Mental wellbeing

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What is mental health?

Some people call mental health ‘mental wellbeing’, ‘emotional health’, or ‘emotional wellbeing’. Our mental health affects how we think and feel, and how we cope with life’s ups and downs. As we move through different stages of life and our circumstances change, our mental health can change too.

Mