BuildForce October 2023 Blog

Our blog this month is from Bernie Graham, Mental Health Lead.

“Over the last two weeks it has been almost impossible to escape the horrific images coming out of the Middle East. The events in Israel and Gaza have been brought even closer to home with our own service men and women being deployed to hopefully prevent the conflict from spreading across the region. My own personal and work family include both Israeli and Palestinian people – my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all of them, and others affected by the conflict.

Many people, quite understandably, have struggled to watch the news coverage: the shocking images once viewed cannot be unseen and/or they may provoke memories of past experiences. I think it is crucial for us to look after ourselves and others during these challenging times.

Supporting each other is so important. I have been touched by the many messages of concern and kindness from friends and colleagues who are aware of my personal connections to Israel and Palestine. Please check in with your family, friends, and colleagues who you feel may be affected by these awful events. It can make a huge difference.

Don’t forget to look after yourselves too. Please reach out for support from your family/friends/community groups. Share how you feel. You can always contact the team at BuildForce too. Other agencies like the Samaritans (116 123) and NHS 111 are also available.

I would recommend avoiding overexposure to the news. Of course, keep up to date with events but don’t hang on every news item or bulletin. I would encourage people to restrict their social media feeds and try to tune into more factual sources rather than ‘opinions’ – not always easy I know these days. Personally, I do my best to avoid all news sources late at night before going to bed.

If you can up your exercise and/or immerse yourself in the natural environment (including interacting with pets and companion animals) – these can be very beneficial too. Different approaches to self-care and support can be effective for different people: meditation can be helpful and for people of faith, praying alone or with your community can enhance one’s spiritual resilience.

Let’s hope and pray there will be a cessation of hostilities soon and this will eventually lead to a just and lasting peace. You know where we are at BuildForce so please contact us. Be well and take comfort from your family, friends, and communities.”

Bernie Graham