World Mental Health Day
Thu 30 Sep 2021
World Mental health Day – 10 October
Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10 October is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing.
World Mental Health Day is run by the World Federation for Mental Health and takes place on 10 October each year. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. For more details click here.
Life has been tough for us all during the pandemic. Our daily lives have changed considerably with the months of lockdown and loss have had a huge impact on our mental health.
According to research by Mind of over 16,000 people, more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said their mental health got worse during lockdown. Many people developed new mental health problems as a result of the pandemic and, for others with existing mental health problems, these have gotten worse.
Taking care of your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health. Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year*. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
It is important that we all as individuals do what we can to look after ourselves and each other. You may also have concerns about how others are coping. Starting a conversation with someone around their mental health can feel daunting. You may be worried that you will say the wrong thing but remember saying nothing is far worse.
Like adults, the emotional wellbeing of children and young people is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health will allow them to develop the resilience to cope with life’s ups and downs and to grow into well-rounded, healthy adults. For more details on supporting your children, read our Children's mental health guide here.
According to the Police Federation, research has shown that emergency services workers are twice as likely as the public to identify problems at work as the main cause of their mental health problems, but they are also significantly less likely to seek help. So, it’s even more important to look after your own mental health when working on the frontline. Here are some tips:
Think about your purpose: be clear about why you are doing this job
Be clear on expectations: make sure you know what is expected of you and whether it is realistic.
Keep your boundaries: establish clear boundaries between work and personal life, don’t take work home with you.
Talk to colleagues: make time to talk to your colleagues about your experiences and share fears and concerns.
Value your own family and relationships: While work is important, your family and relationships need to be valued.
Exercise: regular exercise can boost your self-esteem, can help you concentrate, relax and increase your overall wellbeing.
Get plenty of sleep: Sleep helps regulate the chemicals in our brain that transmit information. These chemicals are important in managing our moods and emotions and an imbalance in those chemicals can result in us becoming depressed or anxious. Read our sleep guide here.
Eat well: A balanced diet that is good for your physical wellbeing is also good for your mental wellbeing. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well.
Avoid alcohol: The numbing effects of drinking are only temporary and can often lead to mental health issues. It’s advised that if you do drink, that you stay within the governing bodies recommended unit guidelines.
Keep in touch: it’s good for you to catch up with friends and family face to face or over the phone.
Take a break: a change of scenery or pace is good for you.
Do something you’re good at: enjoying yourself can help beat stress.
Care for others: supporting others uplifts you as well as them.
Ask for help: If at times, life gets too much for you, it’s important that you speak to someone, this may be a family member or trusted friend, your GP or a professional organisation, see the list at the end of this guide for details.
Making positive change is important, but it’s difficult to know where to start. Do one thing today, whether it's going for a walk, learning a new skill or doing something creative, taking the first steps to getting support for yourself, or reaching out to someone else, take the opportunity to do one thing this World Mental Health Day.
Whatever you've been through this year, World Mental Health Day is a chance to make a positive change for your mental health.
Where to get help:
* The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health report from the independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England, February 2016
Type of article: Articles
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