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World Mental Health Day 2019

World Mental Health Day 2019

World Mental Health Day is here to raise awareness for mental health, the struggles people go through, and what you can do to help. The World Federation for Mental Health choose the main theme each year and this year the focus is on suicide prevention.

How common are mental health problems?

In England, around 1 in 6 people report experiencing some form of mental health problem (this doesn’t include unreported cases) and in the UK, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the state of someone’s mind and they can be everyday things like money, jobs, relationships etc.

Mental health problems aren’t necessarily increasing, however, the way people are coping with their mental health is getting worse, which is leading to the number of people increasing who self-harming or having suicidal thoughts.

Here are a few statistics about suicide and mental health in the UK:

  • There were 6,507 suicides in 2018.
  • Deaths by suicide rose by 11.8% in 2018.
  • Men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women.
  • The rate of suicide deaths among under 25s increased by 23.7% in 2018.
  • Men aged 45-49 have the highest rate of suicide.
  • Women have higher rates of self-harm, bipolar disorder and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
  • There has been an increase in mental health problems being reported for both men and women between the ages of 55 and 64.

What are the signs of mental health problems?

Signs of a mental health problem can be tricky to notice, especially if the person you’re worried about is good at hiding their real emotions. Signs can differ depending on what sort of mental health problem someone has, but early signs might be:

  • Low mood
  • Poor concentration
  • Being easily distracted
  • Sleeping more or less
  • Avoiding social activities
  • Aggression
  • Drinking more
  • Finding it difficult to control emotions
  • Tearfulness
  • Feeling less interested in day-to-day activities
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Worrying more
  • Indecisive
  • Feeling overwhelmed

What can you do to help someone?

If your loved one is showing any of the above signs and you’re worried about them, it’s worth having an open and honest conversation with them to tell them of your concerns and so they know you are there, should they need you.

You might not be able to force someone to seek professional help, but you can encourage them to get the help and support they need, even if it’s just finding a mental health professional and making an appointment. The small things can make the biggest difference.

What can you do to help yourself?

If you are showing behaviour similar to the signs above then you may have a mental health problem. You should talk to a loved one, mental health professional or your doctor so you can get the right help and support.

If you have suicidal thoughts or negative behaviour and think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, get help straight away. You can call the Samaritans 24/7 for free on 116 123.

Prevention

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent mental illness. It is completely out of our control as it can be triggered by a number of different things; family history, traumatic experiences, use of alcohol or drugs, brain damage from an injury, and many more.

There are a few things that should be done to make sure yourself or a loved one is coping:

  • Pay attention to warning signs
    If you talk to a therapist or doctor regularly, work with them to find out what triggers your symptoms. This will help you if your symptoms return. Talking to family members, partners or friends could be useful as well so they can also lookout for any warning signs.
  • Get help when you need it
    Don’t wait until your symptoms are really bad. Mental health conditions can be very serious so it’s important you get help, sooner rather than later.
  • Take care of yourself
    Maintaining a daily/weekly routine can be very helpful, as well as healthy eating and regular exercise. Making sure you get sufficient sleep is important too as it will help your body to recharge.

If you want to find out more about different mental health conditions and their symptoms, you can visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/mental-health.

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