Mental Health Awareness Week

In May each year Mental Health Foundation highlight a specific theme for Mental Health Awareness Week, taking place between 11-17 May in 2015.

Since the foundation began in 1949, the founder, Dr Richter has fought tirelessly to secure the money needed to raise awareness of all mental health issues, pushing boundaries and red tape to get the word out and expand people’s knowledge of the issues that could potentially affect us all. Life is full of potentially stressful events and it is normal to feel anxious about some of these as it is a natural survival response, but it is when anxiety and stress start to rise out of a controllable level that we need to be aware and make small changes. These are some of the physical things that might happen:

  • Rapid and / or irregular heartbeat
  • Fast breathing
  • Weakened / tense muscles
  • Sweating
  • Churning stomach / loose bowels
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth

Anxiety also has a psychological impact, which can include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of concentration
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling depressed
  • Loss of self-confidence

Since the first Mental Health Awareness Week in 2000, the charity has pushed topics like loneliness, anger, fear, and friendship into the public eye. The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 was anxiety, one of the leading causes of mental ill-health in the world. From 11-17 May 2015 the topic will be ‘Mindfulness’ which is a mind-body approach to wellbeing, a way of dealing with thoughts and feelings by engaging with the present moment. Face your fear: try not to avoid constantly avoiding situations that make you anxious. The chances are the reality of the situation won’t be as bad as you expect, and the experience will make you better equipped to manage, and reduce, your anxiety for next time. Know yourself: make a note of when you feel anxious, what happens and the potential triggers. By acknowledging these and arming yourself with tips to deal with these triggers, you will be better prepared in anxiety-inducing situations. Healthy eating: eat lots of fruit and vegetables and try to avoid too much sugar. Very sweet foods cause an initial sugar ‘rush,’ followed by a sharp dip in blood sugar levels which can give you anxious feelings. Caffeine can also increase anxiety levels so try to avoid drinking too much tea or coffee, too. The foundation’s work as an information provider and campaigning organisation has changed in the last few years as they began to promote the idea that that good mental health and wellbeing is for everyone and not just those experiencing problems. Their work will not be done until they eliminate the needless suffering that mental illness causes to individuals, their family, their friends and society as a whole. The mental health foundations rely on the generous support of many individuals, companies and grant-making bodies to do this. If you would like to know more visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

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