Today is University Mental Health Day, which aims to bring together the university community as a whole and open up the discussion around mental health.
This is incredibly important, especially in today’s society. So, let’s look at some stats:
- 70% of young people who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
- 75% of mental health problems are established by age 24.
- Depression is the predominant mental health problem worldwide, followed by anxiety.
To keep the conversation going on this topic, here are 5 tips on how to promote positive mental health:
1.) Firstly, and most importantly – talk! If you are feeling sad or anxious, telling someone about how you are feeling will not only lift a weight off your shoulders, but they will be able to point you in the right direction for appropriate help. On the other side of this, if you are in a positive mental state and suspect someone is struggling, talk to them. They may simply want someone to chat to and you may be able to offer support if they need it.
2.) Try and live as healthy a lifestyle as you can. This doesn’t mean you can’t snack on chocolate or ice cream ever again! Whilst sugary snacks can satisfy your sweet tooth, getting your 5-a-day in will ensure your body is in tip-top condition. On top of this, let’s not forget about the importance of physical exercise, which can have a positive effect on your mental health. Children aged 5 – 17 years old should aim for 60 minutes of moderate exercise every day, and people aged 19 and up should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week.
3.) Don’t put off that doctor’s appointment! Sometimes people can feel a stigma around taking medications or going to counselling. If you are suffering from a mental illness, go and chat to your doctor about getting the right kind of help that works best for you.
4.) Practice mindfulness. This is the act of being present in the moment and observing your thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness allows us to ‘stand back’ from our thoughts, helping us to notice patterns that might be doing more harm than good.
5.) Make time for yourself. Whether you have a much-loved hobby or you simply want to spend an hour watching Netflix – the benefits of taking some time out to recharge can’t be overlooked. Looking after yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually will allow you to lead a well-rounded, positive life and help you to cope when things get tough.
For more information and resources visit unimentalhealthday.co.uk