Is Poor Mental Health Costing Your Business?

A recent BBC article, “Why are we so ill? The working-age health crisis,” highlights a concerning trend: mental health issues are on the rise in the UK workforce. This isn’t just a human cost – it’s a significant financial burden on businesses too.

Studies show poor mental well-being and stress cost UK employers a staggering £45 billion to £102 billion annually. This translates to lost productivity, increased absenteeism, and high staff turnover.

Why is this happening now?

The current cost of living crisis is a major factor. With rising prices and economic uncertainty, employees are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. This financial strain adds to existing pressures at work, creating a perfect storm for mental health issues.

Invest in Your Workforce, Invest in Your Bottom Line

The good news is, there’s something you can do about it. By prioritising employee well-being, you can see a significant return on investment.

Impact Mental Health Peer Support offers a range of free online courses designed to equip employees with the tools they need to manage stress, build resilience, and improve their overall mental well-being.

Our courses cover topics like:

  • Understanding Stress and Anxiety
  • Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms
  • Creating a Work-Life Balance
  • Practicing Mindfulness and Self-Care

Empowering your employees to manage their mental health leads to:

  • Increased productivity and focus
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Improved staff morale and retention
  • A happier, healthier workforce

Don’t wait until mental health issues cost your business. Proactive steps now will benefit your employees and your bottom line.

Feel free to get in touch to find out how Impact Mental Health can suppport your business.

The Silent Sufferers: Why Menopause in the Workplace Needs a Reset

For many women, menopause is a natural transition marked by a range of physical and emotional changes. However, navigating these changes in a workplace that lacks understanding and support can be a recipe for stress, decreased productivity, and even forced career exits.

Pop art image of a woman at work suffering from the symptoms of the menopause

The current reality? Many employers fall short when it comes to providing reasonable adjustments for employees experiencing menopause. This lack of support has a significant impact, not just on individual women’s health and well-being, but also on businesses themselves.

The Price of Silence

The symptoms of menopause can vary greatly, but some common ones include hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, frightening brain fog, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can significantly impact a woman’s ability to perform her job duties. When employers fail to recognise this and offer accommodations, the consequences can be far-reaching:

  • Increased Absenteeism: Menopause-related symptoms can lead to more frequent sick leave, disrupting workflows and straining resources.
  • Reduced Productivity: Difficulty concentrating and fatigue can hinder an employee’s ability to complete tasks efficiently.
  • Presenteeism: Women may push through symptoms to be present at work, but their output and engagement may suffer.
  • Low Morale and Retention: Feeling unsupported and struggling with symptoms can lead to decreased job satisfaction and a higher likelihood of seeking employment elsewhere.

The Legal Landscape

While menopause itself isn’t a protected characteristic under some employment laws, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) warns that failing to make reasonable adjustments for employees with menopause symptoms could be considered disability discrimination. This means employers have a legal obligation to take steps to support employees experiencing these challenges.

Simple Solutions, Big Impact

Fortunately, many reasonable adjustments can be implemented to create a more menopause-friendly workplace. These can include:

  • Flexible work arrangements: Allowing for flexible start and finish times, compressed workweeks, or the ability to work from home can alleviate stress and help women manage symptoms.
  • Temperature control: Providing fans, access to cooler areas, and the ability to adjust thermostats can be a lifesaver for those experiencing hot flashes.
  • Access to private spaces: Offering a quiet area for women to rest and cool down during hot flashes can be a huge benefit.
  • Open communication: Encouraging open conversations about menopause normalizes the experience and allows employers to better understand employee needs.
  • Awareness training: Educating managers and staff about menopause can foster empathy and understanding.

A Call to Action

By creating a supportive work environment for those experiencing menopause, employers can retain valuable talent, improve employee well-being, and boost overall productivity. It’s time to break the silence surrounding menopause in the workplace. By fostering open communication and implementing reasonable adjustments, we can empower women to navigate this natural transition and continue to thrive in their careers.

