What is mental health?
Our mental health is comprised of our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we view things, how we feel and the way we behave including our reactions to challenges and the choices we make.
Our mental health can be influenced by our family, social circumstances, health and life events in both positive and negative ways.
When our mental health is good, we feel positive about ourselves, enjoy socialising, and feel able to deal with life’s challenges.
We all go through times when we feel worried, confused or down. But when it starts to feel difficult to do everyday things it could mean we have a problem with our mental health.
Mental health problems include depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating problems, paranoia, personality disorders, or psychosis. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health problem you might be looking for information on your diagnosis, treatment options and where to go for support. If you would like further information on the types of mental health problems, Mind have comprehensive information resources to will help you learn more.
Symptoms to watch out for
If you have not been diagnosed with having a mental health problem but you are persistently feeling down, you may need a little help and support. Below is a list of some of signs and symptoms to be aware of:
- Too much/not enough/disrupted sleep
- Persistently feeling down or sad
- Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Feeling numb
- Withdrawal from friends, family and social situations
- Excessive use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs
- Feeling muddled, forgetful, agitated, angry, tearful or scared.
- Loss of interest and/ or avoiding usual activities
- Mood swings, feeling on edge, feeling short tempered or argumentative
- Major changes in eating habits
- Sex drive changes
- Lack of energy for no obvious reason
- Unable to carry out simple daily tasks
- Trouble understanding and relating to situations and people
- Suicidal thoughts
When should I seek help?
You may feel reluctant to seek help for mental health issues and it can be hard to know how to start or where to turn but seeking help is often the first step towards getting and staying well. The earlier you seek help the less entrenched the problem will be and the easier it will be to treat.
It’s common to feel like you want to handle things by yourself or to feel unsure as to whether you should seek help. It’s always ok to ask for help – even if you’re not sure you are experiencing a mental health problem.
Getting Help & How to access support
There are a lot of support options available both through the NHS and charities that have been specifically set up to help individuals manage their mental health.
Just like how a physical health problem can be treated several different ways, a mental health problem also requires different types of treatment. Just because one method isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try something new.
Mindfulness and other self-help treatments are available free of charge online through the NHS:
You may feel that doing your own research prior to speaking with a medical professional will help you feel more comfortable discussing your concerns with them.
- Your GP is the first port of call who can assess your need for medication/talking therapies and refer you to the appropriate services.
- Your employer may have an EAP service, who can assist with talking therapies.
- Online CBT can be undertaken at https://llttf.com/
- Further help and tips can be found at NHS Choices webpage
Coronavirus and your wellbeing
If you ever feel in need of urgent help and do not feel you can keep yourself safe, we have provided some immediate support options below for you to access:
- Let your partner, next of kin or close friend know to assist you getting help
- Call your GP surgery and request an emergency appointment
- Contact NHS 111 (England) or 08454647 (Wales)
- Call Samaritans on 116123 – 24 hours a day
- If you are under mental health services already, contact your crisis line number
- Call 999 or attend the nearest Accident & Emergency department
The following link is also for those in need of urgent assistance – https://www.mind.org.uk/need-urgent-help/?ctaId=/nee