To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (Mon, 10 May 2021 – Sun, 16 May 2021), we felt it was really important to answer some of your questions for this week’s Dear Aspect, taken from our Instagram. We are in no way medical professionals, here is just some of our light advice, and research we have found.
Dear Aspect, what are some key statistics around mental health?
According to the Mental Health Foundation, “mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide.” “It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem.” According to Mind, “1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England”. With these statistics in mind, it’s time to remove the stigma and get talking about our mental health and wellbeing.
Aspect… What can we do to protect our own mental health?
Firstly, if you are struggling with your mental health, it isn’t your fault.
When it comes to looking after our mental wellbeing, it is important to talk about how we are feeling, rather than bottling it up, which many people sadly do. Looking after your physical self is also important, which can mean anything from keeping active to drinking sensibly. Allocate times to unwind and focus on yourself as regularly as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Hi Aspect! What are some things that may affect our mental health without us realising it?
There are so many things that are unrelated to our mental health, that can still have a profound effect on our mental wellbeing. In the most recent times, we have seen Coronavirus being a huge obstacle for people, mentally and physically. Especially with the various lockdowns, as many individuals felt this was a time of huge self-reflection. Things like bereavement, finances and work are the most popular, but also excessive drinking, social media and our personal relationships can also affect us mentally.
Dear Aspect, what are some signs that a friend may be struggling with their mental health?
Struggling with mental health can present itself in many different ways. Some friends may be quiet, seem distant and teary. Others may be sleeping badly or drinking a lot more. Some may eat more or less than usual or be harming themselves. Many will cancel plans or seem absent when you see them. Remember, none of this is personal and sometimes it is hard to spot, so don’t blame yourself if you don’t pick up on warning signs, many who are struggling won’t want others to know.
Aspect… how can I help a friend who is struggling with their mental health?
Each individual is different, so how you support friends and loved ones will often vary between person and situation. This article is all about supporting loved ones who are struggling with their mental health.
Here are a few links, numbers and services for those who may be struggling with mental health.
Samaritans, call: 116 123, email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit, https://www.samaritans.org
MIND, call: 0300 123 3393, email email@example.com, text, 86463 or visit, www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines
Shout, text, 85258 or visit, https://www.giveusashout.org/