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The Effects of Social Media by Kirstin Murie

(Anti)Social Media

The days of your mum yelling at you to get off the internet so she could use the phone seem so far away, yet that was only at the start of the Millennia: A time where broadband installation discs were everywhere, silver coloured computers were all the rage and 1mb download speed was a luxury. As technology has improved over the years, so has internet accessibility and our connectivity to others. Today we are reported to spend 2h24m per day on social media, with 3.75 billion of us connecting with phones. It appears as though we are more connected than ever, yet this can bring about its own set of problems:

Always On

It used to be that you could clock out, leave your computer and emails behind, and completely separate your home and working life. Now more than ever, these lines are blurred. Phones have evolved from playing snake to being a miniature computer in your pocket: able to browse the internet, connect with the world and answer emails. It can be difficult to truly relax when a notification ping can happen any minute. This is coupled with instant gratification: we now expect things to be done within minutes of us requesting it.

Instant Gratification

As technology has improved, so has the speed at which we expect tasks to be completed. Many purchases and actions these days are instant: buying a new game, uploading a new picture to Instagram and video streaming to name a few. (Bonus fact: back in the day, you had to pause the YouTube video to let it load before you pressed play.)

This has also impacted the physical world, where we now seem to expect others to instantly respond to us and be at our beck and call; we expect our items to be delivered within 24h of ordering. Yet having to respond to others so quickly as expected may create a feeling of anxiety and one of missing out.



FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Related to Always on and Instant Gratification is FOMO. Perhaps we are always checking our phones just in case we miss something and miss reacting to it. The advent of the infinite scroll only seems to make this worse as there is no endpoint, no time where you can be certain there are no more things to see or react to. To this end, we are always on and unfortunately seem unable to seek reprieve from this triad.




To enable you to switch off from social media there are a few techniques which can be used:

Install an App

There are a wide range of apps available which are able to block off social media, helping to give you space for a few hours to be mindful in the physical world.

Set Timings

Similar to installing an app, you may wish to set a specific time where you no longer look at work emails, helping to separate the home-work environment and help you feel more relaxed.

Expect Less

Understand that others are likely as overwhelmed with the amount of connectivity and would also like a break. If they take a few hours to respond to a message, that’s ok.

Take a First Aid for Mental Health Course

OSI offers a range of distance learning courses which not only help you identify and manage stress but are also recognised qualifications in the workplace. More here https://www.omniscientsafetyinnovations.com/distance-learning/



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Our First Billboard Campaign Aberdeen, Edinburgh & Glasgow

We are proud to be able to showcase are billboard via Ocean Outdoor screens across Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow

Systemic Mental Health Solutions is just one of our mental health services

Design created by Kirstin Murie, we are extremely proud to present this

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Mental Health Post Covid-19



With the inevitable surge in mental health issues expected after COVID-19, how prepared is your organisation?

When we leave isolation, return to work and begin the new normal post COVID-19 the collective mental health of the UK’s workforce will be unsettled at best.  The impacts of sustained periods of isolation, extreme levels of anxiety and stress coupled   with significant changes to our lives, whether that be loss of loved ones, job losses or financial loss will mean organisations that   wish to survive and thrive in this post COVID-19 environment will need to adapt to the new needs of their workforce.

Proactive Vs Reactive

With current estimated figures of at least 1 in 4 presenting a mental health problem expected to rise significantly in the coming months, will employee assistance programs be suitable or adequate to cope with the ever-changing circumstances.  These programs tend to operate at crisis or struggling stages, when an employee is no longer able or experiencing extreme difficulty in functioning normally, a purely reactive measure that is heavily reliant on the employee to be able to identify the key signs of the issue within themselves.  However, if the organisation does not provide the education required to arm the employee with the required skills to identify the signs of mental health issues, then what do we really expect.

An independent study by the House of Lords found that investment in proactive mental health workplace solutions was actually beneficial for business, by reducing costs and absenteeism while increasing productivity and morale.  In fact, it was estimated to create savings of around 30%, in the post COVID-19 work climate these savings could increase massively.  Essentially the adage rings true prevention is better than a cure, if we tackle mental health issues at work in the coping stage, we will have a far greater success rate.


The Health & Safety Executive reported that stress, depression or anxiety are accounted for most days lost due to work-related ill health at 12.8 million in 2018/19.  On average, each person suffering took around 15.1 days off work.  While theses statistics are extremely high, how accurate are they, after all how many people do not report genuine mental health issues as the reason for absenteeism.  Our work with Bath University Health Psychology actually estimates that 30-40% of all absenteeism can be linked to work related mental health issues, so when assessing your companies absentee data consider taking a second look using the 30% as a marker to get a more accurate picture of root cause for the sickness rate.  The barriers to honest data, include stigma, a lack of knowledge and understanding, perception blindness, call out culture and corporate cognitive dissonance.

The Employee Wellbeing 2018 research study found that of all employees (questioned) 95% when calling in sick with stress would give a different reason, and 58% would trust strangers before their line management when declaring stress issues.  These are only set to worsen as we return to the post COVID-19 workplace unless organisations take proactive measures.

It’s very clear from the statement by Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, that we must now move towards preventative measures “The HSE needs to do much more in looking at how organisations either prevent emotional hazards or recognise their causes early so mitigations can be put in place,” he noted “This is so much trickier to achieve when anyone’s mental health is a pendulum on a sliding scale from healthy, to coping, to struggling and then ill health.  Being preventative means we must find applications at the coping stage, not wait to the struggling stage, when existing popular controls kick in.

