Mental health and wellbeing is about thoughts, feelings and relationships and comes up in all areas of your life. Your mental health can change at different times and is affected by lots of different things. Below is some more information about Mental Health and lots of links to useful pages.
Mental Health problems are very common. About a quarter of people will have some kind of problem with their mental health in the course of a year. It is just as important to look after your mental health as it is to look after your physical health - they can both affect each other. This is not set for your whole life, and can change at different times for different reasons.
There are things you can do to look after your mental health - here are SAMH's (Scottish Association for Mental Health) 5 ways to better Mental Health...
1. Stay Connected- it's important to stay in touch with people, especially when you're down. Even if you don't feel like it, being around other people and talking can improve your mood.
2. Get Active - regular activity has been proven to have a positive effect on your mood and mental well being - dance, walk, run, playing sport, gardening, whatever it is, get moving!
3. Take Notice - check out what is happening around you, be in the moment and try to experience what you are doing, this is good for your wellbeing and can stop you worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
4. Learn - achieving a goal or learning something new can increase your confidence and boost your wellbeing.
5. Give - giving can be very rewarding and help you build connections - volunteer some time for a cause, help out a neighbour or help in your community, give to a good cause, buy a stranger a coffee - however big or small giving can give you a boost.
Other online tools include; ieso; an online course that allows you to speak to people going through similar mental health problems & Fear Fighter which is a course for those struggling with anxiety, phobias and panic attacks!
If your worried about self harm, this great app helps young people to manage their emotions and reduce the urges to self harm, its called Blue Ice or a similar one called Calm Harm. We think they are both fantastic if you are struggling.
What can I do if I feel down?
If you are feeling sad or worried, talk to someone you trust. This can be difficult at first - but it is very important.
You could talk to a family member, friend, support worker or doctor. Your doctor can give you advice and even refer you to one of the programmes that we run – “Behavioural Activation” or “Beating the Blues”. There are other ways to seek advice too:
Your GP or Nurse
- Breathing Space or call 0800 838587
I’m feeling down...
Everyone feels down sometimes. Usually people stop feeling down after a short time whilst sometimes the feeling cannot stop. If the feeling continues and is stopping you enjoying your normal life then you should talk to someone or get help. Everyone has their own individual way of responding to situations and people can experience things differently to one another. If you are worried about how you are feeling, or you are worried about somebody else, talk about it. A conversation might be all that is needed. The Samaritans website offers some good advice on how to know if you’re feeling down and what to do.
How do I know if I'm feeling down?
There can be lots of different signs of feeling down. It might be hard to notice these things about yourself but friends or family might notice. They might not understand how you are feeling - talking to them about how you feel might help them understand.
Some common signs are:
Worrying about things
Not enjoying things you used to like doing
Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
Losing or gaining weight
Feeling down might make you act differently, and it can give you other "physical" symptoms like headaches, pains in different parts of your body and tiredness. Other things that can happen include:
Shouting and being less patient
Hitting out or lashing out at people when you don't mean to
Wanting to hurt yourself
Wanting to be by yourself a lot
Thinking bad thoughts about yourself or others
Having low self-esteem
Tips on what to do if I’m feeling down
Talk to someone
Take some time to yourself to relax
Exercise, like going for a walk or a run
Talking to friends or family
Watching your favourite TV show
Listen to music
Go out with friends
Get a good nights’ sleep
Read your favourite book or magazine
Have a bath
Try a new activity