Same Storm Different Boats
With lockdown 2.0 now underway, we have thought a lot as a team about how we can best support people in a practical way. Even with the furlough extension we recognise there are going to be some challenging months ahead for us all over the winter period.
We know that this situation presents difficulties for all of us, and our normal lifestyles have been disrupted. We have learned to adapt our lifestyles due to the restrictions associated with Covid-19. The levels of sustained uncertainty are having a significant impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing and at present, we do not have a clear end in sight regarding the current restrictions or wider pandemic. People are understandably anxious about the potential health impacts as well as uncertainty around their jobs and incomes. One of the many things we have all learned to do is become flexible and adaptive as the situation changes all the time around us.
Every one of us is in a different situation, we all have different circumstances in our lives. On this page you will find a mixture of information and signposts to help you stay informed, safe and well. The number one priority should always be to take care of one another, we hope this helps you do that.
You Are Not Alone
We believe it is very important that we look after our own, and others wellbeing. This page and our social media will be drip fed with a range of supportive, positive and helpful messages that we really hope helps you, your families and friends. It is important everyone realises they are not alone and it is completely normal to need some help and support from time to time. We feel it is also important that we provide positive messages of hope and optimism in a world which can feel very dark, negative and fearful right now.
Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see – Mark Twain
At Apex HR, we continue to be amazed by the strength of the human spirit and how communities and businesses pull together to help each other. We want to do our part to help however we can. Please do look out for social media posts with the #ForYou hashtag. Do please keep checking-in by visiting our ‘For You’ section on our website for regular updates. There are also ways you can share relevant resources and materials you come across that may be helpful for others, our hope is that this idea grows organically so we can reach out to even more people who may need support in the future.
Getting accurate information from the right places is a real priority. It’s so easy to get drawn into incorrect information that is so regularly gets shared on social media. Sticking to the facts can really help bring some stability in uncertain times. We have shared some of the essentials for you here. After the serious stuff you will find some ideas that are more fun and light hearted. It is our plan to add to the information we are sharing and welcome your suggestions as well.
So here are some essentials:
A team of independent fact checkers and campaigners who find, expose and counter the harm it does.
Money Advice is an organisation set up by the Government so the information and advice is impartial and not commercially motivated in any way. Up to date info on mortgage breaks, advice for rent, debt and much more. This website has chat facility, whatsapp phone number and email support service.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
For those in Plymouth Livewell South West have a first response number. 24 hours service available 7 days a week to help anyone over 18 in Plymouth experiencing a mental health crisis.
Specific support for young people and students :
Mental Health Charity – lots of information and support on there
IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services offer NICE recommended therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), for common problems involving stress, anxiety and depression.
An interesting article on How to cope with the winter lockdown
CAMHS is a service which provides support for children, the link below details how we can help children with mental health challenges during lockdown.
Over 1500 workouts of all levels in one place.
Library of free exercise videos
For Fun – Yes fun is very much still allowed !!
Do you have someone who is a natural quiz master, build your own quiz here
The Open University offer lots of really varied free courses
Learn 30+ languages online with bite-size lessons based on science
Lockdown is tough enough especially with the added stress of home schooling. We have put together a list of resources to help you all through this some are fun, educational and for the whole family to join in with.
Improving Lives Plymouth
Charity linked to Citizen’s Advice that can sign post people to lots of support services within Plymouth
The Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill
For some people, home is not a safe haven. Instead, for some people, it is a place of real fear.
The government’s Domestic Abuse Bill is currently progressing through parliament. The Bill will bring into law a statutory definition of domestic abuse, as well as measures aimed at better protecting and supporting survivors and their children.
Domestic abuse, much like mental health, has been a real taboo subject. This Bill aims to increase awareness of domestic abuse, the signs to look out for and where to signpost people who need help. The stigma around domestic abuse has prevented workplaces from putting things in place that are so desperately needed by those experiencing it. With most businesses now having mental health policies and practices thoroughly in place, the aim is to now shine the spotlight on the reality of domestic abuse and adopt the same open approach to discussions surrounding this topic.
Elizabeth Filkin, chair of The Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse, said: “The coronavirus has thrown not only domestic abuse into the spotlight, but the role of employers in tackling it. We have seen critical activity from our employer members to support their staff working at home who face domestic abuse, as well as a sharp rise in enquiries from businesses wanting help and guidance to put this support in place.
“Business is taking action but cannot do it alone… Only through greater awareness among employers and staff of the damage done by domestic abuse and sharing employer best practice can we make a systemic change to the way domestic abuse is thought about and handled in the UK.”
We can all do our bit to raise awareness of domestic abuse and break down the stigma surrounding it. Familiarise yourselves with the signs that someone may be experiencing domestic abuse and the services available to help those who need it.
Some pharmacies have adopted a scheme in which a code word can be used to access help in a discrete manner. A similar trend has taken hold on social media platforms where people are encouraging the use of discrete code words to alert others that they are unsafe at home.
Bright Sky is a mobile app and website for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or who is worried about someone else.
The app can be downloaded for free via the app stores. The app includes questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, plus a section on dispelling myths around domestic and sexual abuse. The website is focused on how to spot the signs of domestic abuse, advice on how to support someone you have concerns for, and ways to find help.
Both have access to a unique UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services with contact details, and nationwide helplines that are available 24/7.
It is also important to remember that anyone can experience domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or economic status.
Let’s all commit to keeping our eyes and minds open and doing what we can to educate ourselves and others on the reality of domestic abuse. And if you are someone who is suffering, please reach out in the safest way possible. Help is out there and you do not have to be alone in this.
🚨 As of 14th January, Domestic abuse victims will be able to “Ask for Ani” at pharmacies nationwide as part of a codeword scheme to indicate they need help. 🚨
As soon as they “Ask for Ani” which is short for ‘action needed immediately’, they will be led into a private consulting room where they will be put in touch with the police, relevant support services or helplines.