People all over the world experience various levels of mental health conditions and issues throughout their life. According to the Office of National Statistics, between September 29th and October 23rd, around 1 in 6 adults experienced moderate to severe depressive symptoms (December 2022 data).
During stressful times and particularly in this cost-of-living crisis, those mental health conditions and issues should be taken very seriously as this is an incredibly difficult time for people all across the country.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and at JN Bank UK we have put together this guide on why you should seek out mental health support if you think you need it, what support can do for you, and what a mental health charity can provide.
Written by Harvey Perry
JN Bank UK Digital Marketing Executive
Mental Health and Wellbeing Support
Keeping ourselves healthy isn’t always to do with our physical health. Your mental health is just as important as your physical and understanding a little bit more about any anxiety or feelings of depression you may be feeling is just as important as going to the doctor because you have sprained your ankle.
Living with poor mental health can have a knock-on effect to your physical body, increasing the likelihood of developing a mental health problem, increasing difficulty with concentration, and even decreasing the likelihood of reaching out for medical help. Additionally, someone with poor mental health can feel as though there isn’t any support for what they are experiencing, they can feel embarrassed, or they will hope that the issue will resolve itself. Without sufficient mental health support, an isolated mental health problem can develop into a critical condition if support is not received at the right time.
Firstly, seeking help is a sign of strength and taking care of your mental health should be part of the other regular health checks you give yourself. There are a few things you should try to be mindful of and if you believe you are experiencing any of the points below, it might be a good idea to reach out to get yourself some support with your mental health:
- You find it hard to enjoy activities you used to be passionate about
- You are worrying about something or several things more than usual
- You have recurring thoughts and feelings that are difficult for you to understand, and they are beginning to have an impact on your day-to-day life
- You have considered reaching out for support or treatment
- You are persistently sad, or anxious
- You have difficulty sleeping or concentrating
Although there is no blanket help for all mental health concerns, issues, or conditions; there is mental health support out there that can support you. The NHS offers free mental health support which you can access should you need it urgently, or to be referred to someone you can talk to about something that is worrying you.
For some mental health services, you will need a GP referral which you take to other mental health services so speaking to your local GP should be a priority if you have not already. From here, your GP can work with you to understand the right service to fit your needs. This will be important should it be recommended that you receive medication to support you.
Talk therapy is a very popular and effective service which you can access, some for free, and others will charge a fee of varying amounts depending on where you go. Mind.org.uk are a UK based mental health and support charity, dedicated to helping people struggling with many mental health concerns and conditions. Here is a contact page where you can reach out to them for more information on mental health support, as well as services that are available to you.
Campaigning and Advocacy
Mental Health Support also is not all about direct support with individuals and one on one consultations, but it is also about campaigning and advocacy to help raise awareness for mental health issues, which goes a long way for campaigning for better mental health support and treatment. Mental health charities like Mind and Calm will raise money to fund research, treatments, and cures for specific mental health conditions that could affect either a small or large group of people. This combined effort all contributes to the development of better treatment, support, and understanding of mental health conditions and issues.
Wherever you go, if it’s your GP or a mental health service, you will be provided with information and support that you can use to understand more about what you are experiencing and use this to guide you onto your next steps to receiving help. You can also visit a helpline, a website, or other resources that support others just like you with your mental health issues. These medical or trained professionals can work with you to help you understand your condition or issue and provide the guidance you need to manage it better. Once you have your next steps planned out, you can use this to support you in managing your mental health.
Why would someone use a mental health charity?
Across the world there is a severe lack of access and funding for mental health services, but particularly for areas of the world that are more economically disadvantaged than others. Using a mental health charity may be the only option for people that do not have access to mental health clinics, rehabilitation clinics, or hospitals.
In areas around the world where options for mental health and wellbeing support is extremely limited, the mental health services that do exist can be expensive which can be difficult for those that need support to access it without free mental health services or health insurance. Mental Health charities offer free or reduced cost support regardless of someone’s income or how much funding they have available to them.
A combined lack of adequate funding and access to effective mental health services can lead to mental health support not being seen as a reliable resource for people to lean on.
This can lead people to feel uncomfortable about reaching out for help or talking about what has been affecting them mentally and emotionally. Mental health charities provide a judgement free environment where you can talk about your mental health conditions or issues and get the help that you need.
Need support with your mental health?
- Speak to someone you trust - Talking about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions with someone you trust can help to deflate feelings of stress and show others that you need support to manage your mental health.
- Contact a mental health charity – There are trained staff members at mental health charities who can provide support and advice over the phone, email, or text – which ever you are comfortable with.
- Visit your GP – Visiting your GP is the next best step once you have a basic understanding of what it is you are experiencing so that you can seek a mental health referral onto a specialist trained for your needs.
Seeking help is a sign of strength and that is important to remember if you feel the need to reach out to someone to talk about your mental health. With the right support, you can understand more about what is affecting you and get the right support for you.
Where else can I get help?