Wandsworth CCG supports Mental Health Awareness Week

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 is mindfulness

Mental Health Awareness Week (11 - 17 May) is organised by the Mental Health Foundation and aims to raise awareness of mental health to fight discrimination and stigma and promote good mental wellbeing.

Nicola Jones, a local GP and Chair of Wandsworth CCG Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime.

“Mental health problems can include low mood and depression, stress, anxiety, anger and panic attacks,” she said.

“Most people who feel low will start to feel better after a few days or weeks but if these feelings persist or get in the way of everyday life then it's time to seek help.

“If you've been feeling depressed for more than a few weeks or your anxiety is affecting your daily life, make an appointment to speak to your GP. People can also look at the Wandsworth Hub information on the Wandsworth CCG website which gives people information on how to access psychological counselling for mild to moderate mental health problems including anxiety, depression and stress.”

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 is mindfulness. Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment, without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future.

It is a mind-body based training that can help you observe the way you think and feel about your experiences, whether good or bad. This can help change the way you manage and react to stressful situations, giving you a valuable tool to stay mentally healthy.

Bring mindfulness into these daily activities:

Go for a walk: try and walk mindfully, noticing the sounds around you and the feel of your foot on the ground. Give your brain a break by thinking about your body and the present moment, rather than speculating ahead about what you’re about to do.

Eat a mindful meal: try and slow down and taste the food in your mouth. Really explore the texture; the colour; the smell. You’ll find that if you slow your actions down, your mind will slow down too.

Turn off technology: instead of watching TV or texting for hours, why not try changing your routine? Do something that allows you to concentrate on the sensations in your body like going for a walk or taking a bath.

Capture moments on camera: taking photos is a great way of being mindful of precious moments as they go by. They’re also a good way of reminding yourself to notice the small things in life.

Take a course: Find a course in your local area at bemindful.co.uk. Alternatively, the Mental Health Foundation’s web-based course can be found at www.bemindfulonline.com .

To learn more about the research behind mindfulness visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk/mindfulness

Activities going on around Wandsworth during Mental Health Awareness Week include the following:

14 May: The Wandsworth Men’s Health Forum have planned an awareness day at Roehampton University aimed at improving mental health. The event is in collaboration with the Wandsworth Council Public Health and Roehampton University. Together they have planned a day aimed at promoting the mental health services available to men, and women, in our borough. Be it testing your stress levels, reviewing your diet or doing a health MOT there’s something for everyone to come and learn about their current state of health. The year’s theme is ‘Mindfulness’ and we will be running taster sessions throughout the day offering tips on how you can give yourself good mental health.

You can find out more on Wandsworth CCG’s website.

16 May The mental health charity CLASP is organising its second Walking out of Darkness event and encouraging local residents and businesses to take part. Organisers hope the 10-mile walk will spotlight the stigma and discrimination faced by those experiencing mental distress.

May 8, 2015