Putting a spotlight on mental health
Mental Health has progressively become more widely recognised and talked about in recent years, but there’s still a long way to go. That’s why our chosen charity partner for this year is Mind and we want to help get the message out there about the support available. One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year but only around 25% of those will seek support for it.
What better time to share this message than today: World Mental Health Day? If we can encourage just one person to reach out for support after reading this blog post, then it’s done its job.
Looking after yourself
Living with a mental illness can often affect your everyday life and stop you wanting to do the things you love. But the important thing to remember is – you are not alone.
There are plenty of other people who are feeling this way and there is a wealth of support that you can lean on. Mind has a range of suggestions to help you cope including getting enough sleep, looking after your physical health and finding positives in your relationships.
What support is available?
There are a whole range of places you can seek help; including your GP, the resources on Mind’s website, online forums and therapy or counselling. It’s worth exploring the options available to you (they may differ depending on where you live) and don’t dismiss anything until you’ve given it a try.
Mind’s website has a whole list of useful contacts which has a range of websites and helplines you can use.
Supporting a friend or a loved-one
If you’re struggling with what to do/say to help your friend or loved one that’s suffering with a mental health problem, Mind has a list of the challenges you might be facing and some advice. This ranges from; “I don’t really understand what I’m going through” and “I’m worried I’m doing the wrong thing” to “I’m worried about their safety” and “our relationship is changing”. Even if you aren’t facing any challenges at the moment, it’s worth reading the content and familiarising yourself with their advice.
It’s easy to feel frustrated that you can’t magically make your friend or family member better and you may feel hurt or upset when they’re not willing to receive the support you want to give. This is totally normal – just make sure you know your limits because it’s important to look after your own mental health too.
Between 2012-16, Mind brought the conversation around mental health to the forefront and in just four years, public attitudes have been improving. For 2016-21, Mind’s strategy is ‘building on change’, by continuing to campaign for better services and support within the NHS, empowering individuals with the choice of support, continuing to remove the stigma around mental health and removing inequality for anyone who may face discrimination.
If you’d like to support the work that Mind is doing, you can donate online here.