facebook pixel

Blue Monday: Practical mental health solutions

Scrolling through social media on Blue Monday each January can feel like falling into an endless pit of doom, with gloomy posts referring to the ‘most depressing day of the year’.

Amid the pandemic and a third national lockdown, life is challenging for many of us right now and we surely don’t need to be told that we should be feeling down on 18th January this year!

With this in mind, we want to brighten things up – there’s no evidence to suggest that the third Monday in January is actually the worst Monday of the year. It was first created in 2005 as part of a marketing campaign for a travel company and several variables were used to decide what would contribute to the gloomiest day in the diary. One of these variables was ‘how long a person has failed to keep up their new year’s resolutions’, which is particularly difficult to determine and not scientific.

Supporting you, your learners and your colleagues

Instead of using this day to bask in the despair, we want to share with you our practical toolkit to proactively support your students, colleagues and loved ones with their mental health:

  1. We recently shared with you our useful guidebook, creating mentally healthy learning environments, as a guide for educators to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of learners. Although we may not be in classrooms right now, you can still support your learners from home and the tips detailed in this guidebook can be applied remotely. Conversation starters such as “I’ve noticed that…”, “is there anything I can do to help?” and “are you okay?” can be just as effective over video call or email. We all know how important these conversations are right now, especially for learners who may have difficult home-learning environments.

 

  1. We know how important improving mental health outcomes in education is right now, which is why we aim to provide individuals with the skills needed to create mentally healthy environments. Our range of mental health qualifications have been developed to support learners with mental well-being and raise awareness and understanding of common issues. Designed by sector experts, our broad provision of high quality qualifications, including the UK’s first awards in suicide awareness and reduction, can really make a difference to your learners. Not only do they support CPD and progression, they could ultimately save lives.

 

  1. Improving mental fitness in further education - a relatively new term, mental fitness is defined as ‘a state of wellbeing and having a positive sense of how we feel, think and act’. Just as we might go to the gym to build up our physical fitness, mental fitness training is designed to be practiced proactively whether a person is displaying symptoms of mental ill health or not. This year, we’re doing all we can to improve mental fitness in further education. We’re working in partnership with Fika, a mental fitness app, and we can’t wait to share with you some exciting news very soon – watch this space!

Finally, we want to highlight that it is important to take care of your own mental health first, as if you are struggling, it will be difficult to offer the best support to others. Spend some time recognising triggers to your own mental health and causes of stress, and reflect on how you can minimise the effect of emotional challenges. This takes us back to our free guidebook which has a section on how you can manage your own stress.

 

 

On the blog...

Case Study
Case Study
Priestley College is one of 33 pioneering pilot providers involved in the roll out of T Levels in Education and Childcare to the first cohort of students. Colleagues at the college talked to NCFE about their T Level success, and how they maintained access to vital industry placements for their students.
Case Study
Case Study
As we come to the end of the first teaching year of the T Level in Education and Childcare, we’re reflecting on the past few months to find out how students have found the experience so far. We spoke to Lexie, who is studying a T Level in Education and Childcare at Exeter College, about her first year of study.
Case Study
Case Study
The ‘Learner of the Year’ category in our Aspiration Awards honours learners who are developing themselves through vocational qualifications from NCFE, making positive improvements to their lives. This year’s winner was Katie Albert, who is currently studying the T Level in Education and Childcare at Blackpool and the Fylde College.
Craig Wade
Craig Wade
An introduction to Craig Wade, Health, Science and Social Care Sector Manager at NCFE
Naomi Rainbow
Naomi Rainbow
Covid-19 has affected nearly every facet of how we engage with the world, changing how we approach leisure, work and education. Many education organisations have had to adapt quickly and embrace digital learning.
Kelly Johnson
Kelly Johnson
Kelly Johnson, Curriculum Officer at NCFE, has put together the following top tips to support you and your colleagues with getting ready to teach next session.
Jessica Blakey
Jessica Blakey
How a focus on authenticity, accessibility and automation will help create truly transformational end-to-end learning experiences
David Gallagher
David Gallagher
The role of lifelong learning in the evolving employment landscape is finally getting the recognition it deserves, but without the means and motivation, will individuals really be able to seize the opportunity?
Lauren Watson
Lauren Watson
A traineeship’s power is its simple, sharp focus on employability and employment. Where other education and training programmes might build the technical skills, knowledge and behaviours a learner needs for a sustained career in a given sector, traineeships help young people smash through the more immediate barrier of finding, getting and keeping a job. Take a look at our five top tips for traineeship triumphs!
Janine Oliver
Janine Oliver
NCFE is an educational charity with the core purpose to ‘promote and advance learning, helping to create a fairer, more inclusive society’. Our primary concern is the opportunities and outcomes that learners achieve in their learning, career and in life.