The national mental health charity Mind are appealing for people to ‘do one thing’ for their mental wellbeing this World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10 October).
This year has been a tough one for us all with the coronavirus pandemic and months of lockdown having had a huge impact on our mental health.
According to a recent Mind study, more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) who answered their survey said their mental health got worse during lockdown. The report also states that many people have developed new mental health problems as a result of the pandemic and, for some, existing mental health problems have gotten worse.
Alyson Scott, Chief Executive Officer at Doncaster Mind said: “Making changes to improve your mental wellbeing can seem hard, especially during uncertain times like these. It can be confusing trying to figure out where to start. Whether you want to take the first steps towards getting some help or learn more about helping those around you, there are organisations and online services available to help you.”
There are many people of all ages living with mental health problems and if you or someone you care about is struggling, try just taking one of the NHS five steps to wellbeing to improve your mental health:
- Connect with other people – good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can help you to build a sense of belonging, provide an opportunity to share positive experiences and give emotional support.
- Be physically active – evidence shows physical activity can improve your mental wellbeing by raising your self-esteem, helping you to set goals and by causing chemical changes in your brain which help to positively change your mood.
- Learn new skills – research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing boosting your self-confidence and giving you a sense of purpose.
- Give to others – acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings and help you connect with other people.
- Pay attention to the present moment – mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and help you focus on the now rather than anxieties about the future.
Alyson said: “I would encourage anyone feeling low or experiencing mental wellbeing issues to try one of the 5 ways to wellbeing as it is really surprising how small things can have a big impact.”
Coronavirus has pushed a great deal of loss into our lives since lockdown began in March. From the loss of freedoms, jobs and sadly, losing people we love, we have all found ourselves under a lot of pressure and anxiety over all the uncertainty.
In his recent blog, Dr David Crichton, local GP and Clinical Director of NHS Doncaster CCG said: “As a doctor, I see people all the time with various mental health problems and I can assure you they can affect people of all ages and people with a huge variety of lifestyles.
“As we approach winter it’s important to know that the darker nights and colder weather can often bring with it some gloomy mood days. For some people, the festivities of Christmas can be an especially hard time and for families separated or those who have lost loved ones this year, it will be tough.
“My plea to everyone this World Mental Health Day is to make a gesture to be kind. Kindness is something we can all give, evidence shows that it improves other people’s moods and indeed also lifts our own.”
There are many NHS and voluntary sector organisations that can help if you are experiencing mental health issues. To find out more about mental health services on offer in Doncaster visit https://www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/your-care/mental-health/mental-health-services-in-doncaster/.