Mental Health Awareness
As Mental Health Awareness week comes to an end, we want to continue the awareness of this important subject.
This year the theme of the week was around loneliness. Loneliness as we explored in a previous article (May 2020) can be suffered by anyone at any time even when they are surrounded by people. It is important that the person feeling lonely knows that they have support around them, even if at that moment in time they do feel like they are alone.
Interestingly, Mental health is one of the main causes of the disease burden worldwide. It is thought that 1 in 6 people will have a mental health issue this week. That alone shows how widespread mental health issues are across the UK.
What is Mental Health?
When you in good mental health, you are able to:
- Make the most of your potential,
- Cope with life, and
- Play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends.
These are the backbone of life, and when things are going well, life looks bright and aims and goals in life can and usually are achieved, when feeling not in good mental health the opposite is true.
Mental Health is everyone’s responsibility
It is important at this stage that we mention that good mental health is not a simple case of the absence of diagnosable mental health problems. Good mental health does, however, help to protect against the development of many such diagnosable issues.
In every walk of life, people feel down or stressed or even frightened, usually these feelings will pass, and a good mental health will return. Sometimes however these feelings will develop into a more serious problem. The serious problem caused by the feelings can happen to anyone.
The thing to remember is that 1 person may bounce back from a setback with no long-lasting concerns, whereas another feel weighed down by the setback for a long period of time.
Everyone is different, there is NO normal
When we are thinking about mental health, it is important to realise that we are all the mental health continuum, your mental health will be up and down that continuum, sometimes weekly, daily or even hourly. The important key to mental health can be recognising the triggers and also asking for help when feeling in a long-term state of poor mental health. The help that people ask for can be as simple as just asking a friend, family member or another trusted person to listen, and maybe offer advice, but generally just listen.
The problem with the subject of mental health is that there is a stigma attached to it. This in turn means that people feel uncomfortable about their mental health and can also actively choose to not talk much or at all about how they are feeling.
We want to help workplaces create a positive culture around mental health, which can help people have a positive outlook on their mental health and their emotions. Some people don’t even feel comfortable in discussion about their feelings. Our message is that is perfectly healthy and normal to know and say how you are feeling.
By saying how you feel, you can have impact on your own mental health.
What is poor Mental Health?
Poor mental health and associated mental health problems are usually defined and classified in order to enable professionals to refer people to appropriate care and treatment.
There are however some diagnoses that are controversial and there is some concern in the mental health field of care that all too often people are treated according to their label.
Diagnoses however remains the most usual way of dividing and classifying symptoms into groups. Usually, these groups are either ‘neurotic’ or ‘psychotic’ symptoms. Let’s consider these groups.
This group of symptoms can be regarded as severe forms of ‘normal’ emotional experiences. Examples of these include:
- Anxiety, or
These conditions are now frequently referred to as common mental health problems, as opposed to ‘neuroses’ as they used to be referred.
Within this group are symptoms that interfere with a person’s perception of reality. Examples include:
- Seeing, or
- Feeling things that no one else can.
These are less common symptoms compared to the neurotic group and are diagnosed by a doctor.
Mental Health conditions
There are numerous mental health conditions that affect people on a day-to-day basis. During some of our Mental Health courses in the Mental Health Course Den we will explore these specifically and also look in detail at how these can be supported in the workplace. There are far too many for us to explore in this article.
What Signs of Poor Mental Health can I look for?
The signs and symptoms of poor mental health can be hard to find. However, you might become aware of:
- Anxious or irritable,
- Mood Swings,
- Seeming withdrawn,
- Saying or doing things that are unusual,
- Struggling to cope with work or studies, and/or
- Problems with concentration or memory.
These are not a definitive and anything that seems out of the ordinary could be an indicator of a temporary or long term poor mental health problem. Always be there and support the person that you are worried about.
How Can I Help Someone?
There are many things that you can do if you are concerned about someone’s mental health. We would always recommend encouraging them to discuss their health with a GP who are trained in mental Health and have the resources to refer to if needed. More than that we would recommend showing them that you want to listen, and maybe even offer to go to the GP with them for support.
Remember that no one can be forced to get help. However, you could contact their GP and you can explain why you are concerned for that person, the GP can then make a decision as to how best they can help.
The single most important thing that you can do is to be there and listen to the person that you are concerned about and let them know that you are there for them.
Want to know more about Mental Health?
Why not book onto one of our Mental Health courses and gain a better knowledge?