Even in 2019, mental health is a taboo subject, with many people who suffer from poor mental health choosing not to seek help, being professional or from a relative or friend, possibly due to embarrassment or feelings of inadequacy. To combat this, we strive to educate and inform about what mental health is, so that we can reduce the stigma surrounding it.
Statistically, every week, 1 in 6 adults experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression and 1 in 5 adults have considered taking their own life at some point.
Just below half (43.4%) of adults suspect that they have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life – this accounts for 35.2% of men and 51.2% of women. However out of those adults a fifth of men (19.5%) and a third of women (33.7%) have had diagnoses confirmed by professionals. This kind of data displays the misconception that mental health conditions can be ignored or pushed aside, however, mental health is as important as physical health and should be recognised and treated the same without internal judgement.
It is just as important to understand that children and young people can also suffer from mental health conditions. Studies show that 1 in 10 children and young people suffer from mental health problems. These are usually a problems such as depression, anxiety and conduct disorder often correlating directly to something that is happening in their lives.
Unfortunately, 70% of children and young people who have experienced a mental health problem haven’t received appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. If you would like to find out more about mental health conditions in children and young adults click here.
Overcoming mental health conditions
Once you have recognised the problem, one of the first steps to take would be speaking to your doctor or confining in someone that you trust to get help.
Generally, if you have good mental health you are able to:
- feel relatively confident in yourself and have positive self-esteem
- feel and express a range of emotions
- build and maintain good relationships with others
- feel engaged with the world around you
- live and work productively
- cope with the stresses of daily life
- adapt and manage in times of change and uncertainty
If you are not sure how to cope with any of the above points, then we have gathered some coping mechanisms to help reduce stress and allow you to take some time out.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that, instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them.
A snippet from Mental Health Foundation: Look after your mental health using mindfulness:
Eating mindfully can take us out of autopilot, helping us appreciate and enjoy the experience more. The next time you eat, stop to observe your food. Give it your full attention. Notice the texture: really see it, feel it, smell it, take a bite into it – noticing the taste and texture in the mouth – continue to chew, bringing your full attention to the taste of it
Read more here.
Do something you’re good at (cliché but stick with what works!):
We always need some time for ourselves, an outlet to help us relax and feel more centred.
A snippet from Mental Health Foundation: How to look after your mental health
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem. Concentrating on a hobby, like gardening or doing crosswords, can help you forget your worries for a while and can change your mood. It can be good to have an interest where you’re not seen as someone’s mum or dad, partner or employee. You’re just you. An hour of sketching lets you express yourself creatively. A morning on the football pitch gets you active and gives you the chance to meet new people.
As mentioned keeping yourself healthy mentally is as important as physical health. Here are some quick tips that you can implement into everyday life that will help you feel more centred.
- Take a short walk, run or yoga stretch- you can even map your run to track your pace and set goals using Map My Run
- Calming activities such as drawing, colouring, knitting etc. Try Adult Coloring Book and ColorMe
- Listen to an uplifting podcast or inspiring story, for inspiring entrepreneurial stories look at How I Built This With Guy Raz
- Meditation, check out Headspace and Calm
- Mood diaries, to track how you feel and journal your daily thoughts with Daylio
- Small Talk- have a conversation with someone, learn and share even if its just a smile! Learn more about how Small Talk Saves Lives here.
- Focus on the positive, while you’re at it have a read of The Happy Newspaper (a newspaper that only reports on good news!)
If you would like to find out more information and support mental health then click here.