Created in 2001 by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event aiming to educate the public and raise awareness of mental health issues, helping to promote better mental health.
This year, the event runs from 14th-20th May and is looking at the relationship between stress and mental health. Recent research has discovered that two-thirds of us experience a mental health problem at some point in our lifetimes and that stress can be a fundamental trigger for more serious issues.
What is Mental Health?
Every one of us has our mental health, which we need to nurture and maintain just as we do our physical health. Good mental health is an asset that helps us to thrive. It isn’t just about the absence of a mental health problem; positive mental health is also about the ability to think, feel, and act in a way that allows us to enjoy life, and efficiently deal with the challenges it presents.
It can be simple to assume that ongoing stress is the price we must pay to keep our lives on track, especially in the busy, modern world. It is time to challenge that assumption.
Although small amounts of stress, from time to time, isn’t a mental health problem in and of itself; too much can be a cause of other difficulties including anxiety and depression, and even self-harm and suicide. Helping people to deal more effectively with stress can help improve the overall mental health of our society.
Nearly two-thirds of people (65%) say that they have experienced a mental health problem. This number rises to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34, and people living alone.
The current low number of people in this country who rate their mental health as good is worrying. The barometer of success of any nation is the health and well-being of its people, and we believe that the UK has a long way to go before we can say we are thriving. Although we have made great strides in the health of our bodies and our life expectancy, we now need to achieve the same for the health of our minds.
PTSD and Stress
PTSD UK is a charity focussed on raising awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; its symptoms and causes, and what effective treatments are available. The information on our website aims to support people who have PTSD, their families and friends, and others who are concerned that they might have a problem, or just feel like something is not quite right. We try to help people living with PTSD understand that what they are feeling is normal, and offer help and support to assist them in their recovery.
By its very nature, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by a traumatic event – but not every person who experiences trauma will go on to develop ongoing (chronic) or even short-term (acute) PTSD. Not every individual who has PTSD has been through a significant or dangerous event. Some experiences, such as a sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, can cause enough trauma and stress to trigger PTSD by themselves. People who have PTSD may feel frightened or stressed even when they are not in danger.
So, this Mental Health Awareness Week, please take a few moments to talk to a friend or loved one, find out more about mental health issues, or share a post online. You never know who might benefit from it.