Hi All, my name is Seamus Ferguson and I run Blueridge, based in York, with my wife and business partner Sally.

Now in our 20th Year, and operating primarily within the construction sector, BlueRidge work with businesses of all sizes, to support their growth and development through building their people capacity and capability.  We deliver in the following key areas;

Leadership Development, Mental Health First Aid Training, Personality Profiling, Coaching and our Winning Edge team development programme.

I have been kindly invited to write a series of blogs over the next 12 months around the topics of health, well-being and safety; I look forward to engaging and it would be great to get your feedback and comments. 

What is mental health?

Stop and think for a minute: what would your answer be?

When asked this question many people will inadvertently describe mental health only in negative terms.

However, we all have mental health; in fact, there is no health without mental health.

Yes, the statistics for Mental health are shocking – in the construction industry 2 workers take their own lives every working day! However, we don’t need to be afraid of this subject of ‘Mental Health’ rather embrace it and realise that it touches many people.

We can work together to breakdown the stigma and normalise mental health and help each other to live full, connected, productive and happy lives.

Growing up in Barnsley, we didn’t own a car (don’t worry it’s not the Yorkshireman’s sketch) so we didn’t travel too far; however, we did have a real sense of community, looking out for your mates was just what you did. In a 24/7 digital economy we perhaps sometimes need to remind ourselves of this.

We can make a real difference to promoting positive mental health by taking time to talk and check in with each other.

How then can we promote positive mental health?

10 Key things to happier living:

  1. GIVING – Holding out a helping hand makes other people happy and will make you feel happier too.

Give it a go:

  • Share your skills or offer support
  • Ask friends, family or colleagues how they are and listen without judgement.

2. RELATING – The people around you offer a valuable pool of support so it’s important to put time into strengthening those connections.

Give it a go:

  • Meet up with someone you haven’t seen in a while
  • Turn off distractions to chat with friends or family about your day

3. EXERCISING – Regular activity will provide an endorphin boost and increase confidence.

Give it a go:

  • Find an activity that suits you and your schedule
  • Swap the car on short journeys and cycle or walk to work

4. AWARENESS – Taking time to switch off autopilot and ‘be in the moment’ is a great tool to combat stress.

Give it a go:

  • Pay attention to your senses — what can you see, hear or feel around you?
  • Choose a regular point in the day to reflect

5. TRYING OUT – Learning new things is stimulating and can help to lift your mood.

Give it a go:

  • Take on a new role at work or school
  • Try out a new hobby, club or activity that interests you

6. DIRECTIONS – Working towards positive, realistic goals can provide motivation and structure.

Give it a go:

  • Choose a goal that is meaningful to you, not what someone else expects of you
  • Remember to celebrate progress along the way

7. RESILIENCE – Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can often choose our own response to what happens.

Give it a go:

  • Find an outlet such as talking to friends or writing it down
  • Take action to improve your resilience skills

8. EMOTIONS – Positive emotions can build up a buffer against stress and even lead to lasting changes in the brain to help maintain wellbeing.

Give it a go:

  • Take time to notice what you’re grateful for and focus on the good aspects of any situation
  • Set aside time to have fun

9. ACCEPTANCE – No one is perfect. Longing to be someone different gets in the way of making the most of our own happiness.

Give it a go:

  • Be kind to yourself when things go wrong
  • Shift the focus away from what you don’t have and can’t do, to what you have and can do

10. MEANING – People who have meaning in their lives experience less stress, anxiety and depression.

Give it a go:

  • Prioritise the activities, people and beliefs that bring you the strongest sense of purpose
  • Volunteer for a cause, be part of a team, notice how your actions make a difference for others

Get in touch:

e. seamus@blue-ridge.co.uk  | m. 07581 751577   |   t. 01759 371060   |   www.blue-ridge.co.uk