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needs some help sometimes:
"Everyone said University would be great, but, for me,
it was torture. I felt miserably shy and alone,
as if I was on one side of a glass wall and
everyone else was on the other."
Mind Publications 2002
do we mean by mental wellbeing?
mental health isn’t necessarily something you have but something
you do. To be mentally well you must try to value and accept yourself.
This means that generally you care about yourself. You work at loving
yourself and try not to hate yourself. You try to look after your physical
health by eating well, sleeping well, exercising and enjoying yourself.
see yourself as being a valuable person in your own right. Don’t
feel you have to earn the right to exist. You exist, therefore, you have
the right to exist. If you cannot value and accept yourself as you, you
may feel frightened that other people will reject you.
value and accept themselves can usually cope with life.
do some people remain mentally well and others don’t?
can suffer mental distress when we don’t value and accept ourselves.
This way of thinking can come from a childhood experience, or when we
lost our job, or a when a relationship/friendship ended.
We then decided
that we must be bad or unworthy, otherwise why did our family/employer/partner/friend
treat us as they did. This feeling can make it very difficult for us to
cope with the difficulties and disasters we encounter.
is the value of Exercise?
shows that exercise is one of the most effective ways to beat stress and
depression. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine
found that exercise may be more effective than drugs in treating mild
to moderate depression. In the study just thirty minutes of exercise a
day significantly improved the moods of patients who had been suffering
from depression for nine months. This doesn’t mean that you have
to pound the treadmill for hours on end. A simple walk through your local
park can be uplifting. What’s more, the effects of exercise on mood
Research has found that by avoiding certain food stressors such as sugar,
caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and saturated fats you can help improve your
mood. Water, vegetables, fruit, oil rich fish, nuts and seeds, fibre and
organic foods can also lift your spirits. Research shows that improving
your diet can increase coping skills, improve confidence and help you
to feel calm.
about complementary therapies?
For some these also play a part in recovery. For more details
role is their for Friendship?
Friends are the overwhelming main source of support for people with mental
health problems. Out of those surveyed 67% of their friends offered understanding
and 71% showed concern. Just listening and talking to friends who are
feeling down can make a huge difference. So make sure your devote time
to maintaining your friendships both for their sake and your own.
if you live on your own, or don't feel you can talk to someone close to
you? There are organisations who can provide a 'listening ear' such as
Lifeline and the Samaritans.
They can really help.
More than 91 million working days a year are lost to mental ill-health
in the UK, yet work gives many people purpose, a sense of identity and
can help maintain mental wellbeing. So can you promote mental health in
your work place? As an employee, it helps to remind colleagues to take
a break and look after themselves. People work more effectively and creatively
when they are happy.
In a Confederation
of British Industry (CBI) survey of over 800 companies, 98% of respondents
said they thought that the mental health of employees should be a company
concern. The large majority (81%) considered that mental health of staff
should be part of company policy. Yet only one in ten companies has an
official policy on mental health.
a manager why don’t you do a mental well-being audit of your workforce?
According to research from the Mental Health Foundation 70% of people
in the UK have experienced discrimination in response to their own or
another’s mental distress. Over 60% of respondents to the study
who had experienced mental distress also said that they could not tell
people for fear of discrimination and stigma. Many false assumptions are
made about people who suffer from a mental health problem, such as they
aren’t reliable, they moan a lot and they’re dangerous.
It is vitally important that we all work to challenge the stigma around
mental health. This can help with greater understanding about mental health,
it can empower service users and it can reduce the discrimination that
many people experience.
See me Campaign Scotland
not examine your own thoughts and perceptions of mental health?
mental health issues deserve your support and understanding, not
revised 7 May 2007