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Mental health awareness

We all have physical health and we all have mental health. Each will vary from time to time. And it's important we take care of both to promote our overall wellbeing.

Mental health problems

Actually, they might be more common than you think. One in four of us will be affected by a mental health problem in any given year. They are as real as a broken arm, and they can have a greater effect on everyday life - even though there isn't a sling or plaster cast to show for it.

Stigma and Discrimination

It's quite likely that one day you, one of your friends, colleagues or family members will experience a mental health problem. Yet mental illness is still surrounded by prejudice, ignorance and fear.

What does this mean?

The attitudes people have towards those of us with mental health problems mean it is harder for them to work, make friends and in short, live a normal life. Please visit the Time to change website for more information.

  • People become isolated
  • They are excluded from everyday activities
  • It is harder to get or keep a job
  • People can be reluctant to seek help, which makes recovery slower and more difficult
  • Their physical health is affected.

Many people say that being discriminated against in work and social situations can be a bigger burden than the illness itself. It has an impact on society and the economy too, when people who can work are denied the opportunity to, and when people are prevented from playing an active role in their communities.

How widespread is stigma?

Despite attitudes about sexuality, ethnicity and other similar issues improving, and despite some improvements, discrimination against people with mental health problems is still widespread.

Nine out of ten (87%)of people with mental health problems reported the negative impact of stigma and discrimination on their lives. The research also showed that the way family, friends, neighbours and colleagues behave can have a big impact on the lives of people with mental health problems.

How can I help?

You can help us create a society where mental health problems are not hidden in shame and secrecy. You can ensure your friend or relative is not afraid to speak out about their problems, or is left wondering where they can turn for help.

You can read more about the stigma and discrimination of living with mental health issues by visiting the Time to Change website.

As part of the national mental health awareness campaign the following topics are being promoted.

Let's Get Physical

There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body - having a healthy heart and supple joints are just two. But did you know that physical activity is also beneficial in your mental health and well-being?

Exercise is good for your mental health

Research shows that exercise influences the release and uptake of chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Staying active can lift your mood, reduce stress, help you deal with negative emotions and even help with anxiety and reduce the risk of depression and dementia. Even though the benefits of physical activity for reducing obesity and preventing chronic illnesses have been very well publicised, this has resulted in relatively little increased uptake of physical activity, with national surveys showing only one-third of the population meet UK physical activity guidelines.

The aim is to change the way we view physical activity in the UK: to see it not as something we 'have to do', 'should do' or 'ought to do' for our health but as something which we do because we personally value its positive benefits to our wellbeing.

As part of their work to help the nations population lead mentally healthy lives, the Mental Health Foundation have produced the Lets Get Physical Pocket Guide to show the positive impact that physical activity can have on your own mental wellbeing, including some tips and suggestions to help you get started.

Being active doesn't have to mean going to the gym, taking up jogging or wearing spandex. There are lots of ways to be active, find the one that works for you and let's all get physical!

For further information about what services are available in your area please look at the following website:-

Derbyshire County Council – Live Life Better Derbyshire

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Derby City Council – Live Well

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Lets Get Physical Booklet (PDF 1,647.08 KB)