Keep Smiling Brightly! | It’s National Smile Month

Smiling can benefit an individual in many ways. It not only improves your mood and the mindset of others around you it can also improve other aspects of your life. It can boost creativity, problem-solving ability and increase your productivity.

Research has also found that smiling can make you more successful at work, with a happy face considered a sign of confidence, capability, being in control and being more approachable. It can also help others to trust you.

While smiling does have plenty of benefits it can be difficult to share a smile at more challenging times, the key to this is feeling positive when negativity starts to creep in.

For some their smile itself is a reason not to raise a grin.

This month is National Smile Month in association with the Oral Health Foundation who are shining a light on the importance of good oral care and brushing our teeth.

We are all taught as we grow up that brushing your teeth twice a day is the best way as it removes plaques which causes tooth decay and gum disease. However, despite this many people do not consider it to be a priority with one in three people in the UK do not brush twice a day and one in four admit they regularly skip brushing completely.

At Moonrise we understand the importance of oral health and we will be supporting National Smile Month by ensuring that we continue to promote the importance of good oral care to all our service users (we care for a wide range of service users within our children’s care services, supported living services and domiciliary care services).

Throughout all our services we will continue to help our service users to develop healthier habits that can improve their quality of life and give them a smile they can be proud of!

For more information visit the Oral Health Foundation and find out how you can help to put a smile on the faces of others. National Smile Month | Home | Oral Health Foundation (

National Epilepsy Week | What is Epilepsy and how can we support those dealing with the condition?

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects 1 in 100 people in the UK. It is a condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures.

Seizures are bursts of electrical activity within the brain that can temporarily affect how is functions and can cause a wide range of symptoms. It is not always clear why seizures happen and is thought to be partly caused by your genes as around 1 in 3 people with the condition have a family member with it. It can also, occasionally, be caused by damage to the brain a result of such issues as a stroke, brain tumour, sever head injury, abuse of drugs or alcohol, brain infection or a lack of oxygen during birth.

Although it can slowly get better over time it is often a lifelong condition and can start at any age. Usually, the onset of epilepsy starts either in childhood or in people aged over 60 years old.

Seizures can affect people in different ways and is dependent on which part of the brain is involved. Symptoms can include; uncontrollable jerking and shaking known as a “fit”, losing awareness and staring blankly, becoming stiff, experiencing strange sensations, or collapsing. Sometimes some with epilepsy may pass out and are unable to remember what happened.

There are a number of treatments for those with epilepsy including anti-epileptic medications, a special diet to control seizures, surgery to remove the small part of the brain causing the seizures, placement of an electrical device in the body to help control seizures.

Although epilepsy can be a lifelong condition most people with it are able to have normal lives as their seizures are well controlled.

There are a number of seizures that people with epilepsy can experience, they range from simple partial seizures where the person is awake and aware that it is happening to seizures or a series of seizures that occur for a prolonged time from which the person does not regain consciousness.

Having an understanding of epilepsy is the first step in being able to support people with the condition. This week is National Epilepsy Week and seeks to raise awareness of epilepsy with the aim to banish the myths surrounding and giving people an understanding of the condition, who is affected and what can be done to help those with the condition.

At Moonrise we support those charities that are making a difference. We ensure that all of our staff are trained in Epilepsy, including in the numerous treatments that can be used to control the condition. Also, through our person-centered approach and continuity of care of using a dedicated team for each Service User we are able to identify the triggers for seizures for each individual allowing staff to respond quickly and ensure the best support is given.

For more information you can visit: National Epilepsy Week 2023 | The Voice for Epilepsy

The Changing Stigma of Mental Health

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week, we at Moonrise wanted to discuss the changing stigma of mental health problems.

The Stigma of Mental Health

Mental health problems are common and affect thousands of people in the UK, unfortunately, not everyone understands mental health problems. Despite it being widespread there is still a strong stigma around mental health which can lead to discrimination in all aspects of life.

