mailing list to receive the magazine directly into your inbox.
Stress Awareness Month 2022
We all face many challenges in life, which can cause us stress, worry and anxiety. During this Stress Awareness Month, be aware of how you are feeling and use the advice below to try and help reduce your level of stress.
How to cope with stress
You may find yourself worrying about a range of issues and feel increasingly overwhelmed or anxious. You might be worried or anxious about things like money, family, your health or work.
Pause and take a moment
It is important to stop and take a moment for yourself when you start to feel stressed. If you are in the middle of doing something or in the presence of other people, excuse yourself and find a space where you can pause, breathe and take a moment.
You are not alone
It is important to remember that you are not alone and that others are feeling it too. Anxiety and worry will affect us all at some point in our lives.
When we are going through a tough time, we often think negative thoughts about ourselves, and we may feel very alone.
Even if you don’t have family or friends close by, you are never alone. You could join one of our Peer Support groups, refer yourself for Talking Therapy, or join Mind’s online community, Side by Side.
You can also call Samaritans on 116 123 (24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year)
These feelings won’t last forever
When we are experiencing a stressful situation, it is difficult to look beyond it; it feels as though the stress will never end.
Talking to someone about how you’re feeling can help put things into perspective and help you to feel more positive about the future.
Know everything will be okay
Be safe in the knowledge that if the feeling of ‘What if…’ occurs, you can solve it as you have with other difficulties.
Ask for help
Ask for help if you can. If you are feeling stressed at work, speak to your line manager, a colleague or the HR team. If your finances are causing you worry, speak to your bank or get advice from Citizens’ Advice.
Talk to a friend or family member about how you are feeling, or contact one of the organisations mentioned on this page.
The 5 Ways to Wellbeing
The 5 Ways to Wellbeing can really help you to look after yourself and improve your overall wellbeing. Find out how you to introduce the five steps into your life.
If you need additional support..
If you are struggling with stress, anxiety or low mood, find out how Community Living Well can help you.
Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 1st April 2022
How physical activity helps mental health
Taking regular exercise can have a huge positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. We’ve highlighted some of the ways how physical activity helps mental health.
Recommended physical activity
The recommended amount of moderate physical activity we should be doing is two and half hours per week. This regular physical activity helps with many health benefits, hopefully leading us to live longer, healthier lives, which includes an improved mental health.
Don’t let the thought of exercise cause you additional worry and stress; it doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or complete a marathon! Exercise can be anything that gets us moving; from doing our weekly shop or cleaning the house, to dancing or going for a walk.
If you are living with a disability or you are not comfortable leaving the house, there are lots of suitable options available online. Disability charity, Scope, has information about exercising at home, or you can search for at-home workouts on YouTube.
Studies show that physical activity has a positive effect on our mood. Any form of physical activity can help us to feel calmer and content. The benefits are more noticeable when our mood is lower than usual, so if you are living with depression, anxiety or stress, you are likely to feel an improvement in your mood if you take some form of exercise.
Stress affects us all at some point. Research shows that physical activity can be effective at relieving stress, and those who are more active tend to be less stressed than those who are less active.
Taking regular exercise can help to make us feel good about ourselves. Once you’ve completed some form of physical activity, you will feel a sense of achievement, which makes us feel good. It can also help our physical health and appearance by keeping fit.
Increase Energy Levels
Regular exercise can increase our energy levels throughout the day and even enhance our ability to learn and memorise new things.
If you need additional support…
The Community Living Well Peer Support service arranges group walks in local parks, which is a great opportunity for you to take some exercise, get some fresh air and meet with people who may have similar experiences. You can refer yourself to the Peer Support service by completing this online form, or by calling 020 3317 4200.
Managing anxiety and stress during this time
There’s a lot going on in our world right now. If news and current events are causing you anxiety and stress, there are some things you can do to help manage these feelings.
STAY INFORMED BUT NOT ALARMED
You might like to keep up-to-date with news from around the world, however, tuning in to every single development can easily become overwhelming. To stay informed but not alarmed, try the following:
- Get your information from reliable news sources – don’t rely on opinions on social media where people are venting and voicing their concerns. This can increase your own distress.
- Focus on developments locally rather than globally. This helps you to be appropriately concerned rather than get caught up in anxiety.
- Limit the amount you read or watch – set yourself a time to catch up on the latest headlines. Lunchtime might be best – first thing in the morning may spoil your mood for the rest of the day, and at night may affect your sleep. Don’t read every article or listen to every bulletin, just find out the latest and then switch off.
TAKE YOUR TIME
With Covid restrictions coming to end, you may feel a pressure to engage with everything straightaway. However, there’s no need to rush, and doing everything at once may leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Instead, ease yourself back in and plan out your activities so you only have a couple per week, leaving time to relax and recuperate between each ‘new’ experience. Whether that be scheduling the first time that you commute back into work or meeting up with friends. That way, it will feel less overwhelming as you adjust to new experiences.
PLANNING CAN BE HELPFUL
If you’re nervous about catching public transport or meeting up with friends, planning can help you feel more in control. Try and travel during off-peak hours or plan a quieter route and plan out how long it would take. You could also write a list of things that you would need to take with you on your trip, such as, a mask, hand sanitiser and your wallet.
While things may seem uncontrollable during this time, it’s important to remember that there are things that you can control.
DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE
Take things one moment at a time and remember to breathe. It may sound simple but when we experience anxiety and stress, our breathing gets faster and shallower. When you feel yourself getting worked up, breathe slowly and deeply into your belly to override your stress response so that you feel calmer.
Meditating before leaving the house can help you relax and find a sense of calm. There are lots of apps available to download that can help with mindfulness, meditation and relaxation.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK AND BE KIND
It’s important to be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that we’re currently living in extraordinary times and it’s completely understandable if you’re feeling overwhelmed by certain things.
By practising self-kindness and compassion, it may help you to become more accepting as things return to normal. It is also a great way to improve your emotional wellbeing.
Talk to other people
Many people are probably feeling the same way as you, so talk to a friend, family member or colleague about how you’re feeling. Sharing your experience can help reduce the worry.
NEED EXTRA SUPPORT?
We’re here to help. Our services can support you if you’re struggling with your mental health.
- Talking Therapies (IAPT) – Short-term support for when you experience difficult emotions, such as, low mood, worry and stress.
- Peer Support – Wellbeing workshops, one-to-one peer support, peer support groups, social activities and peer support training with other people who have had similar experiences to you.
- Employment – Advice and support to gain and retain paid employment, improve your employability skills and know your rights in the workplace.
- Navigators – Practical support with a range of issues including benefits, debt, housing options, access to health and social care services and support to access specialist advice and information.
- Self-Care – Support and activities that help you to take care of your own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
You can refer yourself to Community Living Well here, call us on 020 3317 4200 or speak to your GP.
If you need urgent help with a mental health crisis, talk to the Samaritans on 116 123.
Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 24th February 2022