IMG_7862

Walking May Help With Mental Health Issues

Walking can help mild to moderate Mental Health Issues as a supplement to your medication or alternative in some cases, it is not only good for the mind but also has a positive effect on your physique and overall fitness levels which will in turn make you feel better about yourself and free your mind when you are out and about.

There are many benefits of physical exercise when it comes to mental health, you don’t need to go too extreme in your fitness regime as this can lead to self harm through fitness, this is well documented but a 30 minute brisk walk a few days a week can make a big difference

Here are some of the benefits you may get from regular exercise :

  • Physical Health

    Any form of exercise is good for your physical health

  • Boosts Self Confidence

    It will boost your confidence and self esteem and get you back on the social ladder

  • Relieve Stress

    Who needs stress? getting out can take your mind off things and give you a welcome break

  • Boost Your Happy Chemicals

    Exercise can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain

  • It May Prevent Cognitive Decay

    As you get older you are more prone to illnesses such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons Disease, being active may combat the onset

  • Give You The Feel Good Factor

    There is nothing like getting fresh air in your lungs and seeing parts of the countryside you never knew existed

  • Relieve Anxiety

    Leave your anxious thoughts go and lose yourself in the moment

  • Boost Memory

    Soak up the sights and new feelings, it will boost your memory and free up space for new experiences

  • Help You Relax

    Exercise will help you relax after a good session and will recharge your batteries for the day / week ahead

  • Motivate Others

    As 1 in 4 is the statistic by talking to others about how exercise has helped you it may inspire them to join you or do it to help themselves

Below is the map of the walk done today, it was only 2.3 miles long but was over the cliffs and on the coastal path, additionally we have prepared some general information on walking to help you on your way, please read it as it has some great guidelines incase you get into any difficulties.

There are also some nice images I took along the walk that can be seen in the gallery below.

Download

GENERAL INFORMATION ON WALKING

Equipment, Preparation, The Elements & Etiquette

General Information

When you go walking common sense plays a part and a general knowledge of your current surroundings. It is essential that you have knowledge of the highway code or the basics of which side of the road to walk on where there are no paths available.

IMG_7944

Walking is not exclusively for experienced hikers as it is a function we all do on a daily basis so it is not only enjoyable but is good for your health and also releases endorphins to make you feel better.

If you are young or old there is a walk for you in this area and also wherever you live, there are clubs you can join or if you would like to be alone or with your family it is entirely up to you.

When you do go walking there is some things you should take care of prior to starting your walk and we will cover this in the preparation section as it is very important to be prepared and be as safe as possible on your excursion.

If you take a dog on your walks it is a good idea to find out what livestock is on the route if it includes crossing fields.

Equipment

Walking is a great pastime but there are certain equipment you should have when going for a walk, you do not need the best of everything and it all depends on the condition of the route you are taking and the weather conditions where can be seen below.

Essential equipment would include :-

  • Sturdy shoes or walking boots
  • Warm clothing (waterproof if the weather suggests rain is possible)
  • A rucksack to carry essential (we will discuss the contents in the preparation section)
  • Water or a drink of your choice (Alcohol is not advisable)
  • Mobile phone incase of an emergency

226599_7337

If you have such a thing as a sat nav or one on your phone then this is a great addition as the walks on this site include a GPX download which can be imported into many walking applications on most smartphone applications such as WalkMeter on Apple iOS.

Preparation

Being prepared for a walk is essential, you never know what you will come across or how the weather conditions will change whilst you are out on your walk.

Firstly we will go through the contents of your rucksack :-

  • Fluids (plenty incase of emergency) if you have a quality rucksack you can carry a water bag with a builtin dispenser.
  • Warm clothes and a waterproof jacket and leggings if you have some.
  • A torch or headlamp.
  • Medications if you are on any such as Asthma Pumps, EpiPens, Insulin Pen or any other prescriptions you are on incase you get lost along your way.
  • Food, either a packed lunch if you are on a long walk, some energy bars and some fruit, fruit will not only fill you up but will also give you essential vitamins.
  • If you are taking a dog then take a water bowl, dog poo bags and maybe some food depending on the length of your walk.

Always let someone know that you are going out walking and tell them the area or location you are going to be walking in, additionally tell them your departure time and the approximate time you expect to return as this could prove vital if something goes wrong or you become ill along the way.

It is always a good idea to use the toilet before setting off as nobody likes being caught short on a walk.

Take a mobile phone with you incase of an emergency, the phone is for your convenience and if you do not want to take calls then either ignore or take the call to let them know you are on a walk and you are ok, alway make sure your phone is charged also.

Not all phones work in all areas so if you become ill or hurt you can call the emergency number 112 or 999 as it will pick up a signal from other networks and put you in touch with emergency services.

If you are taking a dog with you then always keep it on a lead as if the dog runs off or becomes scared and bolts it can take you off your route and render you lost or on unsteady terrain.

When entering a field with livestock in it always pays to be weary as some animals may attack, if this happens then be prepared and plan an exit route before entering the field.

The last bit of advice is to use your common sense, do not go to close to edges of steep decline and think before you take actions.

On your return always let the person you told you were going for a walk you are back safe, if not the emergency services may be called in error.

Etiquette

When walking it is good to have etiquette in mind, it costs nothing to be polite and courteous towards others and if you go missing or become ill they may know where you was last seen and what condition you were in.

Some people you meet along the way may have local knowledge and if they are coming from the opposite direction they may be able to tell you of any challenges lay ahead and prior warning will prepare you for any situation ahead.