This stigma and discrimination can be upsetting and make many people’s problems worse, and it can come from several sources including society, employers, the media and even friends and family. In addition, someone with mental health problems can even experience internalized stigma and come to believe the negative messages or stereotypes of having mental health problems.

Almost nine out of ten people with mental health problems have identified that the stigma and discrimination have had a negative effect on their lives.

Mental health problems are common and people who suffer with them are the least likely of any group with a long-term health condition or disability to find work, be in a steady, long-term relationship, live in acceptable housing or be socially included in mainstream society.

Stigma and discrimination can also make someone’s mental health problems worse and delay or stop them from getting help. Social isolation, poor housing, unemployment, and poverty are all linked to mental ill health. So, stigma and discrimination can trap people in a cycle of illness.

Although over time the stigma surrounding mental health has improved it cannot be denied that it remains. The stigma of mental health problems comes from stereotypes and media representation.

Society continues to have stereotyped views about mental ill health, with some people believing that people with mental health problems are dangerous. The truth actually being that they are at a higher risk of being attacked by others or harming themselves than hurting other people.

Some people think there is an automatic link between mental ill health with violence or portray mental health problems as dangerous, criminal, evil or very disabled and unable to live normal fulfilled lives in society. This idea is reinforced by sensationalised stories in the media, however most common mental health problems have no significant link to any violent behaviour, with the proportion of people living with a mental health problem who commit a violent crime is extremely small.

Due to the lingering stigma in society people with mental health problems still worry about talking about how they are feeling or seeking help because of the fear of the stigma of being seen as different or dangerous. This fear can prevent individuals from getting the care that they need which can lead to more significant problems for the individual.

This stigma is changing, and people are starting to speak more openly about mental health and challenge the negative attitudes and stereotypes, this is thanks in part to the outlook of young people and their willingness to share and also to high profile people such a Lady Gaga coming forward and talking openly about their own mental health problems and positively showing the effect of seeking help and recovery.

The change in the portrayal of mental health problems in the media has added to the decrease in the negative stigma. Truthful and accurate portrayals of a number of problems such as the depiction of Autism in the TV series The Good Doctor has led to a more positive and informed conversation about the problem and how it affects individuals.

It is important that this change in direction continues so that the stigma around mental health is eradicated and allows for those with mental health problems to come forward and seek help in an open and non-discriminatory society.

Living with anxiety

We all feel anxious from time to time, it is a normal emotion that everybody can experience and is the natural response to the uncertain world around us. Sometimes it can get out of control and become a mental health problem.

What can cause anxiety?

There are lots of things that can lead to feelings of anxiety including exam pressures, relationships, starting or leaving a job or other big life events. We can also get anxious at everyday needs such as money worries, especially with the current cost of living crisis where people are struggling to meet their basic needs such as heating the home or buying food. It is known that more than a third of adults feel anxious about their financial situation.

Is it important that we recognize when we are anxious and develop responses so that it does not become overwhelming.

Although an emotion, anxiety can affect us both physically and mentally. If you feel anxious you may notice your heart rate increases, headaches, loss of appetite, breathlessness or chest pain. Anxiety can make you feel tense or nervous, find it hard to relax, feel tearful or have issues sleeping and concentrating. Other people, such as friends and family may notice that you are more irritable than usual or more withdrawn. Or you may appear fine on the outside but feel panicky inside.

What can we do to manage anxiety?

There are things that we can do to protect our mental health and manage anxiety. What works will be different for each individual. Things that can be helpful for those experiencing anxiety include being active, getting out in nature, practicing breathing techniques, getting support to tackle money issues or eating well. Talking to a friend or spending time with loved ones can often be a good first step.

Taking action in order to address the causes of anxiety is one of the biggest steps to take to overcome anxiety. This could be contacting a money advisor, discussing workplace stress with your employer, or seeking support if you are experiencing bullying, harassment or discrimination.

If anxiety does get to the point that it is severely affecting your everyday life then contacting your GP can help, they can offer additional support and help.

No one should struggle alone with anxiety.

We cannot overcome anxiety on our own. The causes that trigger anxiety are often not in our control and complex with financial worries, social isolation, social pressures and discrimination can all play a part.

