Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
This year has been a year like no other. Let us all agree on that. The lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to experience heightened anxiety as they cope with the impact. This an extremely challenging time for individuals with existing mental health conditions and can also cause people without any mental issues previously to experience problems with anxiety and extreme stress because of isolation, grief and financial issues
Less people are being recognised as needing help as they are not getting noticed due to their lack of contact with professionals, friends and family.
Recently Anna Whitehouse, aka as Mother Pukka, share her postnatal story on BBC Breakfast and how she was suffering until she seeked helped from Mind Charity.
Where to get support?
Here at Kensington Mums HQ, We have been long term advocates on mental health and as it might feel more difficult than usual to take care of your mental health and wellbeing we have put together some helpful numbers and details of NGOs and charities that may be able to help.
Mind- Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
PANDAS Foundation UK- Leading UK charity supporting families suffering from perinatal mental illnesses.
OCD Action – Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.
Mental Health Mates– is an internationally recognised resource for anyone experiencing mental health challenges.
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.
PAPYRUS –Young suicide prevention society.
Rethink Mental Illness– Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
OCD UK –A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.
Samaritans – Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
SANE – is a leading UK mental health charity. We work to improve the quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness. Please explore the icons below to find out how we help people. Peer support forum and Website
YoungMinds– Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Anxiety UK- runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety.
Cruse Bereavement Care– coping with grief
MindEd – is a free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults.
Family Lives– Advice on all aspects of parenting, including dealing with bullying.
Relate- the UK’s largest provider of relationship support.
The Mental Health Foundation shares eight tips for talking about mental health
1. Set time aside with no distractions
It is important to provide an open and non-judgemental space with no distractions.
2. Let them share as much or as little as they want to
Let them lead the discussion at their own pace. Don’t put pressure on them to tell you anything they aren’t ready to talk about. Talking can take a lot of trust and courage. You might be the first person they have been able to talk to about this.
3. Don’t try to diagnose or second guess their feelings
You probably aren’t a medical expert and, while you may be happy to talk and offer support, you aren’t a trained counsellor. Try not to make assumptions about what is wrong or jump in too quickly with your own diagnosis or solutions.
4. Keep questions open ended
Say “Why don’t you tell me how you are feeling?” rather than “I can see you are feeling very low”. Try to keep your language neutral. Give the person time to answer and try not to grill them with too many questions.
5. Talk about wellbeing
Exercise, having a healthy diet and taking a break can help protect mental health and sustain wellbeing. Talk about ways of de-stressing and ask if they find anything helpful.
6. Listen carefully to what they tell you
Repeat what they have said back to them to ensure you have understood it. You don’t have to agree with what they are saying, but by showing you understand how they feel, you are letting them know you respect their feelings.
7. Offer them help in seeking professional support and provide information on ways to do this
You might want to offer to go the GP with them, or help them talk to a friend or family member. Try not to take control and allow them to make decisions.
8. Know your limits
Ask for help or signpost if the problem is serious. If you believe they are in immediate danger or they have injuries that need medical attention, you need to take action to make sure they are safe. More details on dealing in a crisis can be found below.
Never feel like you are alone, your mental health is as important as your physical health.
Remember the saying your vibe attracts your tribe, and we truly believe that it takes a village to be a mother. Seek professional help, and find your mama tribe you can rely on