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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Highland Communities Urged to Get Behind Stress Awareness Challenge 

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Stress Awareness Month is held each year in the month of April to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.  

The Highland Community Planning Partnership is encouraging communities across Highland to get behind the 30 day challenge to help turn actions in to positive habits. 

Cathy Steer, Head of Health Improvement with NHS Highland, said:

“It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits.

“This programme will maximise your chances of turning knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change. 

“Part of the challenge is encouraging people to pick one action to carry out every day throughout the month of April.

“Each action aims to benefit your Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing.” 

The programme is free to join, and the challenge is packed full of resources specifically created for the month of April.  

You can download the 30 Day Challenge, a Daily De-Stressing Planner, a Stress Guide, 7 Steps Achievement Plan and much more.

To access the free 30 day challenge click here(www.stress.org.uk/30daychallenge)  

There are a number of ways you reduce stress and improve your mental wellbeing.

These include –  

Socialising – whether it’s a sport, hobby classes or volunteering, activities give meaning and purpose to our lives and can help build confidence.  

An opportunity to laugh and talk with others in social situations serves to turn focus outwards.

Being able to talk through problems and share worries with others decreases stress levels.   

Volunteering – is good for reducing stress because, much like socialising, it turns our focus outwards.  

Helping others with their problems, can help gain a positive perspective on our own difficulties.  

Plus, there are associated benefits when working together with other like-minded people to achieve a worthwhile goal, uniting in us in a shared sense of purpose. 

Adopt a positive mindset – being in control of your thoughts increases your ability to find solutions to challenging situations and to deal more effectively with stress. 

Conversations also have the power to change lives, helping to create supportive communities where we can begin to talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when we need it. 

The Highland Community Planning Partnership also has a dedicated Mental Health and Wellbeing Delivery group (www.highlandmentalwellbeing.scot.nhs.uk) which signposts individuals and communities to trusted sources of support for mental health and wellbeing.

This includes where to get help in a crisis; resources and weblinks to support our mental wellbeing; and learning tools to build skills and confidence in having conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.  

It also includes telephone numbers for local and national helplines which can offer support in some situations where people are feeling distressed or suicidal and there is guidance on what members of the public can do to help someone, they suspect is feeling suicidal. 

If you, or someone you know needs support in relation to crisis/suicide, you can also call Samaritans on 116 123, Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87, NHS24 on 111 or jo@samaritans.org 

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