Rachel Kirby 10th October 2018
Today is world mental health day. The campaign hopes to increase global awareness and eradicate the social stigma of mental health issues, which are still far too prominent in society.
Thankfully awareness around mental health issues is increasing. Only 14% of people didn’t know someone struggling with a mental health problem, while only 5% of people believe mental health is less important than physical health, YouGov also found. This shows people’s opinions on the matter are evolving and they are beginning to understand how important mental health is.
Seeking help and support can be difficult if you are experiencing mental health problems. However, you are not alone, and there is always someone who will listen. Here are just some of the charities and organisations that can provide you with guidance:
Suicide is the biggest killer among men aged 45 and under, with men being three times more likely to die by suicide than women in the UK. Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a charity that offers help and support to young men who may be experiencing mental health related issues.
Men often find it difficult to discuss their feelings, believing they have to be emotionless and plough through difficult times. Men too often feel that talking about their mental state somehow undermines their masculinity. Not only are men far less likely to seek medical support than women, they are also reluctant to tell family and friends, a survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation discovered.
As well as offering support, the charity aims to challenge a culture that prevents men from seeking help. These ideas are manifested through numerous campaigns such as #mansdictionary and #biggerissues.
More information is available on Calm’s website.
Mind is a national mental health charity that believes it’s important to empower anyone with mental health problems, and campaigns frequently to improve available services.
Mind focuses heavily on supporting the LGBT+ community, as 86% have reportedly experienced mental health problems first-hand. According to Mind, queer people have an increased risk of experiencing mental health problems compared with the rest of the population. The reasons behind this are complex and not yet understood, however, it is linked to discrimination, bullying and homophobia. Talking about these issues can help to manage people’s mental health.
Mind’s website features members of the LGBT+ community talking about their experiences of living with a mental illness.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid creates useful and informative resources, aimed at educating young people on the issue of mental health, using the hashtag #handsupforhealthyminds. Mental health issues often start in young adulthood and can even affect children. Youngminds, another mental health charity focusing on young people, found that one in four children show signs of mental health problems.
Mental Health First Aid aims to increase awareness of the problem in young people through bitesize facts, tips and downloadable content.
The website features a quiz, gifs, infographics full of information, and slideshows it hopes will be shown in schools across the country. The organisation’s overall aim is to give as much help and support to eight to 24-year-olds.
Wish is a national mental health charity that supports women in hospitals, prison and the community. It administers a range of services to support women, including independent advocacy, emotional support and practical guidance through all stages of a women’s journey through mental health.
Wish tells us why it’s so important for people to seek help and support: “Wish has seen over and over again how [women’s mental health] can be dismissed. The use of gender-specific services is supported by research and policy, we need these services to now be implemented so that it is easier for women to speak out and seek help.”
The charity has written a blog post for world mental health day on the importance of young women asking for help.
CULT is an independent, creative agency that has recently launched a brand new app, Mindscape, which offers help and support to those who experience anxiety and panic attacks.
The app, which is free through Amazon Alexa and Google Home, allows users to interact from a distance. It encourages them to put down their phone and engage verbally. Music on the app has also been scientifically proven to provide anxiety relief and uplift low mood.
The app is available to download now.
Main image: Cory Doctorow
Rachel Kirby 10th October 2018