PROMOTING SELF CARE AT CARITAS ANCHOR HOUSE
November marks two key awareness events – National Stress Awareness Day (7th November) and Self-Care Week (12th – 18th November).
To mark these dates, Caritas Anchor House offered one-to-one drop-in sessions for residents to discuss their wellbeing and what might be affecting it.
We all have times when we have low mental wellbeing, where we feel stressed, upset or find it difficult to cope. There can be times when there is no clear reason why you feel the way you do, but it can often be caused by events that are happening or have happened in the past, such as bereavement, loneliness, relationship or financial worries, abuse, homelessness and unemployment.
Research from the Mental Health Foundation showed that only 24% of men actively discuss feeling stressed with friends or family. As males make up 72% of our resident group, we developed these sessions – which were also open for our female residents – to encourage residents to express any stress or difficulties they are facing with their wellbeing.
We aim to tackle the under-reporting of emotional difficulties and to raise awareness of the support services residents and community members are able to access. Of those who attended the drop-in sessions, the majority scored “average stress” on the Perceived Stress Scale. One resident has committed to meet regularly with our Mental Health Lead for follow up sessions to further support an improvement in his wellbeing.
Empowering people and building their confidence can often begin with encouraging them to look after themselves in the most basic ways, including hygiene and life skills. We aim to ensure residents have easy access to health services, and as such, we build partnerships with external agencies and charities which are key to helping our residents to help themselves.
Last year, 69 residents reported an improvement in their self-care. We also accompanied residents on 43 occasions to medical appointments, including GP, outpatient and mental health appointments, to advocate for them and support them to express their symptoms with healthcare professionals.
We also work with members of the community to empower them and improve their self-care – find out more here.