Readers’ letters - May 4

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Hope is so important for positive mental health

Re: Mental health and loneliness. I have heard how our technological connectivity has improved but at a potential loss to inter-connectivity.

It is positive to focus on these issues.

In the fairly recent past, when I was a lecturer in Mental Health (Nursing), I used to teach student nurses several concepts that are relevant to maintaining positive mental health.

These included self- empowerment, self-care, interpersonal relationships and – central to the issue of loneliness – the concept of hope.

It goes without saying, I guess, that several mental illnesses are characterised by a loss of hope, particularly in the face of social stigma.

Hope is so important, it might help to spell out its features for readers. In order to feel hope, we need:

Positive, past memories that can signal positive, potential future memories;

Specific, achievable, realistic goals that are not beyond our capabilities;

A sense of internal and external control and a sense of self-esteem that is not reliant solely on the validation of others;

A support network and enjoyable relationships;

Self-motivation, being pleased about even the smallest achievement;

Being reality-based, that is, not expecting too much of ourselves – our abilities may be compromised by lower health, for example, so we have to change our pace of living realistically;

A belief that we can improve ourselves and the quality of life.

T Maunder

Address 
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Remember your nursing heroes

Across the North West, nursing staff are preparing to celebrate a day very close to our hearts. Nurses’ Day is marked around the world each year on May 12 – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

It is a time when we come together to celebrate the work that nurses and healthcare assistants do every day of the year, a hard-working army of thousands going above and beyond for their patients. Some nurses will use the day to have a tea party, run a conference, or simply take a short time out from their busy schedule for lunch – something a lot of people take for granted, but which for nursing staff can be a luxury.

This year, the Royal College of Nursing is celebrating nurses for the superheroes they are. Your readers can help by telling their stories of how nurses and healthcare assistants have been their heroes. If they are on Facebook or Twitter, they need to use the hashtag #nurseheroes and tag us @RCNNorthWest.

Our members greatly appreciate the support they receive from the public. Our nursing staff will do their best to continue to be your heroes.

Paul Wood

Operational Manager, RCN North West

Step up for 30 – and beat cancer

We all know that maintaining an active lifestyle should be one of our top priorities in life. Only by taking care of ourselves, do we stand a chance of being the kind of person we strive to be on the job, at home with our loved ones, and in our communities. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

That’s why I’m supporting Bowel Cancer UK Step Up for 30 challenge to encourage people to take up regular physical activity and be more active to reduce their risk of bowel cancer. It’s simple, just get sponsored to do 30 minutes of physical activity every day for 30 days in June.

Scientists think around half of all bowel cancers could be prevented by having a healthier lifestyle such as maintaining a healthy weight, taking more exercise, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking. Every 30 minutes someone dies of bowel cancer in the UK. It’s the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Sign up here: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/stepupfor30

Mr Motivator

Fitness Guru