Over the past seven months, throughout the pandemic, there has been a deluge of information around wellbeing – and how to stay mentally healthy in the midst of such uncertainty. The elevation of mental health and wellbeing into the public domain has led to massively increased awareness.
At The Charity for Civil Servants, we have seen for many years that socio-economic factors interplay with the mental health and wellbeing of our community. But, like everyone else, we are now in uncharted territory. We see people struggle with significant personal difficulties – relationships; financial challenges; bereavement. Now, more than ever, we must take a holistic, ‘whole-person’ view of wellbeing, taking into account the impact of such personal concerns on our community.
In my opinion, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to wellbeing. In its most basic terms, wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. But what does that actually mean? The short answer is … there is no short answer! What one person feels is their perfect state of wellbeing is completely different from somebody else’s. This stands to reason: we all have different goals, ambitions, personalities and priorities.
Take the pandemic. For some people, being at home for so long has been hugely positive; for others, it has been disastrous. As a charity, we have worked to develop a range of services that encourage people to approach their wellbeing proactively. When we understand what keeps us well, and what factors could threaten our wellness, we become empowered.
For some people, being at home for so long has been hugely positive; for others, it has been disastrous.
At The Charity for Civil Servants, we have introduced DogBot (our online chatbot) and the Wellbeing Hub, which pulls together an enormous amount of information and advice on wellbeing, all of which can be emailed to you. We have also developed a series of webinars for which you can register on our website. Topics range from dealing with stress and anxiety, to sleep, grief, gratitude, stress management and many more.
A member of our wellbeing team can spend time talking to you about your mental health – understanding the factors that have an impact on you, and helping you to explore new options and plans. We work with Anxiety UK to support people to get appropriate therapy.
Through our partnership with Relate, we support your access to relationship counselling as quickly as possible. Relate works beyond the traditional marriage counselling they were once known for. These days, it provides support with any relationships you may be struggling with – including children, stepchildren, colleagues, and relationships strained by shifting responsibilities around care. In the grave new world, you may really benefit from the support of Relate.
Most recently, we partnered with Sleepstation. We know that poor or reduced sleep affects many people, so we provide free access to Sleepstation’s clinically proven sleep-improvement programme.
The pandemic’s emotional toll has been substantial. We should all take extra precautions. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.
If you are struggling at this time, please do get in touch with us. Together, we can take the first step to improve your mental health. The Charity for Civil Servants is available to help all current, former and retired civil servants at any time they need help.
Jill White is the head of wellbeing services at The Charity for Civil Servants