#littlethings can make a big difference to how we feel
#littlethings is the new mental health and wellbeing campaign by the HSE's National Office for Suicide Prevention and a coalition of over 25 partner organisations. The #littlethings campaign highlights that we all experience difficult times in our lives, and that when we do, there are some simple, evidence-based little things that can make a big difference to how we feel. These #littlethings can help us to cope but there are also supports and services we can use if we need to.
#littlethings answers two key questions that we all need the answers to in order to be able to look after ourselves and others mental health:
1. What can I do?
The campaign, developed in conjunction with mental health experts, highlights the evidence based #littlethings that can improve your mental health and wellbeing. The campaign showcases a selection of the #littlethings that are proven to protect and help recover good mental health and wellbeing – like keeping active, talking about problems, connecting with others going through difficult times, drinking less alcohol, eating and sleeping well.
2. Where can I go?
A new online information resource, www.yourmentalhealth.ie, has been developed with the support of NOSP and funded partner organisations. This website is now the most comprehensive online directory of support services and information on mental health in Ireland. It is a great place to learn about mental health, and to find out how to support yourself and the people you care about. In addition, there is now one single emotional support freephone number, available at all times, from the Samaritans at 116 123.
The campaign features real people; Úna -Minh Kavanagh, Robert Carley and Alan O'Mara, who generously share their mental health experiences in a series of animated films and radio ads, in order to help others who may be going through tough times. The campaign encourages everyone to know the #littlethings that are proven to work, and to share the #littlethings that help them.
Here are the #littlethings that can make a big difference to our mental health and our wellbeing:
Keeping Active – being active every day, something as simple as a walk, is proven to have a positive impact on your mood.
Talking about your problems – problems feel smaller when they are shared with others, without having to be solved or fixed. Just talking about it will do you good.
Looking out for others – Lending an ear to someone else in trouble, or catching up with someone who seems distant, can change their day, or their lives. You don't have to fix it for them - just listening is a huge help.
Doing things with others – Taking part in a group activity that you enjoy is proven to have a positive impact on how you feel, be it a game of football, joining a choir, volunteering.
Eating healthily – A regular healthy, balanced and nutritious diet will help both your physical, but also your mental health, and have a positive impact on how you feel.
Staying in touch – Catching up with friends and family is good for our mental health, reminding us that we're part of a community, and having a positive impact on how we feel.
Drinking less alcohol – For the average Irish drinker, reducing alcohol will have a positive impact on their health and mental wellbeing, making it easier to cope with day to day difficulties and stresses.
Sleeping well – Getting a good night's sleep of 7 or 8 hours, as often as you can, will have a positive impact on how you feel. Protect your sleep if you can, it will do you good.
To watch the Úna, Robert and Alan's #littlethings films visit www.yourmentalhealth.ie, where you will also find a comprehensive national support service listing and lots of wellbeing and support tools and information.
You can help spread the #littlethings campaign too by visiting their website and downloading or sharing the campaign posters with your friends, family, and community.