Topics for this month:

How to look after your mental health with exercise:

There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body – having a healthy heart and improving your joints and bones are just two, but did you know that physical activity is also beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing?

We need to change the way we view physical activity in the UK in order not to see it as something we ‘have to do’, ‘should do’ or ‘ought to do’ for our health, but as something that we do because we personally value its positive benefits to our wellbeing.

As part of the Mental Health Foundation’s work to promote better mental health, they have produced the pocket guide attached, to show the positive impact that physical activity can have on your own mental wellbeing, including some tips and suggestions to help you get started.

Being active doesn’t have to mean doing sport or going to the gym. There are lots of ways to be active; find the one that works for you!

Click here for the guide

Five ways to wellbeing:

The Mind charity have developed 5 ways to wellbeing which include

  • Take notice
  • Connect
  • Give
  • Keep learning
  • Be active

The Mind charity have developed a tool for you to use when following the 5 steps, in order to take some time to reflect throughout your day – download the PDF today and start working towards your 5 ways to wellbeing!

No panic

No Panic is a registered charity that helps and supports those living with panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorders, and other related anxiety disorders. No Panic also provides support for the carers of people who suffer from anxiety disorders.

No Panic believes each and every one of us will have a dip in our mental health at different times throughout our lives. Mental ill-health knows no class, gender, age or economic boundaries and can affect any one of us at any time. COVID-19 is further exacerbating this already alarming crisis.

No Panic provides crucial support that fills the gaps left by statutory services. Quite often people who contact No Panic have been waiting a long time for therapy or have been refused help as they do not fit the mandatory service criteria. No Panic offers support that can prevent certain situations from a reaching crisis point. No Panic have the insight to know that no one treatment will work for an individual. Enabling choice is paramount in helping people to discover their own potential which educates them on how to personally manage their mental health.

No Panic’s guiding philosophy is that people can and do recover from mental health issues (however severe they may be) and can go on to live lives of their own choosing if they are provided with tailored made needs. No Panic’s recovery programs use layperson Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and anxiety management as their base. Whilst no therapy guarantees success, this method has at the present time, the highest success rate.

According to the UK Mental Health Foundation:

  • One in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
  • In the UK, 70 million days are lost from work each year due to mental ill health (i.e., anxiety, depression, and stress related conditions) making it the leading cause of sickness absence.
  • 10% of children and young people have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems do not receive intervention at a sufficiently early age.

All of the services are provided over the telephone or internet which provide enormous flexibility, comfort, and confidentiality to those we support. For more information you can access – and there is also a free service helpline number 0300 772 9844 (10am-10pm) 7 days a week for free advice involving toolkits, panic attack and anxiety disorder resources, coping/breathing techniques, and other information to help. (Additional charges may occur for counselling dependant on age and services required).

Online safety:

WhatsApp disappearing images

WhatsApp have now released their ‘View Once’ photos and videos function. If the “1” icon is chosen before you send a photo or video, it will vanish after being viewed once, much like Snapchat.

The image or video being sent will disappear in the chat if the ‘View Once’ option has been selected before it was sent. As with their disappearing messages feature, the image or video can still be saved by another user before it disappears by taking a screenshot or screen recording. Users are prompted about this, the first time they send an image/video using the feature.

By introducing this feature, WhatsApp are claiming to give users “more control” over images and videos they’re sharing

What are the safeguarding risks?

  • Users can still screenshot images and screen record videos. The sender won’t be alerted. Screenshots of images or videos can be used by a bully or an abuser to control, manipulate, or blackmail the original sender
  • Images can also be captured in other ways, such as through a second camera device
  • Just because an image or video disappears doesn’t mean the effect of sharing does. This feature could be used to spread inappropriate or harmful content without a user’s consent
  • The ‘view it once’ justification is often used by offenders to convince vulnerable children to share images ‘because they will disappear’ 
  • This feature can provide an illusion of safety for young people sharing images or videos that they believe will completely disappear, in group chats, friendship groups, or relationships

YouTube shorts

Ever since TikTok surged into popularity, especially with children and young people, every other social media giant has attempted to answer the accessible, trendy format with new features on their existing platforms. Instagram introduced Reels, Snapchat created Spotlight, and now video hosting platform YouTube is entering the mix with Shorts.

YouTube Shorts is a new feature within the YouTube app that allows users to create short videos (lasting no longer than 60 seconds) on their phones. The content of these videos can be anything. Current trends include exercise tips, dance challenges, and funny pet videos.

YouTube is aiming to make Shorts a feature that will bring overnight fame to users. There are already stories of creators increasing their following using the feature, which suggests YouTube’s algorithms are benefiting those creators. Incentives like this make Shorts more appealing to creators of all ages, who may feel they will have a better chance of being an influencer on a newer platform.

Users can choose from three options when uploading a short to YouTube: Public, Unlisted, and Private. Each refers to the viewership allowances on a particular short.

Public means anyone can see your video.

Unlisted means the video can be seen and shared by anyone with a link.

Private means only those invited by the user can view the video.

These privacy settings are the same as those included in the YouTube app itself. Users viewing shorts can report content, using the reporting function available on each short.

It should be noted that this feature is designed to make videos go viral. As shorts are meant to be seen by anyone and everyone, it is implied that successful shorts should be made public. If creators do not want their videos or audios to be used in a short, they must opt out manually for every single post when choosing the video’s visibility.

Because of the relaxed privacy settings, the YouTube Shorts feature poses several potential safeguarding risks to children and young people.

  • If a child or young person uploads a public video to YouTube, the audio can be used in a Shorts video by anyone. This means strangers may attempt to engage in interaction with them as their YouTube profile will be referenced in shorts that use it
  • Young people may be drawn in by YouTube’s eagerness for creators to become famous using Shorts. This can inspire a vulnerable young person to engage in fame-seeking tactics while using the feature, such as wearing revealing clothing, engaging with fans (strangers), or sharing personal information in an attempt to connect with ‘fans’
  • The Shorts feature is purposefully designed to be addictive. It may encourage excessive screen time in your child or young person
  • There is an increased risk of inappropriate or harmful content being posted to Shorts, as the shorter length and volume of videos may make it more difficult for moderators to check. TikTok has had this same issue, with inappropriate content often being looked over or “hinted” at by creators to obscure moderating algorithms
  • Users are not able to control the types of videos that appear within the feed, meaning your child might be exposed to inappropriate content

Should you stream it?

Ineqe Safeguarding have produced a guide for young people to become safer streamers with a helpful traffic light system! Share the PDF with young people today to help them to make more informed choices for their own safety.
Click here for the should you stream it PDF

7-minute briefings

This months’ 7-minute briefings focus on ‘Hate crime’ and ‘Domestic Abuse Act 2021’.

Hate crime – Hate incidents and crimes hurt and can be very frightening for the person subjected to them. They directly strike at who a person is, their community and their way of life and can be committed against a person or a property. People have often suffered abuse and hostility all their lives, just because of who they are. The 7-minute briefing covers: what a hate crime incident is; our duty; public trust and confidence; facts; ways to report and guidance.

Click here for the Hate crime briefing

Domestic Abuse Act 2021 – The Act was signed into law on the 29th April 2021 and the 7-minute briefing covers what the Domestic Abuse Act will do; key features of the act; and what will happen next.

Click here for information on the Domestic Abuse Act