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Mental Health Awareness Week at Oliver & Co

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues, promoting mental well-being, and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. This week-long observance is marked by various activities, including educational seminars, community events, and social media campaigns designed to encourage open conversations about mental health.

The goal is to foster a more inclusive and supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking help and discussing their mental health struggles. By highlighting the importance of mental health, this initiative aims to ensure that mental health is treated with the same importance as physical health, ultimately leading to better support systems and resources for those in need.

Here at Oliver & Co Solicitors, we are passionate about mental health awareness. We have 7 qualified mental first aiders, these are trained individuals who can provide initial support to someone showing early signs of mental health issues or someone experiencing a mental health crisis. They are trained to recognise symptoms, provide support, listen, offer information, encourage professional help and support self-help strategies, all whilst maintaining confidentiality.

In addition to our mental health first aiders, we also offer regular seminars on mental health issues including a guide to mental health, beating the January blues and supporting others with their mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve engaged in a variety of activities designed to nurture the mind, body, and soul. Each day featured a different event, allowing staff to participate and benefit from these enriching experiences. The week has been a tremendous success, fostering a supportive and positive atmosphere for everyone involved.

Monday – Meditation

On Monday, we welcomed Chloe from Girl Meditates to provide an hour of guided meditation.
Meditation is a practice that involves focused attention, mindfulness, and deep relaxation, often leading to a profound sense of peace and clarity. Regular meditation offers numerous benefits for both mental and physical health. Mentally, it helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by promoting a calm and balanced mind. It enhances concentration, creativity, and emotional resilience, enabling individuals to cope better with life’s challenges. Physically, meditation can lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality, and boost the immune system. By fostering a state of relaxation and heightened awareness, meditation contributes to overall well-being and a greater sense of inner harmony.

The session was thoroughly enjoyed and those who attended spent the rest of the day in a beautiful state of relaxation. Helen from our Industrial Disease Department found the session to be extremely good and said; “It was great to take an hour out of a busy day to shut off my mind from all the stresses of life and do something for myself. That night I had the best night’s sleep I have had in a long time and it is definitely something I will do again in the future.

Tuesday – Wellness Walk

On Tuesday, we embraced our office’s beautiful location by taking a wellness walk through the park, past the Amphitheatre, and up onto the historic walls of Chester.

Members of the Oliver & Co team enjoying a walk around Chester’s iconic walls.

Walking outside offers a multitude of wellness benefits for both the mind and body. Physically, it promotes cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and improves flexibility. Regular outdoor walks can help maintain a healthy weight and boost energy levels. Mentally, walking in nature reduces stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression by providing a calming environment and a break from daily pressures. Exposure to natural light regulates circadian rhythms, enhancing sleep quality. Additionally, walking outside encourages mindfulness and a sense of connection with the environment, fostering overall emotional well-being and a positive outlook on life.

The walk was not only an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and get our hearts pumping, but also a chance to chat with colleagues from other departments whom we might not interact with daily. Annabel, who joined our Marketing Team in January, said, “It was fantastic to get out of the office and breathe some fresh air. As a fairly new recruit, it was great to speak with colleagues in a casual setting and get to know them better.

Wednesday – Pilates

On Wednesday we hired a Personal Trainer to guide us through a Pilates session.

Pilates is a low-impact exercise regimen that focuses on core strength, flexibility, and mindful movement, offering significant mental health benefits. Regular practice of Pilates helps reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and enhancing body awareness. The mindful aspect of Pilates encourages a focus on the present moment, which can improve concentration and reduce mental fatigue. Additionally, the controlled breathing techniques used in Pilates help regulate the nervous system, contributing to a sense of calm and emotional stability. By improving physical health and fostering a mind-body connection, Pilates supports overall mental well-being and resilience.

The session was very well received and our CEO, David Owen, felt it was extremely worthwhile; “I thoroughly enjoyed the Pilates class; it was both invigorating and relaxing. The focus on controlled movements and deep breathing left me feeling refreshed and centred.

Thursday – Stress Busting Workshop

On Thursday, we were joined by Caroline from 4 Positive Growth for a saboteur stress-buster workshop.
We learnt that there is good stress which can be used to your advantage but you have to be aware of your stress levels about our stress saboteurs, and which are most prevalent in ourselves. Having identified them, we then discussed how to make the most of the positive aspects of the saboteur as well as the negatives. For example a pleaser is loving, giving and emotionally self-aware but they put others well-being ahead of their own, often to the detriment of their own mental and physical health.

Caroline’s stress-buster workshop was enjoyed by members of the Oliver & Co team.

Everyone who attended the workshop found it to be helpful and hoped to use some of the relaxation techniques taught in the session. Lucy Metcalfe said; “The session provided valuable insights into enhancing my mental well-being. Caroline’s expertise and engaging delivery offered practical tips that I believe will positively impact my day-to-day life.

Friday – Team Fun

To cap off a successful week of activities, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch followed by a lively game of ‘Who’s in the bowl’. This proved to be an engaging team-building exercise, challenging us to employ both our wit and physical gestures to assist our teammates in guessing the identities hidden in the bowl, often resulting in laughter-filled moments. It served as a delightful conclusion to the week, leaving everyone in high spirits and thoroughly entertained.

Team building games were enjoyed by everyone.
A delicious lunch was enjoyed by the team.

A successful Mental Health Awareness Week

We have had a fantastic Mental Health Awareness Week, ensuring there was a range of activities so there was something for everyone. Our Practice Manager, Liz Chapman, was delighted with the week; “As a mental health first aider, Mental Health Awareness Week holds immense significance. It’s a time where we can amplify conversations around mental health, break down stigma, and encourage support-seeking behaviours. This week provides an opportunity to remind everyone that mental health matters and that it’s okay not to be okay. Together, we can create a more empathetic and supportive environment where everyone feels valued and understood.

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