To find out more about Impact’s Menopause courses and how we can help you or your staff, please feel free to contact us.

To find out more about Impact’s Menopause courses and how we can help you or your staff, please feel free to contact us.

Elevate Your Wellbeing this Spring with Impact’s Mental Wellbeing & Self-Care Courses!

As the sun begins to shine brighter and the days get longer, it’s time to prioritise your mental wellbeing and embark on a journey of self-discovery. And guess what? Impact is here to guide you every step of the way with our core courses starting this spring!

Are you ready to dive into the transformative power of self-care? Let’s take a closer look at the heart of our offerings:

  1. The YOU Programme: Are you seeking a supportive environment to explore your mental health journey alongside peers who understand? Look no further than The YOU Programme! This 4-week immersive experience is designed to empower you with the tools and strategies needed to navigate life’s ups and downs with resilience and confidence. From insightful discussions to practical exercises, each session is a stepping stone towards a healthier, happier YOU!
  2. Mind Time Evening Course: Picture this: a tranquil evening, a warm cup of tea, and a safe space to explore mindfulness and mental wellbeing. That’s exactly what you’ll find in our Mind Time Evening Course. Join us as we journey into the world of mindfulness, learning how to quiet the noise of everyday life and cultivate inner peace. Say goodbye to stress and hello to a newfound sense of calm and clarity.
  3. Your Choice: Your mental health journey is unique, and Your Choice puts the power back in your hands. This customizable course allows you to tailor your learning experience to meet your specific needs and goals. Whether you’re exploring coping mechanisms, setting boundaries, or seeking support through life transitions, Your Choice provides a roadmap for self-discovery and growth.
  4. Unlock Menopause: Calling all individuals navigating the menopausal transition – it’s time to unlock the secrets to a smoother journey! Our Unlock Menopause course is a comprehensive guide to understanding and managing the physical and emotional changes that accompany this natural stage of life. From hot flashes to mood swings, we’ve got you covered with expert insights and practical tips for reclaiming your vitality.

At Impact, we believe that self-care should be empowering, accessible, and, above all, enjoyable! That’s why our core courses are designed to be not only informative but also engaging and interactive. Whether you’re embarking on your mental health journey for the first time or seeking to deepen your existing practice, there’s something here for everyone.

So, what are you waiting for? Seize the opportunity to prioritize your mental wellbeing this spring and join us on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and empowerment. Your mental health matters, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Let’s make this spring the season of self-care and transformation. See you in class, fellow self-care warriors!

Starts 21 May, 2024

Mind Time – May 2024 IM231002

Enrol Or Login

The information packed Mind Time Course is designed to educate, support and empower people to immediately start to work on understanding & improving their mental wellbeing, and is delivered over two evenings. This is a fantastic course on its own for time-strapped people looking to make instant change to their wellbeing, or as a taster course before joining us on one of our longer day time courses. This course offers a free One-to-One session after course completion Dates Tuesday 21st May, 2024 Wednesday 22nd May, 2024 Times for each session 6.30 to 9.30pm Delivered live online using Zoom

Starts 19 June, 2024

YOUR Choice – June 2024 IM231101

Enrol Or Login

Impact’s 4 week, 8 sessions mental well-being programme – YOUR Choice. An inspiring, empowering and educational wellbeing course, helping you to understand and learn what you can do to help yourself manage your mind, your emotions and build total wellbeing resilience for the future. If you feel you need to make some important changes to have the kind of life you really want, this course is for you. Delivered each Wednesday & Thursday for 8 sessions on the following days: Day 1 Wednesday 19th June, 2024 Day 2 Thursday 20th June, 2024 Day 3 Wednesday 26th June, 2024 Day 4 Thursday 27th June, 2024 Day 5 Wednesday 3rd July, 2024 Day 6 Thursday 4th July, 2024 Day 7 Wednesday 10th July. 2024 Day 8 Thursday 11th July, 2024 Time for each session 9:30am – 2:30pm with plenty of breaks! Delivered live online using Zoom

