The human brain is remarkably powerful. It helps us to think, to understand, to create new ideas and to shape the incredible work that we live in.

But much like any other part of the body, it is also remarkably vulnerable and, without the proper care, it can get sick.

And when this happens, most of us ignore the important signs and symptoms that suggest that something is not quite right.

 

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week—an annual campaign aimed at promoting just how important looking after our mental health really is.

Mental Health problems affect 1 in 4 of us in the UK[1], with over 450 million people worldwide currently suffering from a mental health condition.[2] And the Covid-19 pandemic has caused these numbers to rise.

Poor mental health can cause huge problems for yourself and those around you too. Leaving it unchecked can lead to burnout, loss of productivity, lack of self-worth, hopelessness, and also loneliness.

Loneliness can be an extremely difficult thing to deal with. It is affecting more and more of us in the UK and had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the pandemic. The isolation brought by lockdown saw increased levels of loneliness, with 26% of people reporting feeling lonely in February 2021, and almost half of young people (18-24) felt increased levels of loneliness throughout the pandemic.[3]

It is important to remember, that many people can struggle with loneliness as well as other symptoms of mental health. If you struggle with it, then you’re not alone—and there are many things you can do to combat negative feelings, including seeking professional help.

For example, one thing you can do, is re-connect with people you trust. Whether they are friends, family, or colleagues, being able to connect to another individual is fundamental to protecting one’s mental health.

Remember, Mental Health shouldn’t be seen in a negative light, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed to talk about it.

So this Mental Health Awareness Week, look after the people closest to you. Be kind. Talk to people about how you feel. Start looking after your mental health.

 

[1] https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/#:~:text=1%20in%204%20people%20will,week%20in%20England%20%5B2%5D.

[2] https://thriveworks.com/blog/400-million-people-suffer-from-mental-illness-right-now/

[3] https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/research-and-policies/wave-10-late-february-2021

[4] https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/research-and-policies/wave-10-late-february-2021