Its ok not to be ok – you’re only human.

#KindnessMatters 

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Its ok not to be ok – you’re only human. 

The above title may seem really obvious. If a friend, colleague or family member told you that they weren’t feeling okay and that they were struggling with their mental health, I imagine that you would try and be supportive to them. However, many people find it easier to support others than look after themselves. This blog looks at the barriers to this and also signposts you to seek the right support for you and others.

Recognising you’re not okay.
Sometimes we can “power on” rather than stopping to consider how we are. We may not notice that we are not ourselves or that our mood has been low for some time. We may be so used to feeling anxious that we think – this is just me now. The first step in getting to grips with any low wellbeing or mental health issues is to acknowledge them.

Its normal to have ups and downs

Nobody feels great all the time. It is normal to have good days and bad days. However, when your mood is consistently low for a period of time, or your anxiety is impacting on your daily life, or your stress levels are so high that you feel things are unmanageable, this means it’s time to seek support.    

Barriers to seeking support
You may feel that there is a stigma attached to admitting you are not okay. You may fear that people will treat you differently at work or in your friendship group. You may be concerned that if you go to the doctors, medication might be suggested as part of what you need to feel well again. 
Let’s remember that one in four people will suffer with poor mental health at some point in our lives but not everybody seeks support for the variety of reasons we have discussed above. However, it is possible and likely to recover, and this recovery is improved, and good mental health maintained with the right signposting and intervention. 

What support is out there?
Friends & Family- Let’s not forget the supportive environment that can be provided by friends and family, sharing with someone you trust can often be the first step to better mental health and wellbeing.
Work- Many workplaces have counselling in place via occupational health 
Counselling – this is a safe and confidential space for you to process what is going on for you with a qualified counsellor, who will be empathic and non-judgemental. 
GP- Your GP is often the first place that you will go to seek professional help and support, if you feel you might struggle to speak to them write down what is going on for you and how it is impacting on your life to hand to them.
A&E / 999- If you or some other person are having thoughts of suicide that you feel that you might act upon then you can call 999 or go to A&E at any time.