What Are Your Five-a-Day for Your Mental Health?

What are your ‘five a day’ for your mental health?

We know about physical health, we (generally) understand what we should be doing to keep ourselves physically fit and healthy, but how often do we consider that actually there is no health without mental health?

The World Health Organisation defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.  Therefore, we can’t enjoy overall good health without giving care to all three elements.

Mental ill health can be described in a variety of ways – mental health issues, mental health problems, mental illness, mental disorder.  In addition, there are a whole range of unacceptable slang terms still used to describe mental ill health – crazy, mad, psycho, etc and these terms continue to promote the stigma attached to mental illness.

Why is it that if someone breaks a bone, or is diagnosed with a physical illness we take time to help them, we offer support, and talk to them about it; but if someone is diagnosed with a mental illness often a totally different set of behaviours are adopted?

In recent months a couple of TBN members have shared their stories about their own mental health which in a world where there is still much stigma, discrimination and misunderstanding about mental health, is a courageous thing to do. I admire and thank them for sharing their story.

Consider these statistics:

  • 676 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide.
  • At any given time, 1 in 6 working age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health
  • Mental illness is the largest single source of burden of disease in the UK. Mental illnesses are common, long-lasting, and more impactful than other health conditions.
  • Mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year.

(All statistics taken from MHFA England resources)

Mental Wellbeing is a Continuum

Mental wellbeing is a continuum.  It is not an absolute.  There is also a difference between mental wellbeing and mental illness.  You can be diagnosed with a mental illness but manage it effectively so still have positive mental wellbeing.

Therefore, it is not all negative news.  Conversations are now happening.  Organisations are taking action to support staff and encourage openness. People recover.

Recovery should be seen to be about growth and growing new skills to support wellbeing.  Not only can we support others towards more hope and greater resilience, but we can also do this for ourselves and become more mindful of our own wellbeing and taking positive steps to promote it.

So, what are you doing today that are your ‘five a day’ for your mental wellbeing?

Marion Hewitt

Marion Hewitt, of Protea Solutions and is an accredited trainer with Mental Health First Aid England.  She runs a range of MHFA courses and would like to offer TBN members the opportunity to attend at a promotional price.  The following courses are planned for early 2020.

If you would like to learn more about how you can join the global community of over 3 million people trained across 25 countries in mental health first aid, contact Marion to book your place marionhewitt@proteasolutions.co.uk

Mental Health Aware – half day £125 plus VAT TBN promotional price £85 plus VAT

Friday 7 February (AM) 2020

Suitable for all, to raise awareness, increase understanding and reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Mental Health Champion – one day £175 plus VAT TBN promotional price £120 plus VAT

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Ideal for anyone in a management role covering the main signs and symptoms of common mental health issues; how to provide initial support and guide to professional help; and develop an understanding of creating and maintaining a healthier workforce and community.

Mental Health First Aider – two day £300 plus VAT TBN promotional price £230 plus VAT

Wednesday 29 / Thursday 30 January 2020

To become an accredited Mental Health First Aider and understand the important factors affecting mental ill health; carry out MHFA using a five-step action plan; plus work to reduce stigma and discrimination.