Since 10th October 1992, the World Federation of Mental Health has been raising awareness through their international programme – World Mental Health Day. The annual initiative aims to promote mental health advocacy and educate the public on relevant issues. Celebrated on 10th October, it brings mental health to the forefront of conversation and helps answer questions that people have about the topic. 

With the current global COVID-19 crisis, this topic is now more prevalent than ever; society has changed dramatically, and the adjustment to the new way of life has taken its toll on many peoples mental health. The lockdown measures that are being enforced to reduce COVID-19 transmissions are increasing the sense of isolation for many people. With more and people being furloughed or losing their jobs, there is a great sense of uncertainty and added pressures for people to overcome. That’s why now more than ever, it’s important to raise this awareness to help those that need help. 

All of Sustain UK tenants meet the DWP definition of vulnerable adults, with approximately 90% having underlying mental health problems.

What is mental health? 

Mental health applies to everyone and isn’t just a label for those diagnosed with medical conditions. We all go through times in life where we feel down, stressed out or frightened. Most of the time, we find ways to cope with these things, and we get through them. Unfortunately for some, these problems develop into more serious issues that need support and assistance.

Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same and can change due to different circumstances or during changes in life. Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to mental health problems which makes people feel uncomfortable talking about how they’re feeling. 

But that doesn’t need to be how things are; mental health, ’emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ is just as important as good physical health. 

What are Mental Health Problems? 

Most mental health symptoms have traditionally been divided into groups called either ‘neurotic’ or ‘psychotic’ symptoms. ‘Neurotic’ covers those symptoms which can be regarded as severe forms of ‘normal’ emotional experiences such as depression, anxiety or panic. Conditions formerly referred to as ‘neuroses’ are now more frequently called ‘common mental health problems.’

Less common are ‘psychotic’ symptoms, which interfere with a person’s perception of reality, and may include hallucinations such as seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling things that no one else can. Mental health problems affect the way you think, feel and behave. They are problems that can be diagnosed by a doctor, not personal weaknesses.

As found by the APMS (2014), 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem.

Anxiety and depression are the most common problems, with around 1 in 10 people affected at any one time.

Anxiety and depression can be severe and long-lasting and have a significant impact on people’s ability to get on with life.

Between one and two in every 100 people experience severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and have periods when they lose touch with reality. People affected may hear voices, see things no one else sees, hold unusual or irrational beliefs, feel unrealistically powerful, or read particular meanings into everyday events.

Although certain symptoms are common in specific mental health problems, no two people behave in precisely the same way when they are unwell.

Many people who live with a mental health problem or are developing one try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s reactions. And many people feel troubled without having a diagnosed, or diagnosable, mental health problem – although that doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling to cope with daily life.

Where should I turn to if I need help? 

If you are concerned about your mental health, you should seek the advice and support of your GP. If you are in distress or need immediate help, then you should visit your nearest A&E. 

You can also call the Samaritans if you need emotional support. They offer anonymous support, 24hrs a day. Call 116 123 – it’s FREE.

Crisis offers a free text line if you’re experiencing a personal crisis or are unable to cope. For support – text Shout to 85258. 

They can help with issues such as:

  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Abuse or assault
  • Self Harm 
  • Bullying
  • Relationship challenges 

Mind offers an information line to answer questions about:

  • types of mental health problem
  • where to get help
  • drug and alternative treatments
  • advocacy.

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 info@mind.org.uk.

 

Call us: Tel: 0121 428 2221 or visit us: 2A Albert Road, Harborne, Birmingham. B17 0AN.