While we frequently think about how we’re physically feeling, how much attention do we pay to our mental wellbeing? For a lot of us, the answer is probably not enough. To make a start at changing this, why not take a look at how your mental health scores.
This week (8th – 14th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW). And with the topic being ‘Surviving or Thriving?’, it’s a good reminder to ask ourselves whether our mental health is as positive as it could be.
The aim of this year’s MHAW is to look at why so many people are living with mental health problems and not thriving with good mental health – and how this can be changed.
A report by the Mental Health Foundation[i], published for MHAW, has revealed that only 13 percent of people are living with high levels of positive mental health. While two thirds of Britons now say they have experienced mental ill-health at some point in their lives. This figure is even higher for those aged between 18 and 54 years.
Perhaps one reason for this is that it can be easy to tell ourselves feelings of stress or anxiety are a natural part of leading a busy day-to-day life. But ignoring feelings of low mood or anxiety is unlikely to make them go away. Instead, it’s better to recognise and keep track of them.
To help you do this, the NHS has created a Mood Self-Assessment Questionnaire[ii]. By using it regularly, you can gain a better understanding of how you feel. You may notice that certain events or situations trigger feelings of depression, anxiety or panic. Or maybe that seasonal changes have an effect. Whatever your personal stressors are, recognising that you’re surviving and not thriving with good mental health is the first step towards making a positive change.
Start the questionnaire now to see how your mental health scores.
Want to improve your mental health score? Take a look at How Self-Care Can Improve Your Mental Health
[i] Mental Health Foundation, Surviving or Thriving? The state of the UK’s mental health, Available: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/surviving-or-thriving-state-uks-mental-health
[ii] NHS, Mood Self-Assessment, Available: http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Mood-self-assessment.aspx