Wellbeing Wednesday 7th September 2022

Jane Fowler – Head of Customer Support Services

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Wellbeing update.  I hope some of you have enjoyed some bramble picking and tasty cooking over the past week!  Our tomatoes are (eventually) ripening so I’ll be cooking those over the next week or so.  Last winter it was great to open a tub of freshness from the freezer of last year’s crop.

If it has shown us anything, the last two years have highlighted the importance of speaking out and reaching out about how we are feeling – we have become ok with saying that we are not ok, and if someone is feeling suicidal, that reaching out is so important in bringing them back from their dark place, talking about mental health is now widespread.

We all have mental health – but there is still hesitancy to talk about suicide – and that is exactly what we have to get over to save lives. 

The Samaritans have some really simple phrases that we can use if we are concerned that someone may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. And there are sources of help and information for anyone who having those thoughts themselves.  Please reach out – either to help or to get help.

You will remember that we teamed up with Able Futures to provide mental health support.  Now we have appointments available throughout the day on 29th September – so please take advantage of this offer.  Whatever the issue, please use this service to get the help you need. There is a special session for managers at 10am so pop that into your diary now and find out what is on offer!

And finally we have a Versus Arthritis Tai Chi Session on in Kilmory, Council Chambers on 5th of October, 12.30-13.30pm. Everyone is welcome – whether you have arthritis or not. Tai Chi has real benefits for balance and strength – important for all ages.

And finally – reading update – Vagabonding at 50 (Helen Wilson and Elsie Mitchell, 1928) is highly entertaining. Over 4 years our heroines stride across post- revolutionary Russia, wearing ‘khaki knickers, khaki shirts, high boots and flapping hats’. Resourceful, hardy and content to be odd curiosities, they were greeted with hospitality and warmth almost everywhere they went.  Really enjoying that snapshot of a very different time and place, but where people’s connections to one another are what matter.

See you next week.  

World Suicide Prevention Day 2022: “Creating Hope Through Action”

The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2021-2023 is “Creating Hope Through Action.” On September 10, join together with thousands of other people from across the globe to raise awareness and prevent suicide.

Covid-19 has affected us all in different ways and brought new or increased challenges for many.  But there has also been a positive impact of new connections, often with neighbours and within communities. Exploring connection on this World Suicide Prevention Day will help us all think about how we can reach out and offer connection, helping ourselves and others who may be struggling. The Wellbeing Team are running various different sessions with partners to keep connected over the coming months, please see details of an in person Tai Chi class for wellbeing below and links to our partnership pages for assistance with mental wellbeing

If you are concerned about someone with low mood or depression, asking them if they’re suicidal won’t make things worse. Evidence shows it could protect them. If someone is feeling suicidal, it might be hard to get through to them. They might be distant or distracted or feel disconnected from the world and their own emotions. They might not respond right away. But asking someone directly if they’re having suicidal thoughts can give them permission to tell you how they feel.

If someone does let you know that they are having suicidal thoughts, always take them seriously. You don’t have to be an expert, just being there to listen and showing you care can help them work through what’s going on. Let them know they’re not a burden and there’s always someone they can turn to – whether it’s a family member or friend, or one of the organisations noted below:

Surviving Suicidal thoughts is here to support people who are living with suicidal thoughts, their families, friends, and communities.

The Mind to Mind Website features real people talking about their own experiences and offers advice to support them with their challenges. Topics include dealing with anxiety and panic, handling stress, sleeping better, lifting mood, and moving through grief.

World Suicide Prevention Day | Campaigns | Samaritans

The Samaritans offer advice on how to start a conversation with someone you are concerned is experiencing suicidal thoughts:

  • Choose a good time, and somewhere without distractions
  • Use open questions that need more than a yes/no answer
  • ‘How are things, I’ve noticed you don’t seem quite yourself?’
  • Listen well. ‘How’s that making you feel?’
  • Avoid giving your view of what’s wrong, or what they should do

It’s normal to feel anxious about asking someone if they’re suicidal, but it could save someone’s life. Try and avoid saying things like ‘you’re not thinking of doing something stupid are you?’. Being patient and showing you care builds trust and helps someone to open up.

You could ask:

  • Have you thought about ending your life?
  • Are you saying that you want to die?
  • Are you thinking of ending your life because you want to be dead, or is it because you want the situation you’re in or the way you feel to stop?

The Employee Counselling Service provided by Health Assured offer a range of supportive options including online programmes and telephone counselling sessions. You can access the service directly or by telephoning 0800 028 0199 or by downloading the app via Apple Store or Play Store for Android devices.  Contact the Wellbeing Team to get a username and password: wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.u

Argyll and Bute Council is partnering with the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service to offer you a free ‘Virtual Appointment Day’

The service will run on Thursday 29th September, and time slots will be available between 07:00am – 17:00pm. On the day, a member of The Better Health Generation team will call you at your chosen time to discuss how they can support your Mental Health – whether it be stress, anxiety, low mood or generally feeling burnt out.

(There will also be an introductory session for managers on 16th September, 10.00-10.30am via Microsoft Teams Click here to join the meeting)

The confidential call aims to answer any initial questions you may have regarding the service they can provide. If you would like to proceed with accessing the support, they will gather your basic details to apply for the Mental Health Support there and then, at your own pace. This is fully confidential, and we as your employer will not be made aware of any appointments or bookings.

Please don’t miss out and follow the link below to book your timeslot now:

Booking is now closed.

The call will take up to 30 minutes and you will need the following information to register for the phone call:

  • National Insurance Number
  • Email Address
  • Start Date of Current Employment

Further information about the support service can be found on the Able Futures Website You can also apply via the Able Futures website at any time, and so do not have to wait until the 29th September if you would prefer to self-refer before the appointment day.

Versus Arthritis Tai Chi Session Kilmory Council Chambers, 5th of October, 12.30-13.30pm

Come and join us at the Council Chambers for an in person Tai Chi Session with Jackie from Versus Arthritis. This session is appropriate for anyone and for all abilities, exercises can be done seated or standing. There is space for 20 people. If you are interested please email the Wellbeing Team wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk to book your space, we look forward to seeing you there!


Please let us know your thoughts and ideas about the items featured in our Wellbeing Wednesdays each week and send us your suggestions for future topics – we love to hear from you.  Please remember that it’s always good to talk. wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk