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Time to Talk

Time to Talk

Time to Talk Day 2022 is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, in partnership with Co-op. The campaign runs UK wide, with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and See Me in Scotland, Inspire and Change Your Mind in Northern Ireland and Time to Change Wales.

The day is all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. We all have mental health, by talking about it we can support ourselves and others.

This year we aim to support communities up and down the country to have more mental health conversations than ever before.

We know that conversations about mental health have the power to change lives. Our recent research shows how important open conversations in communities are to support everyone’s mental wellbeing.

Co-op are raising £8m for Mind, SAMH and Inspire to bring communities together to improve mental wellbeing. Along with delivering Time to Talk Day 2022, these vital funds are providing new services in over 50 local communities across the UK to support people’s mental wellbeing.

Time to Talk Day was launched in 2014 by Time to Change, a campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination, which was run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

For more information visit Time to Talk Day

 

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. Contact Working for Carers on 020 8868 5224 Ext 218/208.

Managing finances as a carer

Managing finances as a carer

Being a carer can lead to money worries, from having to financially support another individual to not being able to work as a result of caring responsibilities. Around 20% of UK carers are in or have previously been in debt as a result of having to care for another person and only 48% of carers can pay their bills without financial struggles.

Financial difficulties carers may face can add significant stress to the already pressured role of looking after a vulnerable individual. Through managing debts and receiving financial support the burden can be eased.

Here is some advice on how as a carer you can keep on top of your finances, helping to reduce the burden and increase the quality of your life:

Banking Options:

There are useful ways to make banking an easier and more efficient process for you and the person you care for. By speaking to your bank, you can set up:

– Direct debits, so bills are paid on time, reducing the potential debt

– Online and mobile banking, allowing you access to your account 24/7

– Standing orders, the person you care for can send fixed amounts each month for you to use on their behalf

Free financial advice:

You can access financial guidance through debt charities who can work on your behalf to work out what you can afford to pay and help you reach a realistic budget:

– Debt Advice Foundation

Debt Support Trust

– Citizens Advice Bureau

Financial Support:

You may be eligible to access certain financial support to help you in your role as a carer:

Carers allowance: if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you may be eligible to receive funding of £67.60 a week to support you and the individual you care for

– Council Tax Reduction: help for people on low incomes in provided in England through a range of local CTR schemes

– Personal Independence Payment Attendance Allowance (PIP): The person you care for may be entitled to receive PIP to help with extra living costs if they have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability and suffer difficulties in doing certain tasks as a result of their condition.

By Tabitha Desmond

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Managing your mental wellbeing whilst getting back into work

Managing your mental wellbeing whilst getting back into work

Getting back into work often leads to starting a new routine which can be exciting yet overwhelming. Time management is important in these cases, both inside and outside of work to ensure we can perform at our best.

Maintaining a great work/life balance is important, meaning managing time outside of work is important too, to ensure you have time to do things that bring you peace, help you relax and that make you happy.

When starting a new role, be sure to check with your line manager or HR who the key contact is to speak to, should you come across any issues or need any support with either workload or personal issues. Have regular, perhaps, quarterly check ins with this key contact to discuss anything that might be on your mind, or simply have a coffee (it’s always refreshing catching up with others!).

Drive new initiatives. If there is a particular aspect of the role that is bringing you down, or you think can be improved, speak about it with others, welcome new perspectives and collaboratively discuss pain points that you can then find a solution for. To show further project management skills, it might be useful to set time aside every quarter to catch up on how initiatives you have kicked off are currently evolving, if they need amending, as well as discussing any further pain points may have arisen. Educating yourself and others around the importance of understanding mental health in the workplace will also help overcome common barriers and create more of an open working environment.

Being relatively new within a company might also add slight pressure in terms of working hours; making you feel like you should be working around the clock. It is important that you do not do this, and you set boundaries so your team and colleagues know your working style, whilst perhaps also realising they might even need to cut their own working hours! Work smart, meaning be productive. Don’t sit at your desk till 10pm just to prove to somebody that you’re online. It doesn’t mean you’re productive and can often have the opposite impact. Think about when you’re most productive at work, and work around that.

