Mental Health Awareness Week 18-24 May 2020

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week which aims to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. 1 in 6 people in the England, report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

Diabetes is a long-term condition and around two thirds of people with a long-term health condition are likely to experience a mental health problem, mostly anxiety and depression.

Things might feel scary and uncertain at the moment during the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.

There are some simple things you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing during times of uncertainty. Doing so will help you think clearly, and make sure you are able to look after yourself and those you care about.

10 top tips

Here are 10 ways from the Every Mind Matters website you can help improve your mental health and wellbeing if you are worried or anxious about the coronavirus outbreak.

  1. Stay connect with people – you could try phone calls, video calls or use social media
  2. Talk about your worries – it’s ok to share concerns with others you trust and doing so may help others too. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.
  3. Support and help others – think of things you can do to help those around you. Action for Happiness creates a monthly calendar of daily activities to help you look after yourself and others
  4. Feel prepared - Working through the implications of staying at home should help you feel more prepared and less concerned. SilverCloud have a range of programmes to improve and maintain your wellbeing.
  5. Look after your body – Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking or drugs and try not to drink too much alcohol.
  6. Stick to the facts - Find a credible source you can trust – such as GOV.UK or the NHS website and fact-check information you get from news feeds, social media or other people.
  7. Stay on top of difficult feelings – Try to focus on the things you can control, such a behaviour, who you speak to, and where and how often you get information.
  8. Do things you enjoy - Focusing on your favourite hobby, relaxing indoors or connecting with others can help with anxious thoughts and feelings. Living Life to the Full have lots of resources for living with a long-term condition
  9. Focus on the present – Focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the future, can help with difficult emotions and improve our wellbeing. Diabetes UK have some helpful guidance on diabetes and your emotions.
  10. Look after your sleep – Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it is important to get enough. The Sleep Council have some great tips on their website.

Here you can find more information on what support is available to you locally.

Diabetes UK have a dedicated helpline to help provide support and advice on living with diabetes.