Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019: How we think and feel about our bodies.

by Communications | 13/05/19

A question, How do you, feel when you look in the mirror?

Is the answer positive? Negative or have you just not thought about it? There are no correct answers but there is growing evidence that people are suffering some form of mental illness as a result of how they think they look.

 

This year's focus for Mental Health Awareness Week is Body Image: how we think and feel about our bodies.

The organisers of Mental Health Awareness Week are the Mental Health Foundation. They want to do more than raise awareness. They want to create a plan of action to bring about change around mental health and body image.

 

Our role at Trafford Housing Trust

THT are here to support you, our customers, in all aspects of your life. We have a specially dedicated web page for help if you are experiencing mental health issues. This can be found here. But below are links to extra organisations that offer support to those experiencing mental illness. 

 

So to answer the question, How do you feel when you look in the mirror? 

Over a third of people don't feel very good when they look in the mirror. Body image is something we all think about. Some may think about it more than other, some may give it just a fleeting thought. The Mental Health Foundation and YouGov asked the same question to over four thousand adults. The results paint a negative picture that we have around our body image.

 

The Mental Health Foundation is taking action to promote positive body image and support good mental health and wellbeing

  • One in five adults (20%) felt shame.
  • Just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year.
  • Having these feeling resulted in one-third of adults saying they had felt anxious (34%) or depressed (35%) because of their body image.
  • More alarmingly, one in eight (13%) adults experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.
  • When asked what caused them to have those feelings. One in five adults (21%) said images used in advertising had caused them to worry about their body image.
  • The same amount stated that social media played a direct part in the feeling of negativity towards their body image.

One in five adults have felt shame because of their body image

 

They have identified three key areas, where regulation, policy and practice needs acting upon.

1. Regulatory action

A range of policies from the government is needed to protect the public from unhealthy body images in advertising and social media.

 

2. Industry action

Joined up action across all industries (housing included) to promote body positivity and not use negative images in advertising and on social media.

 

3. Healthcare and public health action

Training for all frontline practitioners such as GPs and healthcare workers, but any person that interacts with clients or customers.

 

Over a third of UK adults have felt anxious or depressed because of body image

 

If your body image is affecting your mental health, there are a few places that you can contact for support in the Trafford Area.

Greater Manchester Mental Health Services

Trafford Psychological Therapies are available to those who are registered with a GP in the Trafford area. You can apply through your GP, another health care professional or online and refer yourself to the service. They offer talking based therapies if you are suffering from anxiety or depression.

 

The Sanctuary

If you are living in Trafford and experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts or are in crisis late at night. You can go to the Sanctuary between 6 pm, and 1 am to deal with whatever you have to deal with. It doesn't provide accommodation, just non-clinical support in a non-stigmatising manner.

 

Bluesci Support

A team of staff and volunteers offer support to individuals who are experiencing emotional or psychological distress, isolation &/or loneliness. Bluesci can be found in four wellbeing centres in Coppice, Old Trafford, Broomwood and Partington.

 

Check out all the services through the links provided. But as always if you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek medical help.

Don't forget to have a look at the advice on our website and be #BeBodyKind to yourself.

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