Metal health is our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It is how is you feel on a day to day basis and can change from moment to moment. It affects how we think and the choices we make, how we react to situations and how we relate to others. The contributing factors to mental health problems are things like life experience, biological factors or a family history of mental illnesses. The months of lockdown, the uncertainty of what will happen in the future, the ongoing pandemic are also contributing factors and are the reasons why this is the most important mental health day yet.
At each stage of life, your mental health will change, but taking care of it is always a priority. We all need to take care of our mental health and wellbeing whether we have mental health problems or not.
What is good mental health?
Good mental health doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t suffer with your mental health. If you’re mental healthy it means that you can cope with day to day life, making the most of your potential and you will be fully engaging in most aspects of your life. But this does not mean you won’t have the odd ‘off day.’ Everyone has times when they feel bad, stressed or anxious. Most of the time these feelings pass but sometimes they don’t. They may develop into something more serious or just prolong the feeling. It can happen to anyone.
I personally have struggled with my mental health in the past. I had two kids in 11 months and I can say, the emotional aspect of it was so overwhelming. Then becoming a single mum when both my kids were under the age of 2 meant those feelings continued for longer than expected. My mantra is choose happiness, its the better choice. People don’t always understand it but I cannot stress enough how you can gain control of your emotions, you can choose to get better and things will get easier. People may not understand what you’re going through and they don’t always need to. I will say that I felt better after talking about it and I felt like regardless of whether people did understand, it was still the best thing to do. Maybe that was because when you say it out loud, you’ve accepted that you don’t feel right and that you’re inspired to get better. The stigma attached to mental health is the reason people don’t feel comfortable talking about it.
A persons happiness is only their responsibility. Don’t give someone else that job as you will never be happy. Your mental health changes as you move through life. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it, longer than expected. Everyone has their own journey, they will battle with their own struggles and they’ll also feel happier during time when you don’t. Focus on your own journey. Stay in your lane.
If you want to get better, then start at the beginning. Making a positive change during this time may be more difficult but change is always good.. We are living in a time of uncertainty, this virus has spread worldwide that has brought great loss and fear to everyone. COVID-19 has meant some of us are isolated from the outside world with nothing but the scaremongering on the news channels and phone calls about people getting sick. People are looking at each other with fear and distain if a person isn’t wearing a mask regardless of whether that person may be exempt. We are hitting the biggest recession we have ever seen and we all need to untie and work together to help each other get through this.
Let’s use this opportunity to find out more about how you can make those steps to better mental health. Whether it be calling a loved one you may have lost touch with, helping a neighbour, being there for a friend, or even looking after your own mental health.
There are lots of tips on practical steps you can take to improve and maintain your wellbeing including making time for yourself, building positive relationships and getting active.
Check out our blog on mindfulness for some tips on meditation.
‘Mindfulness is innate. It is not an extra activity we do. We all have the ability to be mindful. It’s using that inherent quality and understanding that by cultivating it with simple exercises will benefit you both mentally and physically.’
Get a good nights sleep. Sleep is so important for your health as your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. When you don't get the quality sleep you need, it can heavily influence your energy levels and motivation, your emotions and outlook on life. Sleep problems are often manifested in the form of stress, poor nutrition, physical inactivity. Having a plant based diet feeds your body nutritiously with foods that will stimulate the thyroid gland and support energy metabolism. It means you will feel rejuvenated all day long.
Take this opportunity to make a change.
Our mental health is just like our physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it. Living with problems with your mental health will often have an impact on your day to day life. There is a list below of signs someone is suffering with their mental health.
We all deserve to feel safe and supported when talking about our mental health. But too often, mental health stigma leaves people feeling isolated and ashamed. It prevents people getting support. If you’re not sure if someone you know if living with mental health problems, read through the list below. Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviours can be an early warning sign of a problem.
Signs someone is suffering from a mental illness.
Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
Eating or sleeping too much or too little
Having low or no energy
Feeling numb or like nothing matters
Pulling away from people and usual activities
Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
Having unexplained aches and pains
Feeling helpless or hopeless
Yelling or fighting with family and friends
Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
Thinking of harming yourself or others
Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
Tea & Talk
World Mental Health Day is encouraging a virtual Tea & Talk. Talk virtually, or with people in your household. You can gather friends, family or colleagues online through platforms such as Zoom, Facebook, Microsoft Teams and Facetime!
They provide a simple, accessible way to start learning about your own mental health. Through insightful conversations between experts and practical tips on how to mange issues; tuning into a podcast can be a great way to start practicing self care.
Happy Place - Fearne Cotton & guests
Mentally Yours hosted by Elen Scott and Yvette Caster
The Hilarious World of Depression hosted by John Moe
The Dark Place hosted by Joel Kutz
Tiny Leaps, Big Changes hosted by Gregg Clunis
Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
The Little Book of Mindfulness by Patrizia Collard
How to be Human: A Manual by Ruby Wax
Services in Liverpool
Tel: 0151 228 2300 8.00am to 6.00pm by phone Monday to Friday
Online: talkliverpool.nhs.uk 24/7
Depression, generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), specific phobias (such as heights or small animals), PTSD, health anxiety (hypochondriasis), body dysmorphic disorder, mixed depression and anxiety (the term for sub-syndromal depression and anxiety, rather than both depression and anxiety).
Urgent mental health support
Tel: 0800 145 6570 (Freephone) 24/7 by phone
access to mental health support (including people in crisis)
contact line for emergency services that will divert mental health activity away from A&E
contact line for primary care for urgent/emergency referrals for mental health assessments
The Life Rooms
Tel: 0151 478 6556 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Online: liferooms.org 24/7 online learning/activity resources.
Online staying well at home learning courses
Pathway advisors who can support and advice with debt management, employment, housing issues, benefits and more
Social inclusion advice for isolated community groups
The Liverpool CAMHS offer aims to promote the mental health, emotional and wellbeing of all children, young people and their families/carers.
Areas of support include:
Therapeutic support (individual, group and family) using a range of models – bespoke packages of multi-disciplinary care
Information, advice and guidance
Psycho social education
Targeted support for different a wide range of communities based on need
Education offer – increased presence in schools
Secondary School Provision
Primary School Provision
Substance use – and those impacted by
Perinatal and early years offer
Neurodevelopmental support for individuals and families
Medication support as and when required
Public mental health and wellbeing promotion
Workforce development and awareness raising
Parenting Support / Interventions
Digital technology / innovation
Consultation and pre-referral consultation to a variety of agencies
Refugee and Asylum Seeker Provision
Advice on Prescriptions
Student Mental Health Support
Single Point of Access
Group Work Programs
Sexual Health and mental health
On this World Mental Health Day, make a small change. Breathe. Focus on you. Write a list. Meditate. Go for a run. Bake. Read a book. Chill out. Do whatever makes you a little less stressed and a little happier. And do more and more each day.
Stay healthy and be happy.