Littering is a big problem in the countryside so please take yours home with you, it is a good idea to take a plastic bag with you to store any of your litter in your rucksack.

743175_83352135

If you are taking a dog along with you then please take a dog poo bag with you as nobody wants to step in dog mess along any walk.


Give Us Feedback & Share

If you have enjoyed this post then please share it with others and let us know in the comments section below.

 

_DSC0263

SUICIDE THE TABOO FOR MALES (TALKING KEEPS YOU WALKING)

Recently there has been a lot of media coverage about the “statistics of suicide rates” of males in the UK, there is not a lot new in the statistics as they like anything else without prevention and an awareness of the services and help available the trends will keep on rising year on year.

THE FACTS

  • 99% of suicides are preventable in male and female genders
  • Suicide was considered a crime and was a punishable offence until not so many decades ago
  • Mental Illness has always had stigma attached to it and the male gender especially will not talk freely about their Mental problems, this may occur due to the inherent attitude of showing strength and no weakness, primeval tendencies are still in the genes of the sex today
  • A man in the UK will die via suicide every 1.68 hours, that is just over every 100 minutes

Many speak about this issue and premise it as being an easy way out of a position the person has put themselves in, but just think about it for one minute what desperation this person is feeling inside to be driven to the ultimate sacrifice of taking their own life? It is tragic.

WHY IS THE MEDIA AND CHARITIES IN A FRENZY ABOUT THIS STARK REVELATION?

The simple answer is that males are 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women, as stated the trend for men is on the rise and the female is not fluctuating a great deal and has significantly decreased since 1981 going by numbers provided by the Office For National Statistics.

Charts and data sourced from the Office For National Statistics with figures up until- 2013 –  http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_395145.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 16.44.13

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 16.47.14

The table below show the number of deaths and age-standardised suicide rate, by sex, country and region, England and Wales, deaths registered in 2013

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 16.54.08

The Chart below shows the methods of death used in both sexes for the year of 2013, what is very striking and visible is that men choose more violent ways than women across many years of statistics.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 16.56.40

The segment below is taken from an infographic by the Office For National Statistics and shows the section which has been identified as the main age range where suicides occur, if you would like to see the full infographic then here is the link – http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/mortality-statistics–deaths-registered-in-england-and-wales–series-dr-/2012/info-causes-of-death.html

deathfinal_tcm77-346253

THE REASONS

  • Poor Mental Health
  • The recession
  • Work pressure
  • Unemployment
  • Austerity measures and government cuts
  • Loss of pride or masculinity
  • Ex Forces
  • Many, many more – Marriage, Retirement etc

You may ask yourself at this point why a man could be so stupid and susceptible to the underlying reasons of this huge problem faced by the UK and world around us, there is no particular answer apart from talking about the issues we face in this day and age without stigma and bias.

The pressure is on in the workplace as well as for those seeking employment, deadlines and finding a job are stressful enough as it is without pressure being exerted upon us from external sources such as family, managers, peers etc, however, if you do not speak up then the problem will escalate and ultimately make you think of alternative actions to get out of the situation and this may sent do to the tipping point of suicidal thoughts.

LOOKING OUT FOR A DIFFERENCE IN BEHAVIOUR (INTERVENTION)

So now we have seen the facts, the reasons and who can help we will delve into the behaviour often exhibited by person who is preparing to take their lives.

Below are some characteristics shown by people thinking about or planning to take their own lives.

  • Change in appearance, this can go either way from looking very unkempt to incredibly dapper.
  • Becoming withdrawn from society and family
  • Tying up loose business ends
  • Making peace with disgruntled acquaintances or family members
  • Giving away belongings
  • A total change in attitude
  • Increased visits to the GP, why? This often occurs in the build up to them making up their mind as they are looking for help but most often do not confide and make up some fictitious complaint instead.

WHAT STEPS OF ACTION SHOULD YOU TAKE TO HELP A SUICIDAL PERSON?

Ensure your own safety

  • Do not get physical with the person
  • Call for assistance (especially if the person is threatening to jump)
  • Keep your distance until help is at the scene

Stay with them

  • If you think the intent is of a high risk then stay with them or arrange for someone else to stay with them whilst you call for help to get them through the crisis

Seek help immediately

  • Phone their GP if you know who it is and ask for immediate action
  • Call the emergency services 999
  • If the person agrees then take them to an accident and emergency unit and insure not to further distress the person by keeping calm, if they would prefer to see a GP then do that
  • Call a helpline that knows how to deal with the situation in hand (See below for useful numbers)

What if the person is intoxicated or high on drugs?

  • Try to discourage then from further consumption

Clear the intended implement if possible

  • If they have a rope, gun or any other implements they intend to use then with cooperation ask them if you can move it.

Try to get them talking using the following guidelines

  • Listen non judgmentally
  • Treat them with respect and be polite at all times
  • Don’t deny their feelings, you do not know what they are thinking
  • Don’t give advice or promise them anything but reassure them that help is available
REMEMBER

If you think someone is intending to harm themselves or is threatening suicide that it is you’re moral obligation to get in touch with the emergency services either if you are with them or not.

WHO CAN HELP?

OTHER USEFUL NUMBERS AND LINKS

CONTACT POBL

If you would like any further information then please contact POBL Cymru on 01639 821576 or email us at contact@pobl.org.uk

If YOU are experiencing suicidal thoughts then please SPEAK to your GP or go straight to your nearest Accident & Emergency Unit.