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Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

What is Mental Health Awareness Week?

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual opportunity for the whole UK to come together and focus on improving mental health. The event aims to help people better understand and prioritise their own and others’ mental wellbeing by raising awareness and reducing stigma.

This year’s theme is ‘Movement: Moving more for our mental health’, encouraging us all to find ‘moments for movement’ in our daily routines.

The home of Mental Health Awareness Week, the Mental Health Foundation, reminds us that regular movement is one of the most important things we can all do to safeguard our mental wellbeing. As well as improving our physical health, moving more increases our energy, reduces stress, boosts self-esteem and leads to better quality sleep, all of which contribute to better mental health.

Why is mental health so important to us at OAS?

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do at OAS.

Whether you’re a learner or a colleague in our training team, we recognise that your mental health and wellbeing have a crucial impact on your motivation, your ability to learn and work, and how you interact with those around you.

As a result, we strive to ensure the best experience for everyone at OAS, so that every individual is supported to succeed. We’re continually cultivating a safe and compassionate environment to help people to talk openly about their health and wellbeing.

We already offer a broad range of resources to help support our learners’ and colleagues mental health, which we regularly review and enhance as part of our continuous improvement approach to Equality Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I). This includes:

  • Signposted information, advice, guidance, and support
  • Mental Health enrichment sessions
  • Unum helpline
  • Well-being and Pastoral Mentors
  • Online and face-to-face drop-in sessions
  • Trained Wellbeing Champions (including Mental Health First Aiders)
  • Learning needs and wellbeing risk assessment, with supporting adjustments such as time out cards and personal mentors
  • Support, guidance and tools from our designated mental health consultants, Oxfordshire Mind.

We’ll be finding moments for movement throughout this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, including our annual inter-centre football match which will take place on Thursday 16 May. Keep an eye on our social media to see what we’re up to…

How can you get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week?

Head over to the Mental Health Foundation’s website for further information about the week and to hear their top tips for moving more for your mental health. You’ll also find a list of free resources to help spread awareness, details of challenges you can join and support, as well as a comprehensive library of information about mental health topics that’s available all year round.

Where can you go for help?

If you or someone you know are experiencing mental health problems, services are free on the NHS. Your GP can introduce and refer you to the services that will support your needs, or you can self-refer to access talking therapies.

OAS works closely with Oxfordshire Mind to ensure we support and protect our people’s mental well-being. Individuals can access a huge range of free support, practical resources and self-help toolkits at their website.