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Mental Health

Mental Health

What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act, playing a crucial role in how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood, intertwining with our physical health to form our overall well-being. Mental health significantly impacts various aspects of life, including work, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Whatever you are feeling, know that this is completely normal, and you can seek support or speak to family and friends about how you are feeling. Many people are reluctant to talk about their feelings and their mental health – there is still a stigma around it. Ironically, not sharing our feelings with anyone, or even knowing what they are, can make our mental health worse. Talking can help us find hope again, and feel closer to other people. At 24 Hour Online Therapy, we understand the profound significance of mental health in every individual’s life journey. From childhood to adulthood, mental well-being shapes our experiences and impacts our ability to thrive. Statistics show that one in four adults faces mental health challenges at some point, underscoring the importance of accessible support.
Why is it Important to Keep Well?

Maintaining good mental health is vital for leading a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. It enables us to cope with the stresses of life, work productively, contribute positively to our communities and enjoy life’s pleasures. We all need good mental health and well-being to sleep better, feel better, pursue our goals, and have positive relationships. It also equips us to handle future difficulties more effectively, highlighting its essential role in living happy and healthy lives.

Poor mental health can impede our daily activities, reducing our ability to perform well at work or school and negatively impact our relationships. It can also significantly affect our physical health, as mental and physical health are closely linked. Additionally mental health can manifest in various forms, leading to mental health illnesses.

Mental health profoundly impacts various aspects of life, including:

– Life: Overall quality of life and daily functioning.

– Work: Job performance, productivity, and workplace relationships.

– Relationships: Ability to maintain healthy personal and social connections.

What Can Affect Mental Health?

There is no single cause for mental illness. It can be influenced by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Some key contributors are listed below:

Genetic Factors

– A family history of mental illness can increase the risk of developing similar conditions.

– Certain genetic predispositions can make individuals more vulnerable to mental health disorders.

Biological Factors

– Chemical Imbalances: Neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain can affect mood and behaviour.

– Chronic Medical Conditions: Diseases such as traumatic brain injury, cancer, or diabetes can contribute to mental health problems.

– Substance Use: The use of alcohol, drugs, or engaging in behaviours like gambling can negatively impact mental health.

– Sleep Issues: Chronic sleep disturbances or disorders can lead to mental health problems.

Environmental Factors

– Trauma or abuse during childhood can have long-lasting effects on mental health.

– Ongoing conflicts within the family can create a stressful environment.

– Significant life changes such as pregnancy, divorce, or losing a job can trigger mental health issues.

– Long-term unemployment can lead to feelings of worthlessness and depression.

– Loneliness or isolation from social networks can increase the risk of mental health problems.

– Debt, poverty, and financial instability can contribute to stress and anxiety.

– Experiencing domestic abuse can severely impact mental well-being.

– Experiencing discrimination or stigma can lead to psychological distress.

– The loss of a loved one can result in significant emotional turmoil.

Psychological Factors

– Experiencing significant trauma as an adult, such as military combat or a serious accident, can lead to mental health issues.

– Poor body image and self-esteem can contribute to mental health problems.

– Chronic stress from various sources, including work or personal relationships, can affect mental health.

Understanding and recognising these factors can help in the early identification and management of mental health issues, promoting better overall well-being.

Who Can It Affect?

Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Statistics show that one in four adults will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

Mental health issues can arise at any time but are often triggered by significant life changes, stress, trauma, or chronic health conditions. Early intervention is crucial to mitigate long-term impacts.

Mental Health Conditions

Mental health conditions range from common disorders like anxiety and depression to more severe illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Each condition has its unique set of symptoms and challenges and varies in severity and impact.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of mental health issues include:

– Persistent sadness or depression.

– Anxiety and panic attacks.

– Mood swings.

– Withdrawal from social activities

– Difficulty concentrating.

– Sleep disturbances.

– Changes in appetite.

Mental health problems can also present physical symptoms, such as:

– Chronic pain.

– Fatigue.

– Headaches.

– Digestive issues.

– Changes in appetite or weight.

– Chest pains.

– Heart palpitations.

– Unexplained aches and pains.

These physical symptoms can often make the mental health condition worse, creating a challenging cycle.

Children and Young People

Children and young people’s mental health can be significantly affected by various factors. Traumatic experiences and social challenges often contribute to the development of mental health issues. Key factors include:

Traumatic experiences:

– Being bullied
– Witnessing domestic violence
– Being abused
– Parents separating or divorcing
– Losing someone close to them

Social and environmental factors:
– Social media
– Climate change
– Rising cost of living

Disruptive changes:
– Moving home
– Changing school
– Birth of a new sibling

Additional challenges:
– Long-lasting difficulties at school
– Caring for a relative, taking on adult responsibilities —

– Having a long-term illness

These factors can trigger mental health problems, especially in children who are already vulnerable, emphasising the need for support and stability during challenging times.

Getting Help

Seeking early support is crucial in managing mental health issues. Talking therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and counseling, can help you manage your condition, reduce symptoms, and a lead a more balanced life. It’s also paramount to maintain a healthy lifestyle, stay connected with loved ones, and seek professional help when needed.

It is important to break the stigma around mental health by encouraging open discussions and understanding that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Sign up and get the support you need today.

Useful Links

Family Lives provides targeted early intervention and crisis support to families. 

Papyrus offers a confidential support and practical advice for young people that are having thoughts of suicide.

PANDAS is a community offering peer-to-peer support for every parent or network affected by perinatal mental illness.

Gov.uk has a free information page where you can access free, confidential and independent advice on dealing with debt problems. 

Turn2us is a national charity offering information and practical support to people facing financial insecurity. 

The Trussell Trust works with a nationwide network of food banks and together they provide emergency food and support to people facing hardship.

Refuge is the largest domestic abuse organisation in the UK. They support thousands of women and their children, who have been victims of domestic abuse.

IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE OR IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING HARMING YOURSELF OR OTHERS OR IF YOU FEEL THAT ANY OTHER PERSON MAY BE IN ANY DANGER OR IF YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY CALL 999 (OR 111 IN A NON-EMERGENCY). YOU MAY ALSO CONTACT SAMARITANS BY CALLING 117 123, TEXTING “DESERVE” TO 85258 OR VISITING THEIR WEBSITE HERE.

"1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England."

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