“More than this, we need to look for emotional mitigations, rational and more typical controls such as policy, procedure and process are not necessarily the most effective. The HSE needs to start to analyse and enforce on organisations if they have inadequate preventative measures in place. After all, mental harm from emotional hazard does fall under the HSWA.”

Talk to the team at OSI about creating a bespoke mental health workplace solution that can create a thriving, productive and healthy post COVID-19 environment

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Distance Learning First Aid for Mental Health

We have adapted our skills and added distance learning to our website.

With lockdown being extended due to COVID-19, isolation will be having an impact on all of us. Our loved ones, peers and work colleagues maybe struggling with mental health and wellbeing.

Our distance learning courses are designed to help you recognise possible mental health concerns and how to approach those displaying symptoms, not only in the workplace but personally too.

Booking online could not be easier and can be started as soon as registration is complete.

  • Level 1 Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health
  • Level 2 First Aid for Mental Health
  • Level 3 Supervising First Aid for Mental Health

Courses are broken down into self-learning and trainer supported sections.

Resources include,

  • Webinars 
  • Slide Presentations
  • Reference Material
  • Videolinks 
  • Professional Discussion Video Assessment

More information can be provided upon request.


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We Went Live With Mini Medics


After recently holding our Mini Medics intro session on our Facebook page we were overwhelmed by the response we received.

With COVID-19 rapidly changing the lives of us all we wanted to provide a much needed break from the current pandemic.

Brett our Director put together an intro session to share some very important life saving skills with the children.

but we did not anticipate the response to be quite as successful as it was.

It really has brightened our day receiving images of the young ones getting involved and taking part.

We hope to see many more of you on our next session.

Look out for the event on our Facebook page.



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Abi Clarke from MISS (Miscarriage Information Support Service), First Aid for Mental Health

At OSi we realise the importance of not only effective mental health workplace strategies but also the benefits that well planned effective approaches can bring to charities and peer support groups.

That is why for the last few months the dedicated team at MISS the Miscarriage Information Support Service have undergone level 1 and 2 training in Mental Health First Aid.

It’s been a pleasure to help this team develop skills they can apply in their roles

We are pleased to open our blog to Abi from MISS to explain a little about what they do.
“My name is Abi Clarke and I am Chairperson/Founder of the charity, MISS (Miscarriage Information Support Service).
MISS is a support service for women and men who have suffered a miscarriage,
As well as Director for events management and wedding planning business, AC Weddings & Events.
MISS has two monthly support groups, a 24/7 phone service and active social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.
We have also recently started support for “Next Pregnancies”.
I approached Brett Townsley, Director from Omniscent Safety Innovations as we were keen to study and learn about Mental Health First Aid.
Brett was also highly recommended by local businesses and colleagues.
We were particularly interested to do this for our members, telephone service and support groups.
I am delighted to say that myself, Anna Rist and Claire Taylor have passed the Level 1 and 2 training.
MISS highly recommends Omniscient Safety Innovations ltd,
This training – plenty of case studies and life experiences as well as explaining how it relates to MISS. We enjoyed the role play and learned on areas we need to improve”
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The Sam Lobban Trophy by Liam Cronin

We have opened up our blog to our guest Liam today.

Liam has gone above and beyond in trying to help remove mental health stigma and raising funds to support CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) & Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA).

We have been able to provide Liam with donations for the raffle and continue offering support for the event. If you can help in any way please see the bottom of blog for contact details.

“My name is Liam Cronin and I am the organiser behind The Sam Lobban Trophy.  A sevens style rugby tournament hosted annually in Aberdeen at Aberdeen Wanderers RFC home ground, in order to raise funds for Mental Health Aberdeen MHA.Sam was a great friend of mine, he was an incredible individual and a truly amazing friend. Sam sadly passed away in 2018 following a battle with his mental health.  Male suicide and mental health is a big issue that can’t be ignored any longer. It’s unacceptable that so many men are dying from suicide on a daily basis.

I wanted to do something to not only celebrate his life but also try raise awareness and funds in his name.As Sam was a big rugby fan and an exceptional player, I felt it was only right to organise a rugby tournament in his honour.

The event grew in its second year due to the massive amount of support shown through sponsors and donations.

Special thanks to all those that have made this possible; Aberdeen Wanderers RFC, Russell Gibson Financial Management, Mental Health Aberdeen, Specialist Valve Services.

Being able to include the Mental Health Aberdeen logo on the team shirt, really helped to bring home what the day is all about.

An incredible total of £3000.04 was raised for Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA). Which in turn is the equivalent of 75 individual counselling sessions.   

This year I’m looking to expand tournament further, including bringing more teams to the tournament itself. 

On the event day we hope to have a food area, beer tent and music. As well as providing a family friendly area for the younger spectators followed by a raffle to finish it off.

The selected date is the 25th of July. The event starts at 12pm and the first kick off will be 1pm. 

It was decided that moving forward with this tournament that Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) would be the chosen charity partner. MHA played a massive part in the success of last year’s event.

As this is a local charity it means all the money raised in Sam’s name will go back into the area and help those in need. This year marks Mental Health Aberdeen’s 70th birthday, so please join me and help make this year’s tournament a success and help raise as much funds as possible for this fantastic charity and help make it a special birthday. 

For regular updates on this year’s tournament please visit the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/540414649888934/?notif_t=plan_user_joined&notif_id=1578649455207873

If you wish to make a donation for the raffle or would like to hear some more information about the day or sponsorship packages available, please email myself at thesamlobbantrophy@gmail.com 

If you sadly can’t join us on the day or simply wish to make a donation, please do so using this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/slt2020

Finally, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

I hope you can join us on the day and fingers crossed we get good weather! Please remember that it’s ok to not be ok.