World Mental Health Day 2020

This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past months have brought many challenges: for health-care workers, providing care in difficult circumstances, going to work fearful of bringing COVID-19 home with them; for students, adapting to taking classes from home, with little contact with teachers and friends, and anxious about their futures; for workers whose livelihoods are threatened; for the vast number of people caught in poverty or in fragile humanitarian settings with extremely limited protection from COVID-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And this is to say nothing of managing the grief of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye.

Taking care of our mental health is an essential part of being fit and healthy holistically. Let’s look at some ways to manage our mental health better.

  • Sleep – Sleep is not just essential for our bodies but our mental wellbeing as well. It helps to regulate the chemicals in our brain that transmit information. These chemicals are important in managing our moods and emotions. We can look at ways to manage our sleep to have an in-depth knowledge about the do’s and don’ts. See our sleep course on our website

  • Food – A balanced diet is not just beneficial for our bodies but our minds as well. Certain mineral deficiencies, such as iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies, can give us a low mood. 

  • Alcohol, nicotine & drugs – Drinking and smoking can impact  our mental health. Excessive drinking for prolonged periods can leave you with a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is important for our brain function and a deficiency can lead to severe memory problems, motor problems, confusion and eye problems. There is some research that suggests drug use is related to developing mental disorders like schizophrenia. See our self-help section on website 

  • Sunlight – Vitamin D is an important vitamin for our bodies and our brains. It helps our brains to release chemicals which improve our mood. Try to spend time out when we have a sunny day.  Some people find using a special light-therapy lamp helps to alleviate the symptoms. 

  • Stress – Often we find it hard to avoid stress and especially in these difficult times. Trying to recognise the triggers and to put some coping strategies in place could be the key to putting our minds at peace. Click our mind gym page to see how we can help. 

  • Physical activities and exercise – “A healthy body adorns a healthy mind” Being physically active by adding some kind of exercise not just gives a sense of achievement but also boosts chemicals in our brain which impacts our mood.

  • Ways to enjoy – It is very essential to be happy and when we find something to enjoy and relish it has significant impact on our wellbeing. Some “me time” can do wonders, look for different activities that you would like to engage in like coloring, walking cycling, cooking etc.
  • Connect with others- In these unprecedented times being connected to friends , family, neighbours and colleagues helps to build not just the relationships but self- esteem as well. Research has also found that talking to others for just ten minutes can improve memory and test scores, which is amazing !! Have a virtual tea and cake session with your loved ones. Here are some links to quick recipes:
  • https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vanilla-cupcakes
  • https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/classic-scones-jam-clotted-cream
  • https://minimalistbaker.com/easy-masala-chai-recipe

  • Inclusivity – today we find diverse population in every walk of life but being inclusive is the key. Look out for the BAME group  which is a platform for the BAME community to chat about socially.
  • Offer to help others – We are an integral part of a wider community and to be able to give something back is fulfilling. Offer to be a listening ear or even look at ways to volunteer.

  • Ask for help – we all go through some not so good days and it is helpful to talk about it to friends ,family and professionals as “its ok to not be ok”

SOME STATISTICS

Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide.

1. Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds.

2. Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease.

3. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem

4. In England and Wales, nearly a fifth of people come from a BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) background.1 The mental health of BAME communities is important because people from these communities often face individual and societal challenges that can affect access to healthcare and overall mental and physical health.

Useful contacts for Mental health Awareness Day .

Who can I contact if I am struggling with my Health .

Samaritans

Call free, day or Night 24/7

365 days of the year

116 123.

CALM

Calm is the Campaign against living miserably

For men aged 15-35.

Phone 0800 58 58 58 (Daily 5pm to Midnight)

Website www.thecalmzone.net

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Website www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Mental health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Website www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website www.mind.org.uk

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental health illness, their families and carers.

Textcare :comfort and care via text message sent when the person needs it most .

www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Website:www.sane.org.uk/support

Young minds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for Parents and Professionals .

Phone: Parents helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday ,9:30am to 4 pm )