Starts 25 June, 2024

Unlock Menopause – June 2024 IM231102

Enrol Or Login

The Unlock Menopause Course has been designed by people who have been through, are going through, or have just begun their unique journey with Menopause. Our aim is to support, inform and educate those who want to have a better understanding of what is happening to their bodies and minds, whilst learning what can be done to ease some of the more common symptoms associated with Menopause. Day 1 – Tuesday 25th June, 2024 Day 2 – Thursday 27th June, 2024 Day 3 – Tuesday 2nd July, 2024 Day 4 – Thursday 4th July, 2024 Day 5 – Tuesday 9th July, 2024 Day 6 – Thursday 11th July, 2024 Time for each session 9:30am – 2:30pm Delivered live online using Zoom

One tree is as good as a forest.

There are many well-documented benefits to spending time in nature, affecting both our physical and mental health. Here are some of the key advantages.

Mental and emotional well-being:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety: Nature has a calming effect on the nervous system, lowering cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and promoting feelings of relaxation. Studies have shown that spending time in green spaces can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Improved mood and happiness: Being in nature can boost your mood and overall well-being. Exposure to sunlight increases vitamin D production, which is linked to improved mood and reduced symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Additionally, the beauty and serenity of nature can inspire feelings of awe and wonder, enhancing overall happiness.
  • Increased cognitive function: Spending time in nature can improve your attention, memory, and creativity. Studies have shown that exposure to natural environments can enhance cognitive performance and problem-solving skills.
  • Reduced risk of mental health problems: Regular exposure to nature has been linked to a lower risk of developing mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
  • Greater sense of purpose and connection: Spending time in nature can help you feel more connected to the world around you and give you a sense of purpose. This can be especially beneficial for people who feel isolated or disconnected from others.

Physical health benefits:

  • Improved sleep: Spending time outdoors during the day can help you regulate your sleep-wake cycle, leading to better sleep quality at night.
  • Boosted immune system: Exposure to certain bacteria and microbes found in nature can actually strengthen your immune system.
  • Increased physical activity: Being in nature often encourages physical activity, whether it’s going for a hike, bike ride, or swimming. This can lead to improved cardiovascular health, weight management, and overall fitness.
  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Spending time in nature has been linked to a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Additional benefits:

  • Enhanced creativity and problem-solving: Nature can provide a natural source of inspiration and can help you to think more clearly and creatively.
  • Improved social interaction: Spending time in nature can be a great way to connect with friends and family or meet new people.
  • Increased environmental awareness: Spending time in nature can help you to appreciate the natural world and become more environmentally conscious.

Remember, you don’t need to go on a wilderness trek to reap the benefits of nature. Even spending time in a local park, garden, or even looking at a tree from your window can make a difference. So, try to incorporate some time in nature into your daily routine, and you’ll be sure to see the positive impacts on your well-being.

I hope this information is helpful!

To find out about your local walking and nature groups, you might be interested in these:

Your Wellbeing Bedfordshire

Wildlife Trust for Beds, Cambs & Northants

Central Bedfordshire Friends of our Countryside Groups

Feel Good Fridays For 2024

If you have completed a course with Impact, you are very much welcome to join us for one or all of this year’s Feel Good Friday events. 

Feel Good Friday is an opportunity to stay in touch with Impact and the people you know from the courses you have attended, as well as continue to learn new ways in which to manage your health and well-being.

The sessions are very relaxed – as those of you who have attended can vouch for! However, if there are specific topics you think might be useful to discuss, or you would like the Impact team to research, let us know in the registration form below.

Don’t forget you will need to re-register to access the Zoom sessions starting at 10.30 for a couple of hours on the last Friday of each month.

A new year has started, and it’s time to prioritise your well-being.

