In recent years there has been a huge shift in the way we address mental health issues both at work and at home. In previous generations mental health was rarely discussed, therefore it’s fantastic that today it is so commonplace to see the subject being taken so seriously.
However, despite all the progression that has been made, stigma still prevents 40% of people with anxiety and depression seeking medical help, so it’s of utmost importance that we try and remove any stigmas associated with mental health. There are so many reasons why people develop mental health issues, some are genetic or biological and others are a result of trauma or overwhelming stress. Whatever the reason mental health issues need to be looked at in the same way as other health issues like disease or injury.
So how can we remove the stigma associated with mental health? Education is the number one way; by educating ourselves about mental illness we are able to educate others and in doing so we can challenge popular myths and stereotypes, whilst understand better how to help those suffering. In England one in four will experience a mental health problem every year, however, only one in eight is getting treatment. By talking more about our problems with family, friends and colleagues, it can help to reduce the stigma of mental health and help others feel more comfortable recognising when they need help.
With all the challenges we have had to deal with over the last year, it can be hard to remember to take time to look after yourself. But taking care of your mental health doesn’t need to be hard or take up too much time. As well checking-in with friends and colleagues it’s also imperative that to keep active, eat well and make sure you ask for help when you are feeling overwhelmed. These simple steps will definitely help build a good foundation for your mental health.
Growing up on a farm meant that I was always outdoors. I may not have realised it then, but I can certainly see now how important that was for my mental health. It also had an effect on how I have chosen to raise my own children. We live in the countryside and whilst my boys love playing on their PlayStation, they also love spending time outdoors, walking the dog, cycling and running. I can see just how much this supports not just their physical health but their mental health too. During the lockdown last year, like many other people, we got into the habit of taking a daily walk. This is definitely something that we intend to keep doing as a family as much as possible, much to the excitement of our dogs! This month is National Walking Month and with the weather slowly warming up it’s the perfect time to get out and about and help manage your mental health.
To find out more about mental health and getting back to nature why not visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk
Take care and stay safe.
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