What’s Mental Health

Around 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health difficulty in their lives. Most commonly these are depression and some form of anxiety.

Everyone will feel low from time to time and everyone has something that they feel anxious about. It’s when these very normal emotional experiences have unhelpful effects on day to day life that they can be termed a common mental health problem.

Some of the problems people might access our service for include:

  • Depression and low mood
  • Problems with anxiety (including social anxiety and generalised anxiety)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Specific phobia
  • Panic disorder
  • Stress

The facts and figures around Mental Health are alarming.

  • About a quarter of the population will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year, with mixed anxiety and depression the most common mental disorder in Britain
  • Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men and about ten percent of children have a mental health problem at any one time
  • Depression affects 1 in 5 older people
  • Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women and self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population
  • Only 1 in 10 prisoners has no mental disorder.

Mental Health affects us all. How we think and feel about ourselves and our lives impacts on our behaviour and how we cope in tough times.

It affects our ability to make the most of the opportunities that come our way and play a full part amongst our family, workplace, community and friends. It’s also closely linked with our physical health.

Whether we call it well-being, emotional welfare or mental health, it’s key to living a fulfilling life. Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem.

If you’re in good mental health, you can:

  • Make the most of your potential
  • Cope with life
  • Play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends

Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it’s just as important as good physical health.

Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass. But sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us.

Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time.

Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life.

There’s a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much. Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it’s healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.