Impact is here to support and share why putting your well-being needs first this year will be your greatest and healthiest decision.

January is packed with our free, live online courses, and open for enrolment. 

We are all set to help enable, empower, and educate every person prioritising their well-being.

Here’s what you can expect from the Impact team this month…

YOUR Choice starting Wednesday 10th January offers a relaxed health and well-being, science-backed informative four-week course. 

This course is suitable for those who have completed one of our shorter courses but can also benefit those who know a little about self-care and well-being activities.

If you would like to chat with Jackie, the course facilitator before registering for this course, feel free to get in touch.

Unlock Menopause starts Tuesday 16th January for three weeks and for the women struggling with this changing time, this course will help to shift mindsets and some of the preconceived expectations, along with plenty of practical information to manage our changing bodies and minds.

Please contact Deanne, the course facilitator, for more information.

Mind Time is a two-evening course starting on Tuesday 30th January. 

This is a course suitable for those time-strapped people happy to learn a great deal about how to better manage unhelpful thoughts and emotions, in a short amount of time and willing to help themselves take the first step. 

This course includes a scheduled one-to-one support session within two weeks of the course ending.

Please contact Deanne or Jackie for more details.

My family and friends noticed this buzz in me…

We always love to hear from learners who have attended our courses and how their mental health and wellbeing has improved since taking on the practices we teach. We thank them for sharing their personal journey.

Image of a person navigating a maze on a beach

I have struggled with anxiety since I was 12yrs old, I didn’t label it back then as anxiety it was diagnosed as claustrophobia due to me panicking in classrooms, assemblies or when I was stuck in specific places.

I didn’t tell a soul at the time but some awful things had happened to me at home for four years that my young brain couldn’t compute. It led to a fear of being stuck somewhere and not being able to escape places without being noticed, and an intense feeling of fear sometimes out of nowhere.

I dealt with it through my teens and 20s by basically going off the rails without a care in the world, I had a lot of anger so I moved myself out of the family home and into a hostel while my Parents were on holiday, but throughout this time I was always putting myself in some form of therapy whether it was through the NHS or private, I knew I needed help. I didn’t tell any of the therapists about those 4 years of hell in my own home, I hadn’t told anyone.

I eventually did tell my parents in my late 20s and it broke them, we eventually found out it wasn’t just me it had been happening to.

I felt better for a short time because I had let it out. I continued seeing all types of therapists and I would start the sessions with This is what happened but I dont want to go into that I just want some guidance so I can move forward I was always told I had to go through the whole story to be able to move forward; that was by every therapist over the next 10-15yrs. After every course of therapy finished I felt more broken than I did before, I did learn little bits from each one but not enough to help me move forward.

My next strategy was to not tell them what had happened because then they wouldn’t focus on it and they would just concentrate on helping me move forward, but this led to them always trying to find that thing that started it all so I gave up hope, I was done, my only hope was to go back to my GP, I told him I cant go on Ive tried everything possible, used every penny of my savings and Im worse than I have ever have been.

We had tried most anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, he had hit a brick wall too so referred me to a local mental health clinic. In the meantime I listened to self help books, ate well, avoided caffeine and everything else to keep that feeling away. I was rarely leaving the house to avoid that fear.
After seeing a Psychiatrist I was put on some medication and referred to help in the community, the next day I was contacted by a Social Prescriber who told me about Impact Mental Health Services she explained it is run by people who have a lot of knowledge about mental health and they have had their own struggles, it sounded good, and different so I signed up and started almost instantly.

I remember saying to my partner the evening before it started I hope this isn’t going to set me back any further because I just can’t.

I started with the Your Choice Programme where I was introduced to Jackie. A few other members were in the group which would normally be quite scary for me but Jackie had such a lovely way about her that I felt at ease within a short space of time. As the course went on there were so many Aha and wow its me moments that I was instantly hooked on what I was being taught and was quickly filling up my notebook with helpful tips and recommendations. I hadn’t had this type of help over the years, everything else was pretty much text book whereas this was basically how to help yourself manage day to day mental health problems – predominantly anxiety and depression. You could also share your struggles without any judgement and sometimes other group members would share their insights too, it was a really safe space.