 If you are working from home, it is very easy to slip into working earlier or later because we are already at the comfort of our own home, however it is even more important to think about logging on and off on time, to allow yourself to switch off from work properly. When working from home, it is easy to feel like all aspects of our life, from work, cooking, relaxing, kids.. whatever your life consists of, pretty much turns into one big blur. This can have a negative impact on us as individuals as it can feel like there is no escape. I would therefore encourage to set some time aside to find your happy; whether that be a long walk, listening to your favourite podcast or even just indulging in your favourite ice cream in front of the tv.

 Mind have put together a great summary on how to maintain your mental wellbeing at work here.

By Priya Tank

 

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Accepting the ‘Carer’ Label

Accepting the ‘Carer’ Label

The benefits of identifying yourself as a carer: Around 10% of the UK population are unpaid carers to a loved one. However, for many, they do not identify themselves as carer’s and see looking after a vulnerable person who is close to them as just ‘something they do.’ Around 1 in 4 carers took over 5 years to identify as a carer.

For those who do not identify as being a carer they may perceive the support they give as a normal part of the relationship they have with the person they are caring for.

There may also be a fear of intervention if the carer label is accepted.

However, failing to recognise that you are in a caring role can make it difficult to get the vital support you need to enhance both the lives of yourself and the individual(s) that you care for.

Here are some valuable benefits of identifying as a carer that help will reduce the burden and increase the quality of your life.

Finances

If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you may be eligible for Carers Allowance. This provides financial support of £67.60 a week. For each week you get Carer’s Allowance you’ll be entitled to get National Insurance credits. There are also other potential benefits such as support from your local council or a Council Tax Reduction.

Reduce isolation and loneliness

If you recognise that you are caring for someone, you can access a wide range of compassionate networks that are there to listen, support and assure you that you are not alone in your journey. You can seek advice and exchange experiences with others who identify as caregivers through local support groups, which might help you feel less isolated.

Physical health

Caring for someone can be physically demanding, such as lifting them on a frequent basis. By identifying yourself as a carer, you may be eligible for practical assistance that will improve your physical well-being. This assistance may include equipment to make caring for a loved one easier, such as a hoist to assist with lifting, and can be accessed through your local council.

Employment

Employers being aware of your caring role can help them to be more understanding of your position. You have a lot of obligations to juggle, and if your boss is aware of this, he or she will be more sympathetic to your needs. They can provide helpful solutions to reduce the burden of being both an employee and a carer through ways such as flexible hours which you are entitled to request after six months within your role.

By Tabitha Desmond

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Back to work nerves? Starting a new job?

Back to work nerves? Starting a new job?

Returning to work after a long time might be overwhelming, and can often lead to feelings of anxiety and nervousness; it is normal.

The best way to deal with this, is to not push away these feelings, but deal with them by reminding yourself just how brilliant you are, and regaining confidence that you are able to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of your job.

Nervousness and anxiety can stem from many things, whether it is attending work for the first time (in a long time), leaving family members at home, or just being around new people. In order to become our best selves, we must be confident, calm and open to learn. There are also practical techniques here, which you can practice to manage feelings of anxiety, to find your calm, and to relax.

Self confidence isn’t something that comes naturally to some of us, and it often requires a lot of self care and self awareness. So, before you start you job, perhaps think about the following:

– Recognise what you’re good at. Remember they hired you for a reason, and remind yourself of your skillset and what you are capable of. What do you want to achieve? This focus will encourage motivation which will  help being proactive at work.

– SELF – CARE. When do you feel most at home, where is your happy place? When you are lying in bed peacefully? During meditation? Exercise? Music? Find your home. Whatever it is that makes you feel at peace, do that.

– Be open to try new things, open to learn and open to build new working relationships.

– Instead of comparing yourself to others, think about what you can learn from them, and what they could learn from you.

– If there is an element of your job you’re worried about, read more about it, search it on YouTube and make a few notes.

– Take care of yourself. Get a good nights sleep and drink plenty of water.

More importantly, be present and enjoy and embrace everyday. Understand that you are still growing and learning, working on ourselves all the time so don’t be too hard on yourself if you make any mistakes. Mistakes are essential whilst developing in our careers!

If you want to read more on how to build yourself self confident at work, you can click here.

By Priya Tank

 

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.