08 October 2021

Let's talk all things mental health this World Mental Health Day

WMHD 2021On World Mental Health Day (Sunday 10th October) Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is asking everyone to have a conversation about mental health, as well as taking the time to look after yourself and check in with those that you care about.

By talking openly about our mental health, and how we are feeling, we can help to break down the stigma associated with mental health conditions and reduce the inequalities faced by people with serious mental illness.

Having a serious mental illness can impact on all aspects of your life, including your ability to work, how you maintain relationships and it can reduce your enjoyment of life.

We're reminding everyone that it's important to recognise the signs of poor mental health and that access to support and treatment is available.

Tips on how to recognise you might be struggling with your mental health

Signs you or some you care about may be struggling with their mental health include:

  • Excessive worry or anxiety

  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability

  • Extreme changes in mood

  • Social withdrawal

  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping patterns

  • Unusual experiences, such as hearing voices or worrying that you are in danger

  • Having thoughts of harming yourself in some way

How to look after your mental health

Having a healthy diet, getting regular sleep, communicating with friends and family and exercising regularly can all help improve your mental health.

Other practical steps that can help boost mood and help people to feel better include taking up a new hobby and looking out for friends and family who may also be struggling.

Claire Williamson, Head of Psychological Therapies, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, said: "Quite often, issues relating to mental health only become apparent once they have started to affect our day-to-day life, which is why introducing small feel-good actions is so important. Whether it's riding a bike, reading a book or a meal with friends, these small activities can do wonders for our mood and self-esteem."

Advice and support for people struggling with their mental health

If you are experiencing low mood and anxiety for the first time, there is lots of help and support you can access online or through voluntary organisations. If you've tried this and still feel you need help, you can contact NHS 111, your GP, or you can self-refer to talking therapies services.

If you're worried about someone else who may be struggling with their mental health, try and support them to talk to you about their feelings and encourage them to seek support. Just talking through their worries may help them think more clearly and help them to access help.

If you are an existing AWP patient or service user and in need of help, contact the team outlined in your care plan or the Intensive Support Team identified to help you.

You can also call our 24/7 helpline where our staff can help guide you to the right advice and support. The number to call is 0800 953 1919.

If you are concerned about someone who is in immediate danger, contact the emergency services on 999.

General advice about emotional wellbeing

Every Mind Matters provides practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. You can find more information here: https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/

The following resources have been developed in response to the impact of the pandemic, lockdown and social distancing:

We know that the pandemic, lockdown and social distancing has impacted all of our mental health and emotional wellbeing. To support people through this and as we readjust to things, a number of resources have been developed in response to this.

You can access the How Are You? interactive quiz here: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/how-are-you-quiz/

The MIND resources on mental health and coronavirus can be found here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/

Samaritans resources can be accessed here: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/if-youre-having-difficult-time/if-youre-worried-about-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak/

The below helplines can provide someone to talk to:

Samaritans - call 116 123 or email jo@smaritans.org

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) for men - call 0800 58 58 58 5pm to midnight

Papyrus - for people under 35 - call 0800 068 41 41 10am-10pm Monday to Friday, 2pm-10pm weekends, 2pm-5pm bank holidays, email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Childline - for children and young people under 19 - call 0800 1111

The Silver Line - for older people - call 0800 4 70 80 90

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