The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group embraced Men’s Health Week (June 14-20) as an opportunity to promote their fantastic Mental Health Champion roles.
The NCA has Mental Health Champions trained up into the roles, which were introduced as part of the NCA’s pledge to change the way the organisation thinks and acts regarding mental health.
The aim of the role is:
- To significantly raise awareness around Mental Health throughout the Northern Care Alliance
- To significantly reduce any stigma and discrimination attached to Mental Health within the workplace
- To enable great conversations around Mental Health so that the right support is sought at the right time
Nathan Brookes, who is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist based at Salford Royal, has been a Mental Health Champion for the last year. He was inspired to the role to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, promote conversations around the topic and crucially, use his own personal experiences to help others who may need help.
During Men’s Health Week, Nathan said: “You only get one you – it’s time to prioritise.”
He added: “Opening up and talking is a sign of strength, not weakness. It may be a conversation that really changes your life. There is support out there, it’s up to you to take hold of it. There are lots of online resources such as the charity Mind who offer information, advice and a number of classes such as mindfulness. There are also over 70 Andy’s Man Club groups nationally, which encourage men to talk in a non-judgemental, friendly and open way.
“For more in depth and professional support, you can seek a referral to Six Degrees from your GP if you are a Salford resident. Mental health and physical health are intrinsically linked. It’s never too late to get active or get back into sport. It can be as simple as going for a daily walk or perhaps something more structured like walking football. Your GP can provide you with discounted membership to a Salford Leisure centre. Movement is medicine after all.”
NCA Chief of People, Nicky Clarke, said: “Ensuring our people feel able to talk about their mental health and equipping our colleagues with the skills and tools to have those conversations is really important. Knowing that our staff need help is step one to putting the right support in place. It is all part of making the NCA a great place to work where we support all our people whatever their needs. It has always been important but even more so now when we know that we have all experienced an unprecedented challenge and that this will have affected all of us in some way.”