According to the National institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) nice.org.uk at any one time, common mental health disorders affect some 15% of the population. This figure represents one in five working days lost, at a cost to UK employers of £25bn each year. Talking about mental health problems is so important, because without public debate, mental health problems will remain in the dark, fuelling ignorance and perpetuating stigma.
If you are worried about your mental health, seek professional help and advice via your GP in the first instance. Alternatively, talk to someone at one of the mental health charities such as MIND. mind.org.uk
Don’t be ashamed to confide in a close friend or family member. Those around you can not only support you, but may be able to provide practical help and may even come with you to the GP if you feel nervous about going. Remember mental health problems are very treatable and your GP will enable you to get the right help you need..
Many people find having the opportunity to talk to a professional counsellor or psychotherapist very beneficial. Some types of talking treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can teach you to become your own therapist. Helping you to make the link between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and then showing you strategies to change them can be really empowering. For more information on CBT visit my website steveclifford.info and click on the link, “What is CBT?. AS well as talking therapies medication can also be invaluable in helping to stabilise your mood to help you to feel more in control. Talking therapy and medication is often very effective when used together under the guidance of a health professional.
Leading figures in public life such as Nick Clegg, John Berkow and Alistair Campbell are supporting campaigns such as the “Sunday Express Crusade for Better Mental Health.” Talking about mental health and how it impacts on you and your life is just so important to break down the stigma associated with mental health disorders. When actor Stephen Fry spoke about his battle with bi-polar disorder, it did so much to help people with this condition, likewise, when comedienne Ruby Wax spoke about her experiences with depression it was another step towards helping to move debate out of the shadows into the real world. Visit Ruby’s website blackdogtribe.com and join the Sunday Express Campaign for Better Mental Health at sundayexpress.co.uk / mentalhealth.
START TALKING TODAY and help end the discrimination that separates mental health problems from physical health problems. Remember Mental heath disorders are no different from physical health disorders.
Until next time, Steve Clifford, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.