International Women’s Day

Happy woman punching air

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new centre of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”

Oprah Winfrey

A woman’s position in society is forever changing. With everything that has happened this month every woman across the UK is questioning safety, boundaries, relationships and gender identity. There will always be change and society is constantly evolving.

What is important now is to show kindness and respect to one another, whilst listening to the voice of all women and then focussing on how to share personal stories and let voices be heard. That is what will bring about true change not through violence but through compassion and listening.

Rare Disease Day

Person unwell in bed

Today is a special day to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients lives.

Unlike more well-known diseases such as cancer, when you do get diagnosed with a rare disease it can be very isolating and difficult to get support. This ultimately affects your mental health.

It is known that 1 in 20 people will live with a rare disease at some point. Rare Disease Day improves knowledge amongst the general public of rare diseases while encouraging researchers and decision makers to address the needs of those living with rare diseases.

The campaign started as a European event and has progressively become a world phenomenon. The first Rare Disease Day was celebrated in 2008 on 29 February, a ‘rare’ date that happens only once every four years. Ever since, Rare Disease Day has taken place on the last day of February, a month known for having a ‘rare’ number of days.

New Start New You

Road through mountains

“The first step towards getting somewhere
is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.”

J P Morgan

After the shock of last year and as a world community what we have experienced. It has brought so much into perspective in terms of looking at our own lives. Analysing what is working and perhaps what is not working.

I think the pandemic has brought so many questions in terms of wider issues such as race, diversity, equality and wellbeing for us all. Personal questions have come to the surface such as “Am I happy? Is my job right for me? Do I live how I really want to live?“

As the quote by J P Morgan said - first let's decide what we do not want and then let's go from there.

If you need help in mapping out your new future and your journey then please speak to one of our trained advisers and we can be of assistance. Or perhaps by attending one of our workshops and sharing your story with others could be of benefit also.

Remember we are here to support you. Let me leave you with this just as equally inspiring quote:

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin.
Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”

Alan Cohen

World Aids Day 1st December 2020

What is World Aids Day?

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever-global health day.

Why is World Aids Day Important?

Over 103,800 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK over 4,450 people are diagnosed with HIV, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

What can I do on World Aids Day?

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. So please get your place of work or education facility to advertise world aids day.

Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day.

Alcohol Awareness Week 11th-17th November 2020

People in the UK are drinking differently as a result of coronavirus.

It has either gone either way for each and every individual. Some people during lockdown have either gone on a massive health kick or others its gone the opposite way and involved lunch time drinking, over eating and generally just full on nesting behaviour.

The first thing is not to beat yourself up about this as this has been one of the hardest years on so many levels. However increase in drinking can have devastating effects on both your personal, family and working relationships.

So how can this be changed?

– Working out a schedule

– Changing your habits

– Daily exercise

– Fresh air

– Support groups

– One-to-one support

Please note that wellbeingforus.com offers one-to-one support and workshops covering a range of topics.

World Diabetes Day – 14th November 2020

Today we are going to talk about gestational diabetes; this is an illness in which the blood sugar levels rise during pregnancy. It is a type of diabetes that is primarily seen in a pregnant woman with no diabetes history before pregnancy. The test for gestational diabetes is conducted between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The condition can be managed by following a healthy lifestyle and consuming a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. Gestational diabetes usually goes away post-delivery. However, it can affect the baby’s health, and raise the risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.

There are two classes of gestational diabetes, women with class A1 can manage it with a healthy diet and proper exercise while class A2 needs to be managed with insulin therapy or other medications.

Gestational diabetes in pregnancy can lead to:

An Oversized Baby

Diabetes, if not treated well, risks the newborn with high blood sugar. The baby is “overfed” and becomes oversized. In addition to causing the woman pain during the last few months of pregnancy, for both the mother and the infant, an oversized baby may lead to complications during childbirth. To deliver a baby, the mother might need a C-Section. Due to pressure on the shoulder during birth, the baby can also be affected with nerve damage during vaginal birth (shoulder dystocia).

Casarean Section

A C-section is a surgery to deliver the baby from the womb of the mother. A woman suffering from diabetes has a greater risk of having a C-section. When the baby is born through a C-section, recovery from childbirth takes longer for the mother (and increases chances of infection).

High Blood Pressure

When a pregnant woman is suffering from high blood pressure, it leads to protein in her urine, swelling in fingers and toes and this condition is known as preeclampsia. It is a serious problem that needs to be watched closely and managed by a doctor. High blood pressure can cause harm to both the woman and her unborn baby. Women with diabetes have high blood pressure more often than women without diabetes.

Low Blood Sugar

Women with diabetes who take insulin or other medicines for the condition can develop blood sugar that is low. If not treated quickly, low blood sugar can be dangerous, and even fatal. If women watch their blood sugar closely and handle low blood sugar early, it is possible to prevent seriously low blood sugar levels. If a woman’s diabetes during pregnancy has not been well managed, her baby may develop low blood sugar very quickly after birth. The blood sugar of the baby must be tracked for several hours after birth.

Here are some tips for women suffering from Gestational Diabetes:

1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet

2. Exercise Moderately

3. Monitor blood sugar on a regular basis

4. Take insulin if required

5. Get tested for diabetes after pregnancy

Get tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born, and then after every 1 to 3 years. For most women with gestational diabetes, diabetes goes away after delivery. If diabetes does not go away, then it is called type 2 diabetes.

Please talk to wellbeingforus.com if you are concerned about this issue as we have therapists that specialise in women’s health.

National Stress Awareness day – 4th November 2020

Common Signs of Stress:

  1. Headaches, stomach aches, and other physical discomfort that has no identifiable physical cause and does not go away with typical physical remedies.
  2. Irritability: We often don’t understand what’s going on inside ourselves. We may have poor concentration and feelings of emptiness and anxiety. This is a common manifestation of stress.
  3. General anxiety: Constant feelings of your heart racing and feeling nervous. Trying to alleviate those feelings with alcohol, food or drugs to mask what is happening.
  4. Fatigue: Many adults feel that being tired all the time is a hallmark of adulthood. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Believe it or not, there are millions of people out there who feel energized most days, and fatigued only sometimes. If you’re tired every single day – and you get enough sleep – then consider the fact that the cause of your fatigue may be stress, as opposed to ‘adulting’.
  5. Frequent illness: This is similar, but not identical to the headaches and stomach aches we mention above. The difference is that here we’re talking about actual illnesses, such as colds. Chronic stress compromises optimal immune function, which can increase vulnerability. This can make someone more prone to virus infections.

The first thing to do when under stress is to admit to yourself you are under stress. Then seek help and talk through your situation with wellbeingforus.com. Our therapists are trained to listen and to give advice. We hope you can find the courage to seek out support.

Here’s to a far less stressful 2021!

World Menopause Day – October 18th 2020

Middle aged woman relaxing against a pillar

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Menopause Society have designated October as World Menopause Month. October 18th is World Menopause Day.

World Menopause Month was created as a means to raise awareness of the stage in a woman’s life when she stops menstruating. It helps women understand the possible health issues associated when approaching, during, and after menopause. It also allows us all to ask questions about our wives, friend, aunty, mother or sister.

Before we knew what we know now about menopause it was seen as a mental illness and up until the late 1980s in various parts of Europe. Under the law of marriage men could admit their wives into a mental hospital once they started to show signs of menopause. Which makes this day have even more significance, as still today in various developing parts of the world there
is little known or spoken about in terms of menopause. Many men still have full control over their wives in terms of cultural practices and varying country laws and this therefore puts women in a dangerous position in terms of their human rights, particularly when experiencing menopause.

Possible side effects can be hot flushes, mood irregularity and memory loss. This is because hormones within a woman’s body are changing and she is no longer ovulating and having a monthly menstrual cycle which therefore means she is no longer able to have children. For many women this can bring up a whole range of emotions psychological and physical.

