This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 15th– 21st May. It’s such an important part of the year in so many ways. It helps tackle the stigma of mental health. It encourages us to prioritise our mental wellbeing – and that of our friends and loves ones. It reminds us that, if left unchecked, mental illness can affect our lives in so many negative ways. It reassures everyone that helps is out there if you ever need it.
This year’s theme is anxiety. All of us have been anxious at one time or another. It’s a completely normal emotion, brought about by so many events or stressful situations. Starting a new job, losing an existing job, moving house, having an appraisal, ending a relationship, being unwell, getting married, money troubles… They can all lead to anxiety.
Of course, we often try to dismiss these feelings as being ‘a bit stressed’ or ‘just worrying’. But the longer we leave it, the more likely it can spiral out of control and become a significant mental health issue. Agoraphobia (the fear of public spaces), health anxiety (making us stressful about our health), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)… All types of anxiety that can impact our life.
The Mental Health Foundation carried out some research and found that a quarter of adults felt that stress and anxiety stopped them from doing the things they wanted to do. That’s worrying, isn’t it? That’s why this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is so important. The hope is that people will become more aware of recognising anxiety by providing information and support that might stop it becoming a problem. We really hope you’ll engage in it.
If you think you’re suffering from anxiety, please spend a few moments reading this helpful guide, issued by the Mental Health Foundation. There are lots of great tips to help get your anxiety under control, from breathing exercises to healthy eating inspiration.