It’s Mental Health Awareness week. The week looks to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage people to be more open about their mental health and how they are feeling.

Mental Health has been spoken about a significant amount recently, especially with campaigns such as ‘Heads Together‘ and the ‘Mind over Marathon’ documentary recently shown on TV.

It’s great to see that people are beginning to take the time to understand Mental Health and look for ways to support others. There are many types of mental illnesses however in this article it will focus mainly on depression.

In the United Kingdom:

  • More than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression.
  • Over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks.
  • Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem. This rises to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34 and people living alone.
  • Only a small minority of people (13%) report living with high levels of good mental health.

So first of all what is depression?

‘Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life.’

There are a few things that you may be able to do to encourage a friend, a family member or even colleague.

Listen carefully to them and try not to judge them. Opening up to someone can be difficult so just taking the time to listen can mean a lot to a person.

Avoid phrases such as ‘cheer up’ and ‘get it together’ these phrases are negative and when suffering from depression it isn’t as simple as being able to snap out of a bad mood.

Just a simple call or text asking how that person is can be helpful.

Talking, even if it’s not about the mood itself but other things over coffee or lunch.

Support them if they are looking to seek help. You cannot force anybody to seek help for their mental health but you can support them along the way.

Take care of yourself too before looking after another person, as your mental health is important too.

If you are looking to seek help for Mental Health please visit:

The Mind Website  or the Samaritans website.

Written by Jasmin Woodward

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