Impact opened my eyes to the fact that everything I was feeling other people have or were feeling too, I wasn’t alone and there is a way to manage these thoughts and sensations that have taken over my life for years and years. The best thing was I didn’t need to pour my heart and go over my past. Everything was concentrating on moving forward, helping ourselves and teaching us how we can change our thought processes, but also giving ourselves a break while going through these challenges.

I was definitely hooked on all the information shared and it made me want more!

My family and friends noticed this buzz in me and a lift in my mood, but mainly that I was more optimistic about the future.

I went on to do the You Programme which enlightened me even more, I met Deanne and more people who were each having their own issues.

I have left Impact with a whole lot of knowledge, advice, positivity, hope, comfort and such a good feeling about my future. I know I need to put in the work to get to where I want to be but I also know I WILL get there.

What happened in the past happened, I cant change it, I cant wipe my mind clear, I will live with it forever, but I know I definitely wont let it define my life. I can do so much to help myself move forward, build new habits that will help me, instead of the avoidance habits I thought were protecting me. I know it will take time and wont be easy but I know what needs to be done, and when those days pop up that I cant face things I will give myself a break and then get back on track.

I do wish I had known about Impact years ago so I could have avoided unnecessary therapies and being taken in by miracle cures advertised online, but I am also grateful I was referred to them when I was.

I have just finished the Unlock Menopause Programme with Impact as I feel that stage of my life is quickly approaching and I want to be ready for it. I saw Peri-Menopause/Menopause as another thing to dread but it really isn’t. It’s another stage of my life that can be managed and doesn’t need to be looked at negatively.

I think from what I have learned from the Your choice and You programme it has taught me a different way of seeing and thinking about things which will definitely help going forward into this next stage of my life.

I would recommend Impact even to people who dont have struggles, the insight you get is invaluable. I can also take what I have learned and help my kids if they struggle with anything through their journey of life, and thats due to Impact.

I will be forever grateful for that referral and for the ladies at Impact.

An Impact Learner

Last Few Courses For 2023

Our last few mental health and wellbeing courses for December 2023 are now open for referral and enrolment, and as always are free of charge to anyone who works in or is a resident of Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough.

If you would like to refer someone, please feel free to use our referral form.

Alternatively if you would like to know more and would like to speak to a member of our team, please get it touch or call us on 07779 086740.

Would you like some leaflets for our courses? Let us know and we’ll be happy to send them out to you as soon as possible.

Impact Mental Health’s mental wellbeing courses offer a transformative journey towards holistic wellness, providing participants with invaluable tools and insights to enhance their mental health.

One of the primary benefits of attending these courses is the expert guidance provided by seasoned mental health professionals. The courses are crafted by specialists who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, ensuring that participants receive accurate information and evidence-based strategies to navigate the complexities of mental health.

A key advantage is the comprehensive nature of the courses, addressing various aspects of mental wellbeing. Participants gain a deep understanding of factors influencing mental health, including stressors, coping mechanisms, and resilience-building techniques. The courses go beyond mere theoretical knowledge, incorporating practical exercises and real-life scenarios to reinforce learning. This experiential approach enables individuals to apply the lessons directly to their lives, fostering lasting positive changes.

Moreover, Impact Mental Health’s courses emphasize a personalized approach, recognizing that mental health is a unique and individual experience. Participants learn to identify and tailor strategies that work best for them, promoting a sense of empowerment and self-efficacy in managing their mental health. The courses also create a supportive community where individuals can share their experiences and learn from one another, fostering a sense of belonging and reducing the stigma often associated with mental health challenges.

