Resources to support your mental health

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Laura Miller

HY Mental health resourcesWhether it's worrying about finances or coping with increased pressure at work, we can all experience feeling stressed or anxious from time to time. How we cope with these feelings can have an impact on our mental wellbeing, which can also have an effect on our overall health.

Our research has found that we are just as worried about stress/anxiety as cancer when considering our future health concerns1. Taking care of our mental wellbeing is just as important as looking after physical health. There are a number resources out there that can offer advice and support to manage your mental wellbeing, here are a few worth looking at:

Mindfulness is about paying attention to what's happening in the present moment. By taking time out to become more aware of what is going on around you and your own thoughts and feelings, it can help improve your mental health. While mindfulness is not for everyone, by learning to focus on our feelings and recognise when they may begin to control us, practising mindfulness can have a positive effect on our mental wellbeing.

Apps have become a hugely popular and useful tool helping us to manage our everyday physical health and wellbeing. But, there are also a number of applications out there that can also support our mental health. Big White Wall, for example, is designed to support anyone feeling down or anxious. It's available 24/7 and its online community support each other by sharing their thoughts and feelings anonymously2

Moodscope is another app on the market and uses a card game to measure your daily mood, tracking scores to help users understand what may be causing their low moods. The app also allows you to share your score to others who agree to 'buddy' you3.

There are a number of charities offering information, support and advice when it comes to mental wellbeing. Mind for example has a range of tips on everyday living4 available on its website, broken down into sections such as money, relaxation and sleep problems. Rethink charity has also produced a number of factsheets5 about all areas of mental health, including stress, providing tips on how to cope.

As well as factsheets and information, a number of charities also offer telephone helplines offering guidance and support. SANE, for example, run a national out of hours helpline between 6pm and 11pm for anyone, such as family, friends and careers, affected by mental illness6. Samaritans provide a free, 24 hour helpline7 and personal details, including your real name, don't have to be disclosed. NHS Choices8 also lists a number of helplines available covering all aspects of mental health including anxiety, depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Employee Assistance Programmes
It's not uncommon for employers to offer an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) as a benefit these days. They're designed to help deal with the pressures of work and home life. They offer free and confidential advice on health and wellbeing, as well as a counselling service.

Busy lives can mean we don't take as much as we perhaps should to look after ourselves but it's important to put some time aside every now and again, if not daily, when we're feeling stressed, anxious or low to deal our mood and work through any thoughts. The resources above offer a number of ways of doing and by taking care of our mental health, it can only help our overall health and wellbeing.