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Mental health information for all

We all need to prioritise good mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health and wellbeing are fundamental to the quality of life and productivity of individuals, families and communities. Mental health and wellbeing enables us to experience life as meaningful and survive disappointment and times of difficulty.

Mental health is …

'…the emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to enjoy life, survive pain, suffering and disappointment. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our and others' dignity and worth'.

(Health Education Authority UK)

Emotional wellbeing, wellbeing, emotional welfare are some of the terms which can be used to describe mental health.

  • It describes how we feel and think about ourselves and how we interpret events in everyday life
  • It relates to how we cope with change, transition and significant life events. How we deal with the ups and downs in life
  • It refers to our emotional or self resilience. This is the ability to recover quickly from change, misfortune, illness and disappointment; the ability to ’bounce back’

It is broader than simply an absence of a mental health problem. It is just as important as good physical health. Poor mental health can affect our ability to cope with and manage our lives, especially at times of change.

Mental health and mental wellbeing are a part of everyone’s lives. Mental wellbeing is influenced both positively and negatively in every area of life. We all have times when we feel down, stressed or frightened. Most of the time these feelings pass but sometimes they can develop into more serious or long term problems this could happen to anyone of us.

We are all different. Some of us can bounce back from a setback, someone else may find it much more difficult. Our mental health does not always stay the same. Our mental health can change as we move through different stages in our lives.   

We all have mental health, sometimes it is good and at other times it may be not so good. Some of us experience difficulties or problems which have a negative effect on our mental health. Some of us have short term mental health problems which pass. Others have longer term conditions which they manage like any other long term illness such as diabetes or asthma.

One in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives; therefore there is a good chance that we will all have experience of a mental health problem, either our own or that of someone we know. 

Men and Mental Health 

One in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year. For men in particular, it can be an awkward subject to talk about, but you don’t have to be an expert - just looking out for someone can make a big difference.

Time to Change has a new campaign aimed at helping men to broach the subject of mental health.

There is a new video Wolfpack video http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/wolfpack and Time to Change will also be posting new video blogs every day this week from men sharing their experiences of mental health problems.

If you think someone you know  is bottling something up, there are some  top tips cards to help you start that conversation and show how you can help make a difference.

You can also download a leaflet, produced with help from Men’s Health Forum which looks at how mental health problems can affect men, warning signs to look out for and some useful tips to help a mate going through a tough time.

What can we do?

We can learn about how we can look after our own mental health, we can also increase our understanding of mental health, wellbeing and mental health problems.

Wellbeing

Recent research about how to improve mental wellbeing recommends 5 simple actions that, if practised regularly, can improve our mental wellbeing.

CONNECT… with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Building these connections will support and enrich your day.

BE ACTIVE… Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Exercising makes you feel good.

TAKE NOTICE… Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful.  Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons.  Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters.

KEEP LEARNING… Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

GIVE… Do something nice for a friend or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time.  Join a community group. Your actions will make other people feel good too.

©NEF

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