We all have mental health and just like our physical health we need to look after it. However sadly for people with mental health issues there can be a real stigma around talking about it. This can make it harder for them to get the help and support that they need. It is also ridiculous. If someone said they had broken a limb or had a serious physical illness people would offer support and show concern.  It is therefore strange that when someone is feeling depressed they get treated as weak or told to pull themselves together. Thankfully there does seem to be a real shift and things are improving.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week so there is a lot of information out there at the moment. To find out more I would recommend looking at the following websites:

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week 

https://www.headstogether.org.uk

It is important that we encourage everyone to talk to someone about how they feel. This could be to a friend, or family member, or a professional. We need to encourage children to start talking about their feelings as young as possible. Admittedly not everyone wants  to talk so perhaps they want to draw how they are feeling, or write about it.

There is a lot of support out there and you can find out more or talk to someone at:

https://www.mind.org.uk

http://www.samaritans.org 

It is also crucial that we encourage men to talk about their feelings and not that it is a sign of weakness. A good video explaining the importance of this can be found at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2017/mar/21/jamal-edwards-breaks-taboos-around-mens-mental-health-video 

Meditation also helps. I personally use the Headspace app which I find really useful.

Gratitude is also a brilliant tool. Write down 3 different things each day that you were grateful for. This could be a lovely chat with a friend, seeing a beautiful blossom tree or stroking a gorgeous dog.  You could treat yourself to a nice pad to write them in, set up an email or text group with friends, or get a large container and write them on paper and store them where you can see them. Then on the more difficult days you could read the ones you have written previously. Research has shown doing this for a week will still benefit you in 6 months time which is pretty incredible. Find out more here http://www.actionforhappiness.org/take-action/find-three-good-things-each-day

I would encourage you all to talk to someone if you are struggling. If you are feeling good inform everyone that you are someone they can turn to for support and really listen to what they say. We can all help break down the mental health taboos and everyone will benefit.

 

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