The Mental Health Foundation are this year focusing on anxiety as the theme for Mental health Awareness week which runs from the 15th to the 21st May 2023.
Anxiety is a normal emotion in us all, but sometimes it can get out of control and become a mental health problem.
Lots of things can lead to feelings of anxiety, including exam pressures, relationships, starting a new job (or losing one) or other big life events. We can also get anxious when it comes to things to do with money and not being able to meet our basic needs, like heating our home or buying food. But anxiety can be made easier to manage.
Focusing on anxiety for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week will increase people's awareness and understanding of anxiety by providing information on the things that can help prevent it from becoming a problem. At the same time, we will keep up the pressure to demand change - making sure that improving mental health is a key priority for the government and society as a whole.
Anxiety can affect us physically and mentally. If you are feeling anxious, you might notice your heart rate increasing, headaches, loss of appetite, breathlessness or chest pain. (If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should see a healthcare professional to rule out another physical cause). Anxiety might make you feel tense or nervous, find it hard to relax, feel tearful or have problems sleeping and concentrating. Friends or family might notice you are more irritable than usual, or more withdrawn. Or perhaps you seem fine on the outside but feel panicky inside.
There are things that we can all do to protect our mental health and manage anxiety.
What works will be different from person to person. Things that might be helpful include being active, getting out in nature, practising breathing techniques, getting support to tackle money worries or eating well. Talking to a friend, or spending time with loved ones, is often a good first step.
Evidence shows what works to manage anxiety and the Mental Health Foundation has brought together some top recommendations.
Taking action to address specific causes of anxiety can also help – for example, contacting a money advisor, discussing workplace stress with your employer, or seeking support if you are experiencing bullying, harassment or discrimination.
If anxiety is severely affecting your everyday life, you should contact your GP who can offer additional support and help. No one should struggle alone.
Anxiety isn’t just something we can overcome on our own. So much of what may trigger anxiety is not within our control. This is why, during Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ll also be talking to politicians and decision-makers about what can be done as a nation to support good mental health.
While causes of anxiety are complex, financial worries, social isolation, social pressures and discrimination can all play a part. And because of this, local and national politicians should be looking at measures such as income support to reduce financial stress, provision of good quality housing, strong legislation to prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination, and ensuring communities are equipped with the services and facilities we need to live well and help protect everyone’s mental health.
Courses on offer are:
Level 1 Award in Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health in the workplace - 1/2 day.
Level 2 Award in First Aid for Mental Health in the workplace - 1 day.
Level 3 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health in the workplace - 2 days.
Various Mental Health eLearning Awareness Courses
Anxiety UK was established in 1970 and is run by and for those with anxiety, offering an extensive range of support services designed to help support those affected by anxiety disorders, anxiety and anxiety-based depression.
Helpline services - open from 9:30am to 17:30pm Mon to Friday, along with our text service 07537 416905 and ‘Ask Anxia’ chatbot service, available 24/7 for all anxiety queries at anxietyuk.org.uk. See Helpline services for more information.
Anxiety UK offer fast access to a range of psychological therapy services, including counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), clinical hypnotherapy & Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, with appointments available in person, online and by telephone. See Therapy services for more information.
They also run a range of courses and groups including our popular Art for Anxiety Relief (AfAR) course, anxiety management courses, and online peer-led anxiety support groups.