Mental health is a vital aspect of our overall well-being that affects every aspect of our lives. It encompasses our emotions, thoughts, behaviours, and interactions with others. Mental health is not merely the absence of mental illness but is a positive concept that involves feeling good about oneself, having healthy relationships, and being able to cope with life’s challenges (1).
Mental health issues can be caused by a wide range of factors, including genetics, environmental factors, and life experiences. These issues can manifest in a variety of ways, ranging from mild anxiety and depression to severe mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. According to the World Health Organization, over one billion people worldwide experience mental health conditions, making it a prevalent issue (2).
Mental health issues can have significant impacts on a person’s life, affecting their ability to work, socialize, and enjoy life. Poor mental health can lead to decreased productivity, lower quality of life, and even physical health issues like chronic pain (3). In addition, people experiencing mental health issues are more likely to engage in substance abuse and have an increased risk of suicide (2).
Fortunately, many treatments are available for people experiencing mental health issues, including medication, therapy, and support groups. However, seeking help can be challenging due to the stigma surrounding mental health, which can prevent people from seeking help and receiving the care they need (4).
It is essential to prioritize mental health and take steps to maintain good mental health. Engaging in regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet can help improve mental health (5). Engaging in social activities, finding a hobby, and practising mindfulness and meditation can also help promote mental well-being and reduce stress (6).
In conclusion, mental health is a critical aspect of our overall well-being that affects every aspect of our lives. It is essential to prioritise mental health and seek help when needed to live a happy, healthy life.
Signposting and Support
- NHS mental health services: The NHS provides a range of mental health services, including assessment, therapy, and medication. You can access NHS mental health services through your GP, or you can refer yourself directly to some services.
- Mind: Mind is a mental health charity that provides information and support to people experiencing mental health issues. They offer a range of services, including information and advice, peer support, and advocacy.
- Samaritans: Samaritans is a charity that provides emotional support to people in distress or who are experiencing suicidal thoughts. You can contact them 24/7 by phone, email, or text.
- The Mix: The Mix is a charity that provides support to young people under the age of 25. They offer a range of services, including phone, email, and webchat support, as well as information and advice on mental health and other issues affecting young people.
- Rethink Mental Illness: Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that provides support to people affected by mental illness, including people with mental health conditions, their families, and carers. They offer information, advice, and advocacy services.
- CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably): CALM is a charity that provides support to men experiencing mental health issues. They offer a helpline, webchat, and information and advice on mental health.
- Papyrus: Papyrus is a charity that provides support to young people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts or self-harm. They offer a helpline, text and email support, and information and advice on mental health.
- These are just a few examples of the many signposting and support services available for mental health in the UK. It is essential to seek help if you are experiencing mental health issues and to find the support that works best for you.
World Health Organization. (2014). Mental Health: A state of well-being. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/
National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Mental Illness. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/mental-health-medications/index.shtml
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Understanding Mental Health and Mental Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/behavioral-health-treatment/mental-health
American Psychiatric Association. (2019). Stigma and Discrimination. Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/stigma-and-discrimination
Mental Health Foundation. (n.d.). Looking after your mental health. Retrieved from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-mental-health
National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). 5 Things You Should Know About Stress. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/5-things-you-should-know-about-stress.shtml
Author: Alex Rhind