British Forces Gibraltar supports wellbeing week
British Forces Gibraltar supported Wellbeing Week earlier this month with a range of activities arranged to help improve the mental wellbeing of the British Forces Gibraltar community.
The week began with a guided trek of the Med Steps, led by Sergeant Nathan Victory from the Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP).
“The trek was designed to provide participants with the opportunity to learn a bit of history about the area, whilst walking amongst Gibraltar’s fantastic wildlife and taking in some of the most breath-taking views that the peninsula has to offer,” a statement from the British Forces Gibraltar said.
Due to high demand, further treks were offered throughout the week.
“In my experience, people tend to use the Med Steps as a means of physical exercise and can often miss many of the fantastic things that the area has to offer,” Sgt Victory said.
“I wanted to provide an opportunity for people to learn about the area and really appreciate how lucky we are to have access to such a beautiful part of the world.”
“I use the Med Steps as a means of improving my own mental wellbeing and I hope it can have the same positive impact on others.”
Mid-week Corporal Chris O’Mahoney and Leading Hand Chelsea Smith organised a taster session at the Joint Physical Development Unit (JPDU) at Gun Wharf in the Naval Base.
The event was aimed at providing the British Forces Gibraltar community with an insight into what Gun Wharf has to offer. The activities included wakeboarding, stand up paddle boarding and powerboating. A BBQ was also as part of the event.
“The thing that really helps with my mental wellbeing is to take part in outdoor activities and where better to do this than at Gun Wharf?” Cpl O’Mahoney said.
“There are so many fantastic opportunities on offer there and I encourage everyone to visit and get involved. The beauty of it is, you don’t have to be an expert sailor or professional paddleboarder to take part; all experience levels are welcome.”
The week also focussed on work-life balance and, more importantly, on how it can be improved.
The Mental Wellbeing Committee’s Chair, Wing Commander Nel Doherty, produced a ‘Ways of Working’ document which was aimed at trying to help personnel effectively manage their work and family life. The document was endorsed by HQ British Forces Gibraltar.
“We have probably all been victim to a partner who has had to respond to late night WhatsApp text messages or return to work after a week off with over a 100 emails in their inbox, and this is something that we want to address,” Wing Commander Doherty said.
“The document that has been produced is by no means a silver bullet, but it will hopefully help in some way to ease the burden by making people more aware of the potential pitfalls of technology and provide ways to minimise the impact of our work life on our home life.”
More regular wellbeing events such as the Bump and Baby gatherings and SSAFA coffee mornings also took place during the week.
“Events such as these will continue to be at the forefront of the bid to improve the mental wellbeing of the community as whole,” British Forces Gibraltar said.