What is mental health?

Mental health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is “functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment”.

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From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes “subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others.” The WHO further states that the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work and contribution to their community.Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines “mental health”.

Source: wikipedia.org

What are mental health problems?

Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. The majority of people who experience mental health problems can get over them or learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on.

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Symptoms

Most mental health symptoms have traditionally been divided into groups called either ‘neurotic’ or ‘psychotic’ symptoms. ‘Neurotic’ covers those symptoms which can be regarded as severe forms of ‘normal’ emotional experiences such as depression, anxiety or panic. Conditions formerly referred to as ‘neuroses’ are now more frequently called ‘common mental health problems.’

Less common are ‘psychotic’ symptoms, which interfere with a person’s perception of reality, and may include hallucinations such as seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling things that no one else can. Mental health problems affect the way you think, feel and behave. They are problems that can be diagnosed by a doctor, not personal weaknesses.

Mental health problems are very common

As found by the APMS (2014), 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem.

Anxiety and depression are the most common problems, with around 1 in 10 people affected at any one time.

How do mental health problems affect people?

Anxiety and depression can be severe and long-lasting and have a big impact on people’s ability to get on with life.

Between one and two in every 100 people experience a severe mental illness, such as bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia, and have periods when they lose touch with reality. People affected may hear voices, see things no one else sees, hold unusual or irrational beliefs, feel unrealistically powerful, or read particular meanings into everyday events.

Although certain symptoms are common in specific mental health problems, no two people behave in exactly the same way when they are unwell.

Many people who live with a mental health problem or are developing one try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s reactions. And many people feel troubled without having a diagnosed, or diagnosable, mental health problem – although that doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling to cope with daily life.

Source: mentalhealth.org.uk

Types of mental health problems

Learning a few things about mental health problems might help you to feel more confident about talking and listening.

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Anxiety & panic attacks

Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all experience but becomes a mental health problem when someone finds they are feeling this way all or most of the time.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis given to someone who experiences extreme periods of low (depressed) and high (manic) moods.

Depression

Depression is a diagnosis given to someone who is experiencing a low mood and who finds it hard or impossible to have fun or enjoy their lives.

Eating disorders

An eating disorder is a diagnosis given to someone who has unhealthy thoughts, feelings and behaviour about food and their body shape.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health diagnosis given to someone who experiences obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

Personality disorders

If someone has a personality disorder, some aspects of their personality might affect them in a way which makes it very difficult to cope with day to day life, especially when it comes to relation

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a diagnosis given to people who develop a certain set of symptoms following a traumatic event. What is PTSD? Symptoms include:

Psychosis

A person experiencing psychosis perceives the world in a different way to those around them, including hallucinations, delusions or both.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a diagnosis given to people who experience symptoms of psychosis, alongside what are called ‘negative symptoms’.

Self harm

Self-harm is when someone purposely hurts themselves, usually in order to cope with intense emotional distress.

Suicidal feelings

Suicide – when someone intentionally takes their own life – is a very complex issue. What are suicidal feelings? People feel suicidal for a variety of reasons, for example:

Source: time-to-change.org.uk

Mental health helplines

Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice.

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NHS 24

This service is here to provide urgent health advice out of hours, when your GP Practice or Dentist is closed.

Anxiety UK

Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Breathing Space

Breathing Space is a psychological counselling service in Scotland for people feeling depressed, or with other urgent psychological problems

  • Phone: 0800 838587 (weekdays Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2am & weekends Friday 6pm-Monday 6am)
  • Website: breathingspace.scot

Bipolar UK

A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Scottish Association for Mental Health

Provides information about mental ill health and sign-posting.

No Panic

Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.

  • Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm)
  • Panic Attack Recording: 01952 680835 (this recording is available 24 hours a day, which will go through guided breathing exercises to help anyone experiencing a panic attack)
  • Website: www.nopanic.org.uk

OCD Action

Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.

OCD UK

A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.

  • Phone: 0845 120 3778 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
  • Website: www.ocduk.org

PAPYRUS

Young suicide prevention society.

  • Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends)
  • Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Rethink Mental Illness

Support and advice for people living with mental illness.

  • Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
  • Website: www.rethink.org

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

  • Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
  • Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)

Children1st

Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.

  • Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)
  • Concerned adults should call: 08000 282233
  • Website: www.children1st.org.uk

Refuge

Advice on dealing with domestic violence.

Addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)

Alcoholics Anonymous

National Gambling Helpline

Narcotics Anonymous

  • Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)
  • Website: www.ukna.org

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Society

Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.

  • Phone: 0300 222 1122 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm on weekends)
  • Website: www.alzheimers.org.uk

Bereavement

Cruse Bereavement Care

Crime victims

Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis

Victim Support

Eating disorders

Beat

  • Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)
  • Website: www.b-eat.co.uk

Learning disabilities

Mencap

Charity working with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.

Parenting

Family Lives

Advice on all aspects of parenting, including dealing with bullying.

  • Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm)
  • Website: www.familylives.org.uk

Relationships

Relate

The UK’s largest provider of relationship support.

Source: nhs.uk

Anxiety UK

Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Bipolar UK

A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.

Website: www.bipolaruk.org.uk

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Website: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

No Panic

Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.

Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm)

Website: www.nopanic.org.uk

OCD Action

Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.

Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm)

Website: www.ocdaction.org.uk

OCD UK

A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.

Phone: 0845 120 3778 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.ocduk.org

PAPYRUS

Young suicide prevention society.

Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends)

Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Rethink Mental Illness

Support and advice for people living with mental illness.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.rethink.org

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk/support

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)

NSPCC

Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.

Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)

0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.nspcc.org.uk

Refuge

Advice on dealing with domestic violence.

Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.refuge.org.uk

Addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)

Alcoholics Anonymous

Phone: 0845 769 7555 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

National Gambling Helpline

Phone: 0808 8020 133 (daily, 8am to midnight)

Website: www.begambleaware.org

Narcotics Anonymous

Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)

Website: www.ukna.org

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Society

Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.

Phone: 0300 222 1122 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm on weekends)

Website: www.alzheimers.org.uk

Bereavement

Cruse Bereavement Care

Phone: 0844 477 9400 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk

Crime victims

Rape Crisis

To find your local services phone: 0808 802 9999 (daily, 12pm to 2.30pm and 7pm to 9.30pm)

Website: www.rapecrisis.org.uk

Victim Support

Phone: 0808 168 9111 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.victimsupport.org

Eating disorders

Beat

Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)

Website: www.b-eat.co.uk

Learning disabilities

Mencap

Charity working with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.

Phone: 0808 808 1111 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.mencap.org.uk

Parenting

Family Lives

Advice on all aspects of parenting, including dealing with bullying.

Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm)

Website: www.familylives.org.uk

Relationships

Relate

The UK’s largest provider of relationship support.

Website: www.relate.org.uk

 

Source: nhs.uk