Wellness Wednesday: ‘If we can do one thing, we can change everything’

University of Kent Occupational Health and Wellbeing Manager, Brenda Brunsdon

World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2021

All the major health focussed organisations, especially those whose principal aim is to support people with mental health problems, are promoting initiatives for World Mental Health Day on 10 October. Initially promoted by the World Federation for Mental Health, their chosen theme for this year is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. The World Health Organisation has worked with this and has a theme of ‘Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality’. The day is promoted in the UK by Mental Health UK and their chosen theme is ‘Forward Together for Mental Health’; the aim is to focus on inequality of mental health support provision and to encourage people to learn about how big a problem this is and to work to change things. MIND’s theme is ‘If we can do one thing, we can change everything’; it emphasises that small changes made by enough people can work to make a difference in mental health inequality provision.

The NHS is struggling to provide services after the acute strains of the pandemic with the ‘aftershocks’ of that event continuing. We have entered what appears to be a chronic phase of lesser numbers of infections but with debilitating disease still affecting some people who contract Covid 19. Most people know how difficult it is to get an appointment at a GP surgery or subsequent referrals for investigations for any health problem. Waiting lists for treatment are very long.

Traditionally, NHS care and treatment provision for mental ill health has been a difficult area, where demand for service has overwhelmingly outstripped supply; the pandemic has made this situation worse. Mental ill health presents a major problem in our post-pandemic society. Many people have been adversely affected by the strains of the pandemic and developed mental ill health. Many people who had pre-existing mental health problems have seen their symptoms worsen.

There is general inequality of service for mental healthcare provision in the UK and across the world. If you access the webpages of the various organisations below, you will find lots of information on this. Living with a system of inequality is something that most of us struggle with. Inequality of mental health support provision applies equally in workplaces. I believe it is therefore important that people take advantage of good support when they have it available. The University has a strong offering of mental health support for its staff, superior or at least equal to that of many organisations, including higher educational establishments. There is a dedicated area of the University intranet which brings together information on all the support available: Mental Health Support at Kent One Stop Shop Information at this site includes:

The reason I am revisiting this in this blog post is that it is relevant to the MIND theme: ‘If we can do one thing, we can change everything’. Maybe the one thing you could do, as a staff member, is to go and read the information on the University’s  Mental Health Support at Kent One Stop Shop. This is so you can have the information ready to help a colleague who might be facing mental health problems; it would be invaluable to be able to quickly signpost them to somewhere they can access help and resources. This is doubly so if you are a manager at the University, so that you can help members of your team.

Make it your one thing to do; perhaps, one day, it will change everything for one person you have contact with, or even yourself.


World Mental Health Day 2021 on World Federation for Mental Health website

World Mental Health Day 2021 on World Health Organisation website

World Mental Health Day 2021 on Mental Health UK website

World Mental Health Day 2021 on MIND website


Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash 

Leave a Reply