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World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

New Age Care News

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on the 10th of October each year. It is organised by the World Foundation of Mental Health and is a day dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues and promoting mental well-being. The theme for 2023 is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’. In this blog we will explore the importance of understanding mental health, how the elderly can be affected by mental health, suggestions on how to talk to and support someone with a mental health issue and also share tips for looking after your own mental health.

 

Understanding Mental Health

Mental health is an integral part of our overall well-being and is just as vital as our physical health. It encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Good mental health allows us to cope with life's challenges, build strong relationships, and lead fulfilling lives.

Mental health issues are far more prevalent than many people realise. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. These statistics highlight the urgency of addressing mental health both locally and on a global scale.

 

Elderly Mental Health

There are lots of things that can affect an older person’s mental health including social isolation, physical health, bereavement, cognitive decline or financial stress. There could also be no discernible reason why an elderly person is just feeling low, anxious or depressed. The key is recognise the signs and offer support to the person with the mental health issues.

 

How to Approach Someone with a Mental Health Issue

Recognising that someone close to you might be struggling with their mental health can be challenging. However, offering support and understanding can make a significant difference to their recovery. Here are some tips on how to approach someone who may have a mental health issue:

Initiate a Conversation: Start by expressing your concern in a non-judgmental and empathetic way. Let them know that you're there to listen and support them.

Choose the Right Setting: Find a quiet, private space where both of you can talk openly without distractions.

Be a Good Listener: Give them your full attention and avoid interrupting. Let them share their thoughts and feelings at their own pace.

Avoid Judgement: Refrain from making assumptions or offering unsolicited advice. Instead, validate their feelings and experiences.

Ask Open-ended Questions: Encourage them to open up by asking questions like, "How have you been feeling lately?" or "Is there anything you'd like to talk about?"

Offer Your Support: Let them know that you're there for them, whether they need someone to talk to, accompany them to seek professional help, or simply offer a shoulder to lean on.

Respect Their Choices: Understand that seeking help is a personal decision. If they're not ready to seek professional help, respect their choice while continuing to offer your support.

Stay Connected: Continue to check in on them regularly. Consistent support can make a significant impact on their recovery.

 

Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health

Caring for our own mental well-being is equally important, as it enables us to support others effectively. Here are some tips to help you maintain good mental health:

Prioritise Self-Care: Make self-care a part of your daily routine. This can include activities like exercise, meditation, reading, or simply taking a break when needed.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: A balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can significantly impact your mental health.

Build a Support System: Cultivate strong relationships with friends and family. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with loved ones can provide a sense of belonging and support.

Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help you manage stress and stay grounded.

Set Realistic Goals: Break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps. This can reduce feelings of overwhelm and boost your self-esteem.

Limit Screen Time: Excessive screen time, especially on social media, can negatively affect mental health. Try to strike a balance between online and offline activities.

Seek Professional Help: If you're struggling with your mental health, don't hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. Therapy and counselling can provide valuable support and coping strategies.

Practice Gratitude: Regularly reflect on the things you're grateful for. This can shift your focus from negativity to positivity.

Take Breaks: Don't forget to take breaks, especially if you're feeling overwhelmed. Stepping away from stressful situations can help you recharge.

Reduce Stigma: Challenge the stigma surrounding mental health by talking openly about it. Encourage open discussions in your community and workplace.

 

Help & Support

If you or someone you know having mental health issues, then there are lots of places that offer support. These include:

Your GP – This is a great place to start if you have mental health concerns.

Samaritans on 116 123 at any time of the day or night

Mind on 0300 123 3393
(Open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)

Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774
(Open 10.30am-4.30am Monday to Friday)

Age UK on 0800 169 6565
(Open 7 days a week 8am-7pm)

Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87

Message SHOUT to 85258 for 24/7 text support on your mobile

CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58 or use their webchat. Open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.

World Mental Health Day serves as a reminder about the importance of mental health in our lives. Understanding mental health, offering support to those in need, and looking after our own well-being are essential components of a mentally healthy society.

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