Look after your mental health

Pictured launching the 'Look after Your Mental Health' poster during Mental Health Action Week is from left to right, Trevor Millar Western Trust's Director of Adult Mental Health and Disability Services, and Deborah Hunter, Western Trust Health Improvement Officer. (1004BM02)
Pictured launching the 'Look after Your Mental Health' poster during Mental Health Action Week is from left to right, Trevor Millar Western Trust's Director of Adult Mental Health and Disability Services, and Deborah Hunter, Western Trust Health Improvement Officer. (1004BM02)

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) is marking Mental Health Action Week 2012 (4th-10th April), through the official launch of the ‘Look after Your Mental Health’ poster and pen.

The messages in the resources remind us that we all need to take a moment to think about our own mental health and take active steps to nurture it.

Mr Trevor Millar, Western Trust Director of Adult Mental Health and Disability Services said: “It is not just about whether someone has the symptoms of a mental illness, it is about how we feel day to day or cope with the normal ups and downs of life.

“There can be no health without mental health, yet sadly 1 in 4 of us each year will experience a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression.”

The poster was designed by a student in the Western Trust’s Health Improvement Department and aims to signpost where people can get help and advice on a range of mental health issues and outlines ten top tips to promote the ways we can all look after our mental health.

Tips include:

*Get a good night’s sleep

* Socialise with friends

* Talk about problems

* Drink more water to keep hydrated whilst limiting caffeine and alcohol

* Becoming more optimistic

* Helping others in our lives

* Healthy eating to support good mood

* Self care through regular “me time”

* Set yourself a goal

* Becoming more physically active to boost mental health.

Deborah Hunter, Western Trust Health Improvement Officer said: “We chose Mental Health Action Week to launch the ‘Look after Your Mental Health’ poster and pen to raise awareness about how we can practically look after our own mental health. Life can be challenging at times and we can find ourselves frantic or fraught therefore we must all try to nurture our mental health so to help deal with stresses and strains. I hope that these resources will help to reduce the stigma around mental health.

“The key message I would like to highlight is ‘asking for help is a sign of strength’. There are many support agencies detailed in the poster that can help you or a friend or family member receive the help they may need during a difficult time.”

Mr Millar concluded: “Mental Health matters to all of us – we can all do something to help break down the stigma that surrounds it and help create a society where mental health problems are not hidden.

“The Trust is continually challenging the stigma often associated with mental illness, learning disability and drug and alcohol problems. We pride ourselves on making a positive difference and working in partnership with other services to respond better to local needs.”

If you would like more information about Mental Health Promotion or for copies of the poster or pen, please contact the Health Improvement Team, Western Trust on 028 718 65127 or go to the Western Trust’s website on: www.westerntrust.hscni.net.

* LIFELINE 0808 808 8000 is a 24 hour 7 days a week service. Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis counselling helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair.

No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help.