The conversation on mental health continues to heat up! The 17th Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this week (Monday 8th – Sunday 14th May).
The national campaign coordinated by the Mental Health Foundation launched in 2000. It focused on surveying people about their experiences of discrimination and stigma in relation to mental health issues. Since then, there has been a different focus every year, all with the aim of ending the stigma and getting people to look after and talk about their mental health.
The theme for 2017 is ‘Surviving or Thriving?’. The foundation wants to look at mental health from a different perspective. Instead of viewing good mental health as the absence of a problem, they are exploring why few of us thrive with good mental health. It’s a big concern: a recent report conducted found current levels of good mental health are very low. Only 13% of over the 2000 people interviewed were reported as living with high levels of good mental health. The report also found that poor mental health was more likely to be experienced by the following groups: young people (aged 18-34), women (7 out of 10) and those living alone.
So, how can you participate? High profile figures such as J.K. Rowling, Lady Gaga and lately Prince Harry discussing his 20-year fight with mental health have done a great job in bringing awareness to the issues. So, The Mental Health foundation is asking people to host events. They are encouraging as many as possible to talk about their worries. Events are happening across the country, from libraries hosting community events, universities such as Middlesex University putting on a programme of events that include workshops and pet therapy to boost student and staff well-being, to community organisations hosting wellness walks.
Finally, why not create your own event and add it to the list? Hold a bake sale or umpire a table tennis tournament! To see what events are taking place in your area, you can use a map on the foundation’s website to find out.
Get hosting and share your activities on social media using the hashtag #MHAW17.
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