Are your mental health initiatives working?
There is so much information about mental health out there now, which is absolutely amazing to see. However, with a huge amount of information and options out there, are you doing what’s best for your people and organisation?
For example, Mindfulness is NOT recommended for people who experience difficulties with anxiety. So, if your colleagues have high anxiety…should you be doing Mindfulness classes?
We have developed a user-friendly questionnaire that measures wellbeing and emotional literacy.
The questionnaire is based on sound theory:
- Clinical knowledge of signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety and hopelessness; and an adaptation of The Mixed Model of Emotional Intelligence (Goleman, 1995).
- Therapeutic skills and experience of the self-care to aid recovery from mental ill-health and barriers to recovery.
The Well-being Questionnaire has 8 dimensions: depression, anxiety, hopelessness, empathy, motivation, self-awareness, self-regulation and social skills.
Our Assessment is completely anonymous and can tell us a variety of useful information for us to help develop a strategy with the organisations we work with. We tend to use this as a platform for developing our training to create bespoke packages but the report it produces can be used to develop a wellbeing strategy and initiatives that you can be confident in.
Here’s what our Assessment can tell us;
- Anxiety and depression tend to go together in a perpetuating cycle. You can also be high in one area and low in the other – the seesaw effect.
- When depression and anxiety are coupled with hopelessness; high scores in each dimension would reflect very poor mental health. This does not necessarily mean suicidal thinking however; the likelihood of such thoughts might increase; attempts may be made and there may also be an increase in self-injurious behaviour.
- An individual with low emotional literacy and depression could present as:
- less caring about others,
- avoid situations and interpersonal issues,
- quickly be overwhelmed with heightened negative emotions,
- lack the inability to manage emotional situations and interpersonal conflicts.
An individual with depression and low motivation will probably want to stay in bed, stay at home, often ring in sick and avoid social events/gatherings.
- Depression and poor self-regulation could present as angry and lacking in emotional management.
- An individual with depression and high emotional literacy would be open about their issues and problems but in a self-centred manner, may seek out others in similar circumstances to gain support, able to follow a recovery plan and seek help.
- Anxiety and hopelessness would make an individual feel despair, question their future, have little or no expectations about themselves, others, their circumstances, situations and the future. The feelings would be very overwhelming can could lead to suicidal thinking, suicidal attempts or self-injurious behaviour.
- Anxiety with low empathy would show as an individual unable to consider others as they are focused heavily on managing their own feelings. They may avoid others, social events/gathering and situations which may put them under the spotlight – like a presentation. They may also come across as uncaring and unhelpful.
- Anxiety and low motivation would hinder an individual’s ability to improve their well-being. Work attendance may be affected. They may present as having low energy, being non-committal, unhelpful and their appearance may dwindle.
- An individual with anxiety and low self-awareness would mean that they have limited introspection and their focus would centre around their feelings and thoughts. There may be externalising of blame and a lack of taking responsibility.
- An individual with anxiety and low self-regulation and poor social skills would struggle to manage their feelings and limited coping strategies. There may be frequent outbursts or emotional ‘melt downs’ like crying.
- Anxiety and high emotional literacy would present as someone who is good at managing their negative feelings, has good awareness of what their triggers are, is able to ask for help and follow a recovery plan.
- Feeling hopelessness and low emotional literacy could present as not caring, less focus, compliance (especially if out of character), pessimism and sometimes defiance.
- Hopelessness and high emotional literacy are unlikely because high emotional literacy should make someone more hopeful.
How does Emotional Literacy/Intelligence play it’s part?
Empathy is the understanding of other’s thoughts and feelings. The understanding, respect and value of other’s beliefs, values, assumptions and feelings is effective in making positive interpersonal relationships, working with and learning from the diversity of people that you meet.
Motivation is working towards goals, and being persistent, resilient and optimistic in achieving them. The ability and confidence to manage set goals, work out effective strategies for reaching those goals, respond effectively to setbacks and difficulties, maximising our ability to achieve our potential.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognise own emotions and mood. The awareness of knowing and understanding how I think and feel; and how this affects others. When we can identify and describe our beliefs, values, assumptions and feelings, we feel good about ourselves, our strengths, and limitations. Thus, learning more effectively and engage in positive interactions with others.
Self-regulation is being able to manage how we express emotions, cope with changing and difficult and uncomfortable feelings. The ability to increase and enhance positive and pleasant feelings. When we have strategies for expressing feelings appropriately and positively it helps us manage challenging interpersonal conflicts. We feel comfortable, can concentrate better, behave more appropriately, make better relationships, work more cooperatively and productively with those around us.
Social Skills relates to dealing with building and maintaining relationships and, problem solving including interpersonal ones. For example, being equipped with strategies in forming, maintaining relationships, for problem solving and dealing with conflicts with other people.
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