Mental Health- recognising the signs and helping yourself.

Bowen for Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness

The global mental health crisis is a major issue facing the world today. The numbers are staggering.  Mental illness affects an estimated 950 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of disability across all age groups. In addition, mental health issues are the leading cause of suicide, accounting for over 800,000 deaths per year.

In recent years there is a clear increase in levels of stress and anxiety, as well as a rise in mental health disorders. The crisis is further complicated by the fact that there is a lack of access to mental health services in many parts of the world, and that stigma and discrimination towards those with mental illness is still prevalent.

In March 2023, the Mental Health Foundation worked with Opinium to conduct an online survey of 6,000 UK adults aged 18+ to look at anxiety in the UK population, its causes, and popular coping mechanisms.

Nearly three-quarters of the population (73%) had felt anxious at least sometimes in the previous two weeks, with one in five people (20%) anxious most or all of the time.

  • Some groups of people are more likely to be affected by anxiety than others. Nearly all young people (18 to 24 years) in our research (86%) had felt anxious in the previous two weeks. For over half (58%), this had stopped them undertaking day-to-day activities. Other groups more likely to report feeling anxious were:
    • Single parents (89%)
    • LGBTQ+ people (89%)
    • Carers (84%)
    • 18 to 34-year-olds (86%)
    • People from a minority ethnic community (84%)
    • People with a long-term physical health condition (LTC) (82%)

Possible Symptoms of Mental Health Problems

Common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress

Symptoms in children may include the following:

  • Changes in school performance
  • Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to avoid bed or school
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Frequent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums

How to avoid mental health issues.

  • Talk about your feelings.
  • Ensure you have a good night's sleep.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Stay active.
  • Practice mindfulness, - be engaged and present in the moment.
  • Keep in touch with friends.
  • Work on relationships by caring for others and letting go of any grudges.
  • Get closer to nature.
  • Avoid or cut down on alcohol.

If you feel you are struggling, reach out to a professional or talk to your doctor. You are always welcome to call me. 

There are also many charities which offer help: 

MIND  and Samaritans  being two of them.