Mental Health Awareness Week takes place 13 – 19 May 2019 and this year NHS Southend and NHS Castle Point & Rochford Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are urging people, especially young people, to protect and sustain their mental health. The theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.
Hundreds of millions of people across the world are affected by mental health conditions and in the UK it is estimated that one in four will experience a mental health condition at some point in our lives.
It’s important to remember that in order to be healthy overall, we need to look after our minds as well. There is a close link between mental and physical health. If people are happy with how they look, they tend to feel better about themselves and have a positive outlook and body image.
If a crisis should occur individuals can have confidence that the right support is there to get them back on their feet to ensure people can enjoy their lives the way they want to, whatever their needs.
It’s no secret that the pressures of being a young person in today’s online world have been a major contributor to the recent rise in mental health issues connected with body image. The reality is users are constantly connected to social media meaning there’s no hiding or escaping unwanted content. This can cause it to be a very overwhelming and pressuring place, and consequently have a significant impact on a person’s self-worth and self-esteem.
Tricia D’Orsi, NHS Castle Point and Rochford and NHS Southend CCG Chief Nurse said:
“Worries about body image are one of the biggest drivers in the rise of mental health problems in young people and can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. This awareness week encourages young people to take stock of how they are feeling and to talk to a friend, their parents or a loved one about any worries or concerns they may have. For many young people, self-help can bring rapid improvements but others may need professional help. If young people have any worries they can always discuss these with their GP, health visitor, school nurse, educational psychologist, or social worker.”
Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services can be accessed by anybody aged up to 18, living in the Southend, Rochford or Castle Point areas, and is free at the point of entry. The service is also for young people with special educational needs (SEN) up to the age of 25. Any young person experiencing emotional wellbeing or mental health problems, or any parent, guardian, professional or teacher of a child who is experiencing emotional wellbeing and mental health difficulties, may access the service.
Call 0300 300 1600 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
For out of hours and weekend Crisis Support Service, please call 0300 555 1201 to be put through to immediate Crisis Support help. Free, safe and anonymous online counselling is also available for young people at www.kooth.com.
For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week, visit: https://mentalhealth.org.uk/camapigns/mental-health-awareness-week