Time to talk about mental health | World Mental Health Day

woman sat on a chair in the middle of the room, anxierty, mental health

Now, more then ever, it’s important to talk about our mental health and support others who are struggling.

Today marks World Mental Health Day – an international day to raise awareness, educate and de-stigmatise mental health. The day was first observed in 1992.

Though mental health problems can affect anyone, on any day of the year, World Mental Health Day gives a chance to focus and question our own mental health.

2020 has been a testing year for everyone, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us into months of lockdown and creating a huge change in our daily lives. Many have lost loved ones, others have faced lonliness, and anxiety is on the rise.

It has never been more important to talk about our mental health and wellbeing.

Here at WeAreTheCity, we have lots of resources and articles aimed to support your wellbeing and provide you with information. Below, you can view a select handful of these. You can also find support and help through a number of charities, including Mind and Mental Health Foundation.

COVID-19, coronavirus, virusCOVID-19 and mental health: how to overcome stress and stay productive

Viruses… Viruses affect not only the bodies of those who catch them, but also the mental state of millions or even billions more all over the world.    

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have spent months indoors, devoid of action and much of our usual daily routine. Severe and constraining restrictions make us emotional and often confused… Many people are afraid – for themselves, their friends and relatives. Sometimes, it seems that everything is all doom and gloom and that there’s no end in sight.  

But actually, much is still in our power to change for the better!  

sad, stressed woman suffering burnout featuredJob loss and mental health: How do you cope?

The pandemic has created worries for everyone, but particularly for those who have lost their jobs.

It can feel impossible to look ahead with any positivity when your personal finances, and the global economy and jobs market, are disrupted. Warnings of a significant UK recession, with the economy contracting at the fastest pace since the financial crisis, are difficult to process.

Experts say that with a job loss, you can experience some of the same feelings and stresses that you would if you were seriously injured, going through a divorce, or mourning the loss of a loved one. You can go through some or all of the stages of grieving just as you would with any other major loss.

Dr Andrew Iles, Consultant Psychiatrist at Priory’s Oxford Wellbeing Centre, says there are ways you can try to help yourself, and stresses the importance of seeking help if you are struggling with your mental health – specifically anxiety and self-doubt.

Life is a four letter wordRecommended Read: Life is a Four-Letter Word: A mental health survival guide for professionals | Andy Salkeld

As a high-flying, high-performing Big 4 accountant, Andy Salkeld struggled with depression, anxiety, stress and ultimately suicide.

In his new book Life is a Four-Letter Word, he gives a brutally honest critique of the toll the professions can place on mental health and well-being.

Searingly honest and laced with black humour, Life is a Four-Letter Word equips readers with the confidence, tools and understanding to save themselves and their colleagues when they are struggling to balance their life.

Talking about depression, anxiety and stress is often taboo for professionals, with many considering it career ending – here’s why your mental health matters, why you should talk about it and what you can do to improve it.

diverse woman working from home on sofaWeAreTheCity talks to Amy McKeown about maintaining your mental health during isolation

I am writing this sat on my bed steaming. Just five minutes ago I was downstairs screaming at my partner and children about not very much indeed.

As I calm down slowly, I start to feel the beginnings of shame and embarrassment. I’m not proud of my behaviour. I should have held it together. I’m an expert in health and mental health for goodness sake…

The truth is that the current lockdown is pushing all our buttons and testing us all in many different ways. For me, trying to work and juggle 2 very small children in the house is excruciating. I need my space. For others, it’s the isolation of being at home alone, for hours and days on end. This is against the backdrop of fear, anxiety and uncertainty; fear of illness, death and suffering, fear for our family, friends and loved ones, fear of businesses and clients disappearing, fear for our financial future. It’s not a surprise that we all have good and bad days and moments of extreme emotion like mine above.

team holding hands, mental health featuredHow to reduce mental health stigma in the workplace

Mental health is something of a hot topic at the moment, with the 1 in 4 people will suffer with their mental health in any given year” statistic pretty much common knowledge by now.

While it is, of course, fantastic that more and more people are talking openly about their mental health, 9 out of 10 of those people say they’ve faced negative treatment or discrimination as a result. Not only that, 60% of people say that this treatment is actually as damaging, or more damaging, than the symptoms of their mental health problem itself.

Given these somewhat shocking numbers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the trend of speaking openly about mental health start to reverse – why would anyone want to open up if there’s a 90% chance they’ll get a negative reaction, and end up suffering further?

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About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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