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  • Matthew Paminter

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024


May is Mental Health Month! This Month is all about how we can look after our mental health, spreading awareness about mental health conditions and how we can battle the stigma around mental health.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 will take place from 13 to 19 May, on the theme of “Movement: Moving more for our mental health”.

 

Movement is important for our mental health. But so many of us struggle to move enough. We know there are many different reasons for this, so this Mental Health Awareness Month we want to help people to find moments for movement in their daily routines. Going for a walk in your neighbourhood, putting on your favourite music and dancing around the living room, chair exercises when you’re watching television – it all counts!


Find your moments for movement


One of the most important things we can do to help protect our mental health is regular movement. Our bodies and our minds are connected. Looking after ourselves physically also helps us prevent problems with our mental health. Movement is a great way to enhance our wellbeing. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking can boost our mood and increase our mental alertness and energy. Movement helps us feel better about our bodies and improve self-esteem. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety and help us to sleep better. We have some tips on how you can boost your mental health by moving more:


  • Movement looks different for everyone, don’t compare yourself to others

  • Listen to music that gets you moving

  • Celebrate your achievements

  • Find moments for movement every day

  • Set small, achievable goals

 

Help someone else with their mental health


We all go through tough times, and people help us through them. Other times we worry about other people’s mental health. Whether they are a friend, family member or colleague, there are many ways to support somebody you care about.


How do I know if someone has a mental health problem?

Sometimes it will seem obvious when someone is going through a hard time, but there is no simple way of knowing if they have a mental health problem. Sometimes you don’t need to know. It’s more important to respond sensitively to someone who seems troubled than to find out whether or not they have a diagnosis.


Although certain symptoms are common with specific mental health problems, no two people behave the same way when unwell. You may notice changes in their behaviour or mood if you know the person well


How can I help?

It can be challenging to know what to do if you are worried about someone. When you know there is an issue, it is essential not to wait. Waiting and hoping they will come to you for help might lose valuable time getting them support. Talking to someone is often the first step when you know they are having a hard time. This way, you can find out what is troubling them and what you can do to help. Here are some tips on how to talk about mental health:

  • Set time aside with no distractions

  • Let them share as much or as little as they want to

  • Don't try to diagnose or second guess their feelings

  • Keep questions open ended

  • Offer them help in seeking professional support and provide information on ways to do this


This insightful video from Let's Go Wellbeing, talks about the role of hormones alongside the clinical evidence that supports why you should move more for your mental health!



Stories about people like you. Mental health stories from people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Mental health stories help more people to understand the importance of looking after their mental health and give them a reason to talk more openly about their struggles and the road to recovery.


Read Sami's Story: How running has boosted my mental health



Sami, 23, who lives in Manchester, has found running to make a big difference to his mental health. Having sought support for suicidal feelings, anxiety and an eating disorder, his therapist recommended The Running Charity.  This has had a huge impact on him and his mental health.  


“I think my first experience of running was trying to warm up on my way home, while getting used to the cold North Manchester weather!” Sami is from Pakistan, and has lived in Manchester for more than 10 years. 


“Cricket was encouraged at home, and football encouraged in Manchester, but I didn’t want to do either! If you’d have told me I'd be a keen runner 5 years ago I would not have believed you, I’d have said you were dreaming.” 


Read more of Sami's story here:



Here are some useful links for mental health awareness week


Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health Foundation has been leading the UK in building good mental health. Together, we can help everyone have better mental health.


Talk to Samaritans

The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day - in full confidence.

Call 116 123 - it's FREE.


Anxiety UK

Anxiety UK was established in 1970 and is run by and for those with anxiety, offering an extensive range of support services designed to help support those affected by anxiety disorders, anxiety and anxiety-based depression.


Mind

Mind offer an information line to answer questions about:

  • types of mental health problem

  • where to get help

  • drug and alternative treatments

  • advocacy.

Call the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 or email info@mind.org.uk


CALM helpline & Webchat

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide.

You can talk to CALM about anything. Call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58.



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