What is World Mental Health Day?
World Mental Health Day (10th October) is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
What is mental heath?
When people ask about your mental health it’s hard to know how to answer because we all have good and bad days don’t, we?
If you are mentally healthy it does not mean you don’t ever get upset or feel down, but it does mean that if you are in good mental health, you can on most days:
- cope with life
- make the most of your potential
- play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends.
Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it’s just as important as good physical health.
What are mental health problems?
Mental health problems can range from the worries most people experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. Most people who experience mental health problems will get over them or learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on.
Mental health problems are usually defined and classified this then enables professionals to refer people for the appropriate care and treatment.
We all have times when we feel stressed, down or frightened life can be incredibly challenging at times. But most of the time these feelings will pass with time, sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us. When this happens, we need to seek help, there is a stigma attached to mental health and this can mean that people feel uncomfortable asking for help because they fear what people will say. Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings, not even to family or friends. But it’s healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.
To download useful publications click below:
If you are concerned that you are developing a mental health problem, you should seek the advice and support from your GP straight away. If you are in distress and need immediate help and are unable to see a GP, you should call 111.
You can also contact the following organisations for help:
The Samaritans – Call free 116 123 or email email@example.com
They offer emotional support 24 hours a day – in full confidence
Shout Crisis Text Line – For support in a crisis, Text Shout to 85258
If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support. Shout can help with urgent issues such as:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Abuse or assault
- Relationship challenges
Rethink Mental Illness – Call Rethink on 0300 5000 927 (calls are charged at your local rate).
You can call the Rethink advice and information line Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm for practical advice on:
- different types of therapy and medication
- benefits, debt, money issues
- police, courts, prison
- your rights under the Mental Health Act.
The Mind Infoline – Call the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 (UK landline calls are charged at local rates, and charges from mobile phones will vary considerably). Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mind offer an information line to answer questions about:
- types of mental health problem
- where to get help
- drug and alternative treatments
Talking it out
You may find it helpful to talk to your partner, a relative or a friend about your problems. They may be concerned about you and welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to say. If this is not possible, you may prefer to talk to someone else you can trust, like a faith leader or a tutor.
Your GP may be the first person you talk to about your mental health problems. If you have a good relationship with your doctor, you may find it helpful just to know there is someone you can talk to about the feelings you are having. Your GP may refer you to specialist services if he/she feels they will help you. You can find information about talking to your GP about your mental health here at the Mental health foundation guide.
If you are unhappy with your own doctor, you can ask to see another doctor at the same practice or make an appointment with a different practice in your area. If you are unsure where to find other doctor’s surgeries, look in your local Yellow Pages or try the NHS Choices website.
Specialist mental health services
Most people recover from mental health problems without needing to go into hospital. There are a number of specialist services that provide various treatments, including counselling and other talking treatments. You may also need help with other aspects of your life – for example, claiming benefits or dealing with housing problems. Often these different services are coordinated by a community mental health team (CMHT).
CMHTs are usually based either at a hospital or a local community mental health centre. Some teams provide 24-hour services so that you can contact them in a crisis. If you are already in contact with a CMHT you may find it useful to keep their number by your phone in case you need it. Otherwise you should be able to contact your local CMHT via your local social services or social work team.
Other kinds of community mental health team include Crisis and Home Treatment teams, which provide you with help in your own home and can come out to see you in an emergency or help you get into hospital if you need inpatient treatment.
You may also find it helpful to contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau for advice about benefits, debt problems, legal issues and local services. The Citizens Advice Bureau website has a directory listing its local offices.
Mental Health and Christmas
Christmas can be very stressful at the best of times, but this year we all might all need some extra help to get us through the big day. With so many questions that we just will not be able to answer in the run up to Christmas this year we thought a look at last year’s Mental Health Foundation Christmas podcast might be helpful.
Podcast: how to look after your mental health at Christmas
Stuart and Bethan discuss mental health at Christmas. In what ways Christmas can be good for your mental health, and what things can impact your mental health around this time of year.
They speak to Ed Davie, Communities Lead at the Mental Health Foundation about how you can look after your mental health at Christmas through focusing in on your needs, setting boundaries, taking up volunteering and much more.