Due to this and the increase in individuals feeling anxious it is felt by many that local and national politicians should be looking at measures to help people such as income support, the provision of good quality housing, strong legislation around bullying, harassment and discrimination.

It should also be ensured that communities are equipped with the services and facilities needed to live well and help protect everyone’s mental health.

If you are struggling it is important to seek help, the hardest step is the first one, but it is worth it. There are number of treatments are available including talking therapies, medication and lifestyle changes.

We at Moonrise wanted to raise awareness of this top topic, particularly this week since it is Mental Health Awareness Week, aimed at highlighting mental health and the issues that many people are struggling with. For more information go to: Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 | Mental Health Foundation.

Happy International Nurses Day

Today is International Nurses Day; nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system and are involved in every aspect of healthcare delivery, promoting health and well-being. At Moonrise this is no different, our nurses offer support in every area of our services and are vital in developing and implementing care plans to ensure the needs of those who require support are met.

Despite the vital role that nurses play, they face many challenges, often working long hours in challenging conditions. International Nurses Day is an opportunity to recognise this contribution and to celebrate the achievements of nurses from around the world as well as advocating for better working conditions and resources.

Nurses in the UK working in the NHS have recently had to go on strike in their right to fairer pay for the work they do. Many of these nurses have not taken the decision to strike easily given the effect that it may have on their patients and shows how much they have patients at heart.

Modern nursing, with its caring heart and tireless work, is rooted in history with its founder Florence Nightingale.

Born in Florence, Italy, Nightingale was educated in England and despite objections from her family she pursued a career in nursing. She is most remembered as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ for her work in military hospitals during the Crimean War. Nightingale and her team found appalling conditions in these hospitals with them being over-crowded, poorly ventilated and unsanitary which caused many of the wounded soldiers to die from preventable infections. Through their tireless work, Nightingale and her team worked on improving the conditions in the hospital, implementing strict hygiene practices and improving ventilation and sanitation.

The work made such a difference that the mortality rate among wounded soldiers dropped from 42% to 2%. This transformed the field of nursing and established Nightingale as a pioneer in public health. Nightingales’ legacy lives on through and she is celebrated as a hero and a role model for nurses from around the world.

Inspired by her emphasis on compassion, dedication and innovation, nurses today continue to work in the same way to continue Nightingale’s lasting impact on the field of healthcare.

With the work that they do it is only right that we celebrate our nurses for their contribution to healthcare.

See more about International Nurses Day here:

To all our nurses we give our thanks and wish you all a Happy International Nurses Day!

Happy World Hand Hygiene Day!

The world has learned a lot about hand hygiene in the last few years, remember COVID? The pandemic had us all washing our hands while singing Happy Birthday in our heads, or probably sometimes out loud!
In healthcare, hand hygiene is at the forefront of the fight against infection and plays a huge part in infection control. However, there have been studies around the world that have indicated that healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the time they should, this causes the transmission of infections among healthcare workers and service users.

The concept of handwashing while taking care of patients and service users surfaced in the 19th Century following chemist and pharmacist Antoine Germain Labarraques’ work developing the use of chlorides of calcium and sodium as a disinfectant and deodorizer in a number of settings including hospitals. Labarraque proved that the number of germs present reduced following the use of chlorinated calcium by doctors who were moving from completing autopsies on cadavers to treating patients. From their handwashing before treating patients was born and continues to be as important today.

Healthcare workers can encounter many different germs each day, including bacteria, viruses and fungi which can be transmitted from patient to patient and service user to service user through contact with contaminated surfaces or hands. For vulnerable people this can be detrimental to their health, good hand hygiene can reduce the risk of transmitting these pathogens to others.

Hand washing is the most effective method of practicing good hand hygiene and is carried out before and after every contact with patients or service users, especially if they have been in contact with bodily fluids and after removing gloves.

By practicing good hand hygiene our staff team reduce the spread of infections and protect themselves and our service users.
Working together on this we can make a significant impact on preventing the spread of infections and improving patient outcomes.