The first World Menopause Month was in October 2014. The International Menopause Society promoted it and launched a campaign called ‘‘Prevention of Diseases After Menopause.’’ The aim was to bring awareness to chronic diseases that were more likely to affect women after menopause.


WORLD MENOPAUSE MONTH TIMELINE

​2001 - "​Menopause: The Musical" premiered
The play consists of 25 comedic songs about menopause, covering
topics such as food cravings, hot flashes, and memory loss.

​1942 - Premarin is introduced
​Ayerst Laboratories started selling Premarin, a still-popular estrogen
replacement therapy that helps with menopause symptoms.

1890 - The first menopause drug was introduced

​Merck begins marketing Ovariin, made of desiccated and pulverized
cow ovaries, as a remedy for menopause symptoms.

​​1821 - ​The term "menopause" was coined
​​A French physician named Charles Pierre Louis De Gardanne coined
the term la ménépausie (menopause) in 1821.

​350 BC - Aristotle noticed menopause
​Though the word menopause didn't yet exist, the philosopher
decided it started at age 40 and noted women couldn't bear children
after this age.

World Mental Health Day 10th October 2020

This year has been an incredibly testing and trying time in particular for people living with mental illness.

Covid-19 and the national response have increased mental health issues for many and put a considerable amount of pressure on many services and organisations.  

So that’s why, every organisation needs to think carefully how they will support staff in the future particularly with their mental health. A key way to do that is to employ qualified people or an inclusive platform to do the task and to not ask a HR advisor to also start to support people with mental health. This can be dangerous and put employees at risk. Therefore having the right inclusive platform can make all the difference.

This World Mental Health Day is a time to come together worldwide and celebrate mental health in terms of removing stigma and providing access for all.

Please see the top 5 tips for maintaining healthy mental health:

  • Connect 
  • Be active 
  • Take notice
  • Learn
  • Give

Why Use an Interactive Mental Health Platform?

The top three reasons for choosing an interactive mental health platform versus a traditional employee assistance provider:

1. Reputation

Never before has mental health been in the spotlight as much as it is in today’s modern world. If you see yourself as an innovative, diverse and inclusive company then you will care about your reputation. In particular focussing on the upcoming generations such as gen Gen Z and Gen Alpha. 

People not only expect their work to be forward thinking, innovative and interesting. They also expect the support they receive to be current and inclusive. Wellbeingforus.com offers a modern way of supporting staff compared to traditional EAPs that only offer phone counselling. Our platform is modern and interactive whilst being personal and unique. 

2. Retention

A successful business has employees that represent the brand and ethos of the company. There is nothing worse than when you pick up the phone or go to a meeting and there seems to always be a new member of staff that has little knowledge or understanding of what the company is about. In the last 5 years more and more staff expect much more from their place of work in terms of support particularly around mental health support.  

The difference between a traditional EAP is that it is steeped in a 1980s model of phone counselling and has not developed to keep up with new generations. A modern EAP platform such as wellbeingforus.com is more inclusive and diverse that can meet the growing needs of a socially inclusive and digitally savvy workplace. 

Mental health services in particular such as the NHS are reaching capacity. Staff more than ever are relying on their place of work to meet their emotional needs. Not only are they looking at what support is available at their place of work they are also publicising what their work offers on social media and to friends and family or networking groups. 

By engaging with a mental health platform you can safeguard your staff and your reputation whilst retaining your employees for the future.

3. Revenue

There are many streams to revenue and one is the quality and performance of employees. If an employee does not have support then it is likely their work will suffer which will result in loss. 

Another area of concern is in regards to employees who are at risk and who are not properly supported are highly likely to file legal grievances based on mental health discrimination. 

Many places of work are totally overwhelmed and unaware in terms of how and why they should start to support staff. It often feels like a minefield and many are looking for a quick one-stop solution. This can be achieved by having a fully inclusive interactive platform such as wellbeingforus.com. Which is supportive to each place of work and gets to understand and work closely with staff. 

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