Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
15th May 2023
The 15th-21st May 2023 is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, a week dedicated to increasing public awareness and understanding of mental health issues.
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness is anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in the UK, with a reported 8 million people experiencing an anxiety disorder at any one time. The NHS describe anxiety as “a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.”
Symptoms of Anxiety
The mental symptoms of anxiety, according to the mental health charity “Mind“, include but are not limited to:
- Feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax
- Having a sense of dread or fearing the worst
- Feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down
- Feeling like other people can see you’re anxious and are looking at you
- Wanting lots of reassurance from other people or worrying that people are angry or upset with you
- Worrying that you’re losing touch with reality
- Low mood and depression
However, anxiety can also manifest itself through physical symptoms; these can include:
- A churning feeling in your stomach
- Feeling light-headed or dizzy
- Pins and needles
- Feeling restless or unable to sit still
- Headaches, backaches or other aches and pains
- Faster breathing
- A fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat
- Sweating or hot flushes
- Sleep problems
A certain level of anxiety is perfectly natural, especially in certain situations, for example, taking an exam or going for a job interview. The key is to recognise when the anxiety is becoming a more constant or permanent presence.
Techniques and Treatment for Anxiety
Like many mental health problems, there is no “one size fits all” approach to treatment. However, there are several things’ individuals can do to reduce the symptoms of anxiety; these include:
- Take to someone you trust.
- Avoid/minimise alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Eat regular and healthy meals.
- Make sleep a priority.
- Exercise regularly.
Medications for anxiety are available; for information on this, contact your GP.
Resources and Support
The important thing to remember for those suffering from anxiety or other mental health is you are not alone, and there are a variety of treatment options and resources available.
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues, please use the resources below for further information:
NHS – Mental Health
Mental Health Foundation