Thank you from the Military Team at BBK and making the most of Mental Health Awareness Week | Bolt Burdon Kemp Thank you from the Military Team at BBK and making the most of Mental Health Awareness Week | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Thank you from the Military Team at BBK and making the most of Mental Health Awareness Week

This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from 10th – 16th May and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.  The week is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health and to start conversations surrounding mental health.  This year’s theme is ‘Nature’ which is very fitting as we emerge from a long lockdown into summer. Over the last year we have seen millions of us going for walks outside as a way to get moving and to clear our minds after being isolated due to the multiple lockdowns.  The Mental Health Foundation has chosen this theme because nature is central to our psychological and emotional health and has powerful benefits to our mental health including increasing creativity, empathy and reducing stress.

During March, the Military Team at BBK took part in March in March, an event which saw us getting out into nature and walking or running 10 miles for Combat Stress.  We are delighted that we were able to raise an incredible £1172.34 for veterans’ mental health treatment and want to say a huge thank you to all of our generous donors.  Through March in March, Combat Stress raised over £140,000 for veterans’ mental health treatment and it is really encouraging to see that charities and campaigns are receiving huge support. The stigma surrounding mental health is starting to subside.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health and have been helping the Armed Forces community for over a century.  They help former servicemen and women who suffer with their mental health and provide access to life changing treatment.  We are pleased that we are able to help make a difference to the armed forces community through our donation.  At BBK we frequently represent service personnel who suffer with mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, anxiety and depression and we often see the impact this can have on both service personnel and their families.

Family members are crucial to recovery as they support their family members through treatment but sadly this may lead to them developing mental health problems themselves.  With the money raised through March in March, Combat Stress has been able to launch their pilot family support service in Scotland, to help family members understand mental health symptoms, the treatment Combat Stress provides and how to help their loved one.  They hope to introduce the service more widely across the country later this year.  Sadly, service personnel who suffer with their mental health are often medically discharged from service which also has a wider impact on the family as they transition to life on ‘Civvy Street’.  Through our work in the military team we see the stressful impact that this can have on a family and so we welcome and encourage the Combat Stress’ family support initiative.

How to connect with nature during mental health awareness week?

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and has undoubtedly had an impact on our mental health.  Millions of us have experienced a mental health problem or seen a loved one struggle and whilst support hasn’t always been widely available, research from the Mental Health Foundation has shown that being in nature has been one of the most popular ways of trying to sustain good mental health.  Many people may find it difficult to access nature due to where they live or not having any outside space, but here are some ways that we can all connect with nature this week:

  • Take a walk in your local area – this may be in a park, along the beach or even just around the block;
  • Take in the wildlife – while outside take some time to appreciate your surroundings, listen out for birdsong, notice the plants and take in the fresh air;
  • Exercise outside – go for a run, a brisk walk or a cycle;
  • Gardening – if you have a garden why not get outside and do some gardening? If you do not have any outside space you could bring nature indoors with some house plants.

Suffering with mental health as result of service?

Mental health is commonly featured in the work we do in the military team at BBK.  We frequently represent veterans and members of the Armed Forces community suffering with mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety and depression as a result of their service in the military.  If you have suffered with mental health as a result of service then compensation may be available but there are strict time limits to pursuing a claim and so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

If you would like some legal advice then please do get in touch, or if you need guidance or access to treatment, charities such as Combat Stress will be able to help.

For further information about Mental Health Awareness week, please visit the Mental Health Foundation website, where there are some great tips on achieving good mental health. 

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