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What is Mental Health Awareness week and why do we need it?

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Alfie Rankin Social Care, Special Education Needs, Secondary Education...

What is Mental Health Awareness week and why do we need it?

Mental Health Awareness week is organised by the Mental Health Foundation and focuses on a major issue each year. Mental Health Awareness week runs between the 14th and 20th of May and this year the focus is on stress.

Throughout the week you can expect to see a greater amount of media coverage on mental health and the surrounding issues, as well as a variety of local fundraising events.

16 million people experience a mental health problem each year and research has shown that stress is a key factor in two thirds of all mental health problems. The idea is that by managing stress, we can tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Mental Health Awareness week aims to primarily do three things:

  1. Inform the public of ways that they can improve their mental health.
  2. Encourage conversation amongst those dealing with mental health issues.
  3. Show that those struggling with mental health issues are not alone and should seek help.

Mental health issues are particularly rife amongst young people.

Approximately 1 in 10 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition.

One in four children and young people show signs of a mental health difficulty.

Around half of all lifelong mental health problems develop before age 14 with 75% of these developing before age 25. Sadly, only 25-40 percent of these young people receive input from a mental health professional.

By raising awareness, it is hoped that there will be less of a stigma attached to mental health issues and more action will be taken to improve the level of support that those currently experiencing mental illness have access to.

If you, or somebody that you know is struggling with their mental health support can be found online at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/