Mental Health Awareness Week
16th May 2018
This year, the 14th – 20th of May marks mental health awareness week; this is a campaign to end stigma around mental health issues and provide much needed support for the two out of three people in the UK that will suffer from mental health problems during their lifetime. This year the mental health association has chosen to focus on stress, something that everyone is bound to go through at some point in the life – in fact almost three quarters (74%) of the UK have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is the feeling of being under abnormal pressure. This can come from different aspects of your day to day life; increased work load, a transition period, arguments, financial worries, etc. All of these have a cumulative effect, with each stressor building on top of another.
- Constant worry / anxiety
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Short temper / irritability
- Can’t relax
- Low self esteem
- Eating more / less than usual
- Changing sleeping habits
- Using substances to relax
STEPS TO TAKE WHEN FEELING STRESSED
1. Realise when it’s causing you a problem
- Make the connection between illness and pressures you’re faced with.
- Look for physical warnings.
2. Identify causes
- Try to identify underlying causes.
- Sort reasons into categories; (1) Practical solutions (2) Those that will get better in time (3) Those you can’t do anything about.
- Try to release worry of those in the second and third category and let them go.
3. Review your lifestyle
- Taking on too much?
- Can some of the things you’re doing be handed to someone else?
- Can you do things in a more leisurely way?
- Reorganise your life and rethink your priorities.
- Eat healthily.
- Don’t use substances to relieve pressure.
- Take time out.
- Be mindful.
- Get some restful sleep.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself.
A FINAL THOUGHT
Life will always have challenges but you should not shy away from talking about your problems if you feel they are getting too much. As human beings we must take a step back and start talking to each other about the root of the problem and as soon as more attention is pulled to the subject of mental health, more treatment can be made available for people who are suffering.
If you’re feeling down don’t be afraid to talk about it – here are some useful helplines:
Call Samaritans: 116 123
Email Samaritans: firstname.lastname@example.org