Feel Good Friday 1st December

If you have a bit of time, why not drop into our last Feel Good Friday session for 2023, on Friday 1st December between 10.30 and 12.30!

For five minutes or for the full two hours, it’s an opportunity to touch base with Impact in a very relaxed Zoom environment.

Bring your mince pies, coffee and a smile.

The Impact Team will be there continuing to support, chat, enlighten and help you get yourself ready for the festive period 🙂

Follow this link to register, and we’ll see you there!

If you registered for Feel Good Friday before, you’ll need to register again, I’m afraid, but it literally only takes a moment.

Best wishes,

Déanne, Jackie & The Impact Team

A Recent Learner’s Mental Health Improvement

We recently received this lovely email from someone who recently attended one of our mental health and wellbeing courses and will be joining us on a new course very soon. They’ve kindly allowed us to share this with you.

Image of a man standing on top of a mountain

During my recent Impact Mental Health course journey I met some fabulous people who I’m still in contact with.

I also rejoined slimming world and am part of a group where peer support is so important and I’m making friends there.

I also began learning Spanish with Duolingo and am now on a 50 day streak. I know my brain thanks me for this new exciting information. I’ve downloaded a Spanish keyboard to my phone.😀

I now go on three walks a week, sometimes not too far but also pushing myself within my physical capability.

I’m eating 3 healthy meals a day and cooking from scratch. I use a food diary every day.

I talk to myself out loud if I am becoming unmotivated.

I tell myself people are `doing the best they can’, which adds more compassion to my responses when in challenging situations.

I know I am worthy of love, and of loving relationships.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all during the next course. Learning is something I enjoy, I’d just forgotten.

A Recent Impact Learner

Latest Courses

Starts 21 May, 2024

Mind Time – May 2024 IM231002

Enrol Or Login

The information packed Mind Time Course is designed to educate, support and empower people to immediately start to work on understanding & improving their mental wellbeing, and is delivered over two evenings. This is a fantastic course on its own for time-strapped people looking to make instant change to their wellbeing, or as a taster course before joining us on one of our longer day time courses. This course offers a free One-to-One session after course completion Dates Tuesday 21st May, 2024 Wednesday 22nd May, 2024 Times for each session 6.30 to 9.30pm Delivered live online using Zoom

Starts 19 June, 2024

YOUR Choice – June 2024 IM231101

Enrol Or Login

Impact’s 4 week, 8 sessions mental well-being programme – YOUR Choice. An inspiring, empowering and educational wellbeing course, helping you to understand and learn what you can do to help yourself manage your mind, your emotions and build total wellbeing resilience for the future. If you feel you need to make some important changes to have the kind of life you really want, this course is for you. Delivered each Wednesday & Thursday for 8 sessions on the following days: Day 1 Wednesday 19th June, 2024 Day 2 Thursday 20th June, 2024 Day 3 Wednesday 26th June, 2024 Day 4 Thursday 27th June, 2024 Day 5 Wednesday 3rd July, 2024 Day 6 Thursday 4th July, 2024 Day 7 Wednesday 10th July. 2024 Day 8 Thursday 11th July, 2024 Time for each session 9:30am – 2:30pm with plenty of breaks! Delivered live online using Zoom

Starts 25 June, 2024

Unlock Menopause – June 2024 IM231102

Enrol Or Login

The Unlock Menopause Course has been designed by people who have been through, are going through, or have just begun their unique journey with Menopause. Our aim is to support, inform and educate those who want to have a better understanding of what is happening to their bodies and minds, whilst learning what can be done to ease some of the more common symptoms associated with Menopause. Day 1 – Tuesday 25th June, 2024 Day 2 – Thursday 27th June, 2024 Day 3 – Tuesday 2nd July, 2024 Day 4 – Thursday 4th July, 2024 Day 5 – Tuesday 9th July, 2024 Day 6 – Thursday 11th July, 2024 Time for each session 9:30am – 2:30pm Delivered live online using Zoom