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Mental health week promotes wellbeing

13 October 2011

Islanders are being asked to think about their happiness and wellbeing this week during World Mental Health Awareness Week.

Dr Luke Shobbrook, a counselling psychologist with the Health and Social Services Department’s Psychological Assessment and Therapy Service, has devised a 'prescription' for happiness, combining several findings from recent psychological research on wellbeing.

Dr Shobbrook said “You are more likely to achieve greater happiness if you stop trying to be happy and concentrate on intentional activities that increase your sense of wellbeing instead. The following recommendations are tried and tested methods that have helped others.”

Count your blessings

  • keep a gratitude journal at least once a week
  • reflect on your past positive experiences

Practise acts of kindness

  • do things for others 5 times per week
  • perform a combination of random and planned acts

Pay someone a ‘gratitude visit’

  • thank a mentor or someone who has helped you

Savour life’s joys

  • pay attention to momentary pleasures
  • take mental photographs to use later on

Learn to forgive

  • let go of negative emotions like resentment and anger
  • forgive those who have hurt you

Take care of yourself

  • eat well, take exercise and sleep well
  • smile and laugh as much as you can
  • take time to relax and be mindful

Invest time in friends and family

  • spend time with your family rather than spending money on them
  • a few close friendships are better than many shallow ones

Use coping strategies

  • be positive and truthful with your self-talk
  • distract yourself from negative feelings
  • seek out the positive - make lemonade out of lemons

Dr Tracy Wade, Director of Counselling and Psychotherapy Services, added “The Psychological Assessment and Therapy Service runs a wide range of courses to help individuals with a variety of difficulties that they may face which includes: emotional coping skills course; stress management course; anxiety course; anger course; mood matters; sleep course and mindfulness meditation course. We also run a course called Beating the Blues which is an 8 session computerised cognitive behaviour course for anxiety and depression. 

"These courses can be accessed via your GP. We also have a whole host of self help books that are available in Jersey Library. If someone faces more challenges in day to day living they can always come and meet with a qualified professional to see how we might work with them to overcome their difficulties and maximise their quality of life. This service is confidential.”

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