Mental health awareness month: "Be aware of when you start to feel stressed"

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Kevin Robinson works as director of customer success at yieldHUB but in his spare time he is a mountain rescuer in the UK. Pictures: supplied

May is mental health month in the US, but mental health issues affect everyone no matter where they are in the world or what time of the year it is.

With the pandemic still at large and political tensions rising, it’s never been more important to check in with the people around you - whether that’s at home, work, or in your social group.

Director of customer success at yieldHUB, Kevin Robinson, knows this all too well. When he’s not working at yieldHUB, Mr Robinson is the deputy team leader of a mountain rescue team in the UK and is often exposed to high-pressure environments.

As a rescuer, he has often come face-to-face with people who are struggling with mental health.

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The training Mr Robinson has received as a mountain rescuer has increased his awareness of mental health. Picture: supplied

“The way Mountain Rescue England and Wales works is; even though it’s a voluntary organization, it comes under the police and works also with fire and ambulance services. We’re there to try and help people in need,” Mr Robinson said.

“Sometimes we help search for high-risk missing persons who have intentions of hurting themselves. If we’re lucky we find them in time but this isn’t always the case. 

“It can be difficult at times and it’s a reason there are so many mental first aiders in the team. We take our duty of care to each other very seriously.”

He said during the pandemic, almost everyone has been impacted in one way or another.

“Even just within my [mountain rescue] team a few marriages have broken down, there have been bereavements where family members have died from covid and businesses have dissolved. 

“I also don’t think working from home works for everybody. Working from home can be quite isolating, I am lucky to have family around, kids coming home from school, parents nearby so I still have human interaction

“I know online schooling also puts pressure on some families. Not every family had the technology to be equipped for that.”

Mr Robinson has received extensive training in mental health which has not only helped him as a rescuer but day-to-day including in the workplace.

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Kevin Robinson (far left) with his mountain rescue team members (names unknown). Picture: supplied

“I’ve done a course called Performance Under Pressure and it overlaps into day-to-day life. It’s really interesting because I learned most of the time, the highest performing teams are under pressure but it’s about having the right amount of pressure.

“I think it’s important to be aware of when you start to feel stressed because if you’re mindful you can choose to do something about it. People act in different ways when their stress levels get too high. 

“I think the key is to manage things that are in your control and not to focus on things that are out of your control. You can control your diet, exercise, who you spend time with, and your hobbies.”

He said running and painting are some of his coping mechanisms but for others, it might be yoga or playing an instrument. 

“Make sure you’re around friends and family who are supportive and constructive. Those are the things that are going to help your mental health in the long term.”

yieldHUB has made a donation to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation for Mental Health Awareness Month. If you’re struggling with your mental health, contact your local crisis team.