MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK
12/05/2017 | BY AALIA WALKER
SURVIVNG OR THRIVING?
It's Mental Health Awareness Week this week. Did you know that more than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression? Okay, but how's that relevant to the owner of an award winning agency? Nice house, nice car and two perfectly squishy kids...
Mental health issues don't necessarily strike when you're down and out; that grey cloud can loom even when to everyone else, your life might appear just 'perfect'.
Running an agency, attending to clients, preparing for pitches, managing a home, staff, helping with homework, contributing to school bake sales, attending industry conferences are all-consuming and can mean that there's little time for sleep, let alone time for yourself.
And in between running from a pitch to pick-up, it's quite easy to lose grasp and invariably switch into auto-pilot mode. So you run from meeting to meeting. From nursery to home. You're happy because you won the pitch, you're grateful for the meal your partner cooked and the healthy kids you get tucked into bed and yet something's missing.
The feeling strikes, your chest feels heavy and you can't quite enjoy things like you did when you felt alright. You're surviving, but you're not thriving and you feel guilty about feeling incomplete when blessed with so much. So what's wrong?
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. It's a national epidemic and not enough people are talking about it.
This year the Mental Health Foundation have asked this exact question of the UK public: Are we Surviving or Thriving? Their key findings were:
- Only a small minority of people (13%) report living with high levels of good mental health.
- People over the age of 55 report experiencing better mental health than average.
- People aged 55 and above are the most likely to take positive steps to help themselves deal better with everyday life - including spending time with friends and family, going for a walk, spending more time on interests, getting enough sleep, eating healthily and learning new things.
- More than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression.
- Over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks.
- The most notable differences are associated with household income and economic activity - nearly 3 in 4 people living in the lowest household income bracket report having experienced a mental health problem, compared to 6 in 10 of the highest household income bracket.
- The great majority (85%) of people out of work have experienced a mental health problem compared to two thirds of people in work and just over half of people who have retired.
- Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem. This rises to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34 and people living alone.