Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 8 -14 May
Mental health: Let's strive to thrive
Good mental health is more than the absence of a mental health problem. It's about thriving – not just surviving – when life challenges us with stresses and strains.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, 8-14 May 2017, and following publicity generated by princes William and Harry, Merton CCG is urging residents to look after their mental health, and to build resilience to cope with the demands of life.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, which is running the awareness week, there are 10 steps that everyone can take to improve their mental health:
1. Talk about your feelings: If it feels awkward at first, give it time. Make talking about your feelings something that you do.
2: Keep active: Exercise is believed to boost feel-good chemicals in the brain; it can boost self-esteem, concentration and help you to sleep, look and feel better. Walks in the park, gardening or housework all count as 'being active'. Try to do about 30 minutes' exercise at least five days a week.
3. Eat well: A diet that's good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. For tips on eating well, visit: NHS Live Well or, for local help, see the resources from Merton Council or see the advice from Health Help Now.
4. Drink sensibly: Drinking will not help you to solve problems, it creates them. Get advice on healthy drinking from NHS Live Well or, for local help, see the resources from Merton Council or see the advice from Health Help Now.
5. Keep in touch: Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. If you're feeling out of touch with some people, visit the Mental Health Foundation for some tips on talking about your feelings.
6. Ask for help: Family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Local services are also there to help you. Contact local services for adults with mental health needs or see the advice from Health Help Now.
You should consider getting help from your GP if difficult feelings are:
- Stopping you getting on with life
- Having a big impact on the people you live or work with
- Affecting your mood over several weeks.
If you need urgent help, or you are worried about someone, visit local services for adults with mental health needs or visit Health Help Now to find information on local mental health support services.
7. Take a break: A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some 'me time'; listen to your body: if you're really tired, give yourself time to sleep.
8. Do something you're good at: Enjoying yourself helps beat stress.
9. Accept who you are: We're all different. It's much healthier to accept that you're unique than to wish you were different. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
10. Care for others: Caring for others is often an important part of building and maintaining relationships. Find out more about volunteering opportunities at www.do-it.org.uk or by visiting the Merton Voluntary Service Council website.
Mental Health Foundation: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health
Mental Health Awareness week: advice on holding a fundraising or information event https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/get-involved
NHS Live Well hub: http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/Pages/Livewellhub.aspx
Mind: Charity Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind offers confidential help and legal advice. Local branches also operate. To contact the national charity,
0300 123 3393 (MIND Infoline)
020 8519 2122 (MIND London Office)
NHS111: Call 111, available 24 hours every day
Sane Line: 0300 304 7000 (6pm - 11pm every day) www.sane.org.uk
Samaritans: 116 123 (24 hours every day) www.samaritans.org