Andy Elwood: Recognising Your Own Fragility
‘Just because you were brave, doesn’t mean you weren’t afraid’.
Former SAR Paramedic turned Mental Health First Aider Andy Elwood joins us to discuss the importance of recognising your own fragility in preserving and protecting your mental wellbeing.
Andy takes us through some of his experiences from his 20-year career on the frontline. He compares the war-like language used against the common enemy that in this battle is COVID, how it’s crucial to put yourself first in dangerous situations and the importance of self-care in preserving your health long term.
Andy explores some of the self-care techniques everyone can use to look after their mental health in the face of COVID19, from practising a routine similar to our pets to deploying good sleep hygiene and a post-shift checklist, to ensure you get your mental ‘5 a day’ – including connecting with others, being active and taking a moment to notice and appreciate things around you.
Alongside WEM Trauma Lead Eoin Walker, Andy deconstructs ‘the power of listening’. Andy stresses the importance of providing a non-judgemental outlet for others, which can fundamentally change, and sometimes save, people’s lives.
Crucially, Andy encourages us to remember that whatever your emotions are, it is a normal reaction to an extraordinary event.
Andy Elwood > www.AndyElwood.com
Andy Elwood, ‘How do we survive COVID-19’ > https://bit.ly/3bbWyLh
Andy’s survival kit for lockdown > https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/survival-kit-lockdown-andy-elwood/
NHS, ‘Every Mind Matters’ > https://bit.ly/35G1erz
MIND, ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’ > https://bit.ly/3c9eZl4
Mental Health Foundation, ‘Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak’ > https://bit.ly/2SHyd9B
CALM: 0800585858 or text 07537404717
Text ‘Bluelight’ to 85258 – Give us a shout text service
SANEline: 03003047000 (16:30-23:30)
‘This book could help, the men’s head space manual’ – Rotimi Akinsete
‘Trauma is really strange’ – Steve Haines
‘Why is dad so mad? A book about PTSD and military families’ – Seth Kastle
‘Save-my-life school, a first responder’s mental health journey’ – Natalie Harris
‘The Chimp Paradox’ – Dr Steve Peters
Headspace – Free for NHS staff
#stayalive App – Grassroots suicide prevention
‘I had a black dog, his name was depression’ (WHO)
‘Living with a black dog’ (WHO)
‘Brené Brown on empathy’ (RSA shorts)
‘Ask, tell, save a life – Every life matters’ (NHS Health Scotland)
College of Paramedics resources:
College of Paramedics, ‘THE LATEST INFORMATION ON THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION’ > https://bit.ly/3cfbIAT
College of Paramedics, ‘GUIDANCE FOR MANAGERS ON PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT AND MENTAL WELLBEING OF AMBULANCE PERSONNEL IN A PANDEMIC CRISIS’ > https://bit.ly/2YGwO7e
Mental Health First Aid England Line Managers’ Resource – please email WEM for a copy!
Clinical Human Factors Group checklist:
North West Ambulance Service, ‘NHS launches mental health hotline for staff’ > https://bit.ly/2xJr0ij