Saturday, 25 June 2016

Raising Awareness About Anxiety and Mental Health




Why Mental Health Awareness Is So Important?

A fair number of people have some basic first aid knowledge. If someone starts choking in a public place, faints, or is wounded there is a decent chance someone in the crowd will know how to respond appropriately. But what if someone is having an anxiety attack? Do you think the percentage of people who would know how to react in a helpful manner is the same?






Often times because of the stigma around mental illness, those with anxiety disorders are judged, stereotyped, or simply ignored. This is one of the many reasons why raising awareness about anxiety and mental health is so important. Awareness goes beyond knowing how to react, though. Raising anxiety awareness can help to put an end to the stigma around mental health.


Without stigma, more people who are currently suffering in silence may feel empowered to reach out to seek help and support. The search for community resources could inspire the development of more support groups and more accessible treatments. It becomes a positive cycle.


Raising awareness isn’t only the responsibility of those who suffer from anxiety. Friends and family of those who have anxiety disorders can become advocates and use their knowledge and experience to volunteer, help educate, and develop resources and programs for those in need.


Start With the Facts

If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you can use your personal experiences to help others understand what you’re going through. But for someone who hasn’t experienced anxiety in their lifetime, it can be hard to relate to.


Knowing some of the facts is a great place to start when trying to gain a better understanding of anxiety disorders. Here are some of the basics:
* There are several types of anxiety: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety, agoraphobia, and other types of specific phobias.
* Anxiety disorders often occur alongside other related disorders; GAD rarely occurs alone.
* Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, but only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
* Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults aged 18 and older in the United States — that’s 18 percent of the population, making it the most common mental illness in the U.S.
* Globally, 1 in 13 individuals suffer from anxiety.
* Anxiety is common among those suffering from chronic illness and can exacerbate physical illnesses and symptoms.


The internet is a great place to start when looking for general information about anxiety, tips for managing anxiety, even some tips to explain mental illness. There is an abundance of online platforms and communities that can assist in the efforts to raise awareness, including social media.


What You Can Do

There are a lot of opportunities to help raise awareness for anxiety and mental health. For those who want to be physically involved, there are almost always volunteer positions, and for those who don’t always have the time or energy for volunteering, there are opportunities to speak up, educate, or spread awareness. There’s something for everyone.


Educate (Yourself & Others)

Knowledge is power, right? In the case of anxiety and mental illness that’s certainly true!

The more you know about anxiety and understand the symptoms, the better prepared you will be in the event of an anxiety attack, whether it’s happening to you or someone else. Sharing the knowledge and raising awareness about symptoms, coping techniques, new treatments, and how to help someone with anxiety could only have a positive impact.


At Work

In the UK, 70 million days are lost from work each year due to mental illness (anxiety, depression, and stress-related conditions) making it the leading cause of absence, according to the Department of Health. Get together with your HR department or social committee to raise awareness and create a safe environment in the workplace.


Share

You can help to promote various campaigns working to raise awareness. Share their media across social channels, with friends and family, or in work newsletters.


Social media is a fantastic platform for sharing articles, videos, and various resources you find interesting or believe could be of help to someone in need. All it takes is the click of a button and it could be of great benefit to someone.


Resources
 http://anxiety.newlifeoutlook.com/
 http://www.adaa.org/ 
 https://www.dosomething.org/ 
 https://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com/ 
 https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/




Since being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, Natasha is grateful that she can use her experience to empower others. She has a passion for photography, hiking, studying yoga, and mental health awareness. You can find more of Natasha’s writing on NewLifeOutlook.

14 comments:

  1. I myself suffer with depression and anxiety and it is so important to raise awareness and talk about it more. Especially within the work place. You'll be surprised just how supportive and helpful people are when they know there is a problem x

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    1. Raising awareness is incredibly important. I am a very open person when it comes to my condition. There is no need to be ashamed. I wasn't so lucky in the work place but that was 11 years ago and things have changed since then x

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  2. I think such education should start off in school as it is something that isn't talked about very openly. I think many people with anxiety issues don't know what is happening to them or who to turn to.

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    1. I agree. I have often said that mental health should be included in the curriculum in some way. x

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  3. It is really important. My daughter suffers terribly but because she is an adult I cannot write about her. Our family know all about her condition and this week I found a particular family member who also knew exactly what to say to tip her over the edge. Fortunately I managed to stop the message reaching my daughter as it could have had a disastrous affect. If more people where aware of mental illness I'm sure they'd be more careful of how they treat those that are ill. Of course removing the stigma is good too. I wish my daughter was more open about her condition but she's not. (She does get medical help though, I insisted on that.)

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    1. I am sending all my love to you and your daughter. There was a point I wouldn't talk about my condition but now, as you can tell, I am very open and honest. I am sorry to hear about the incident regarding the message. People say and do things without realising how it can affect someone. With more awareness and education that could possibly change x

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  4. This is such a brilliant post and really useful and should be shared. I am going to bookmark it and share it when I feel like I need to be understood. The way you explained everything is so clear and pragmatic. Thank you

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I am glad to read that it is a post you will share when you need people to support you. Having been on the receiving end of negative comments or simply people just not understanding, i know how important it is to feel understood and supported. You can always email me or contact me on Facebook if you need someone to talk to x

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  5. Thanks for sharing...this is so important and something not often talked about...but we all need to get educated about it

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    1. I agree, it is something we should all learn more about x

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  6. I have a friend going through a tough time at the moment - will point her in this direction

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  7. Good on you for using your blog to raise awareness x x

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    1. Thank you. When I read the guest post before posting it I knew it would help someone, even if it is just one person it's a start. Thank you for all your support xx

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