Wellbeing and Mental Health
As October brings with it shorter days and the colder months of winter, a lack of exercise and social contact can have a big impact upon our day-to-day wellbeing and mental health, especially for those of us who are older and living alone at home. Yet, whatever our circumstances, good mental health is vital for us all. With an estimated one in six adults having a mental health issue in the past week alone, the World Health Organisation predicts that if we don’t act now, by 2030 depression will be the leading global illness*.
The 10th October was World Mental Health Day, which sought to throw a spotlight on the issue and encourage us to think about how we manage our moods, understand more about the signs to indicate anxiety and depression and how we can help those around us and ourselves. Good relationships are key to a happy life, so it’s not hard to see how loneliness plays a large role in poor mental health. Its impact can be felt, not just on those living by themselves, but also on those with the job of caring for them, be they family members or care professionals, who often work alone.
Depression self-assessment – Take the Test
We watch out for signs of anxiety and depression with the clients we look after in their own homes. Just as importantly we also work to support our many care workers, who often work alone in the community supporting others.
Find out more about mental health issues and how we can work to change our own and others’ attitudes towards it at http://www.time-to-change.org.uk.
If you would like to talk to someone about your, a friend’s or a loved one’s mental health there are a range of groups you can turn to. Importantly, be assured you are not alone and you can talk to someone who is ready to listen and offer you support and advice:
Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Provides confidential, non-judgmental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday)
Web site: www.mind.org.uk/help/advice_lines
Mind provides confidential mental health information services.
With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind has around 140 local Minds providing local mental health services.
Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (10am-2pm Monday to Friday)
Provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff. Rethink also runs Rethink services and groups across England and Northern Ireland.
Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (6pm-11pm)
Saneline is a national mental health helpline providing information and support to people with mental health problems and those who support them.
Telephone: 0800 1111
ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything – no problem is too big or too small.
Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. Elefriends is run by Mind.
If you’re a family carer needing support you can contact all of the above as well as Carers Direct and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, both of whom are able to provide support and advice on any issues affecting you.