Good mental health means that we feel happy about ourselves, have a sense of purpose and belonging, good self-esteem, and feel valued and in control of our lives. Mental health difficulties are very common and it is likely that we will all experience some form of mental distress.
Mental illness is more clinical, defined by symptoms and diagnosed by doctors. Treatments for mental illness are often based on medication but we can all take steps to improve our mental health whether or not we have a mental illness. For example, increasing your physical activity is associated with a 20% reduction in mental health issues.
5 tips to mental wellbeing
- Connect: connect with people around you
- Be active: Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life
- Keep learning: Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence
- Give to others: Whether a smile or kind word or something bigger like volunteering
- Be mindful: Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you
Here are some trustworthy websites for further information on the steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing:
- Chill Panda Learn to relax, manage your worries and improve your wellbeing with Chill Panda. The app measures your heart rate and suggests tasks to suit your state of mind. Tasks include simple breathing techniques and light exercises to take your mind off your worries.
- Stress and anxiety companion helps you handle stress and anxiety on-the-go. Tools like breathing exercises, relaxing music and games are designed to calm the mind. The app helps you change negative thoughts to help you better cope with life’s ups and downs.
- Catch-It Learn how to manage feelings like anxiety and depression with Catch It. The app will teach you how to look at problems in a different way, turn negative thoughts into positive ones and improve your mental wellbeing.
When to go for help
The first stop should be your doctor, who may then decide to refer you on to more specialist services. You are normally referred by your doctor or health worker, but you can refer yourself to the Mental Health Team at the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust.
- Mind in Enfield provides counselling, drop-in services, workshops and complimentary therapies.
- Enfield Carers Centre offers support and advice for all unpaid carers in the borough of Enfield.
- Enfield Mental Health Users Group represents users’ views on mental health issues in health and social service areas.
- Improving Access to Psychological Therapies provides support to people suffering with depression, anxiety and related problems.
- Richmond Fellowship offers specialist employment information, advice and guidance to develop confidence, skills and abilities.
- North London Samaritans gives confidential emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
In an emergency
- Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust- 020 8702 3800
- Out-of-hours service- 020 8379 1000
- In an extreme emergency, phone 999 for immediate help from the ambulance, fire department or police.