On mental health awareness week, we thought it fitting to share the spotlight on a fellow social enterprise who is doing tremendous work in promoting positive emotional and mental health both at home and in the workplace. Bremar Training is a social enterprise that was founded locally here in Northern Ireland by Mark McNally and Barney Herron. Their mission is to help people reach their full potential and achieve their goals whilst understanding the importance of positive mental wellbeing through that journey. Mark and Barney identified a gap in the provision of wellbeing and mental health programmes that could help with this and so have formed several specialist training courses that can be delivered to staff within Professional Industries, Voluntary Groups, Government Agencies and Sports Clubs.
The team has extensive background in the social care sector, counselling and personal & professional development coaching. They have applied these skills and experiences gained to form training courses that can be delivered at both a one-to-one or group level and range from half day workshops to 12-week programmes. Some of the courses include topics such as Emotional Wellbeing & Resilience, Vulnerability to Suicide & Self Harm, Mental Health Management, Motivation & Goal Setting and Safeguarding Children & Young People.
Bremar Training has also been actively engaging with the public and hosting mental health awareness events. In fact, at the end of 2020 they ran a 6-week podcast series called ‘Your Health is Your Wealth.’ The series was led by both Mark and Barney and joined by some well-known ambassadors for mental health such as Professor Siobhan O’Neill, Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland and Oisín McConville, former Gaelic footballer for County Armagh. The sessions were informative in sharing a mix of professional insights on looking after yourself and others as well as hearing about personal battles with mental health and the stories about overcoming them.
We caught up with Mark and Barney who provided us with some key recommendations from their PITCH programme. PITCH, which stands for Positive Impact To promote Club/Community Health " is an interactive 6 session programme that uses life coaching tools and techniques, alongside the following "5 Steps to Wellbeing”, to increase awareness of how positive mental health can be achieved.
Research shows that learning new skills can improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem.
Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety ADHD and more – even the smallest bit of exercise can make a huge difference.
Too often we lose sight of who we are because we are too busy trying to fit into the moulds of what others want us to be or sometimes fit the perception of what we think they want us to be. This can lead to a breakdown in a connection with your true self, which can then lead on to mental health deterioration. Take time to reflect on who you truly are and the life you want to be living and see does the reality reflect that or do you need to start working on changes to reconnect with yourself.
Sometimes we can find ourselves overwhelmed and in times of stress. It is vital that we take notice of the signals our minds and bodies are giving us to avoid overload. There is a saying to HALT, to never allow ourselves to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired…these are just a few of our needs that we need to tend to.
Research into the brain has shown that giving and co-operating with others can stimulate the reward areas in the brain, helping to create positive feelings. Helping and working with others can also give us a sense of purpose and feelings of self-worth.
(Public Health Agency and HSC Trusts campaign 'Working Together to Promote Mental Wellbeing’ 2020)
Find out more about Bremar Training here and on social media to keep an eye out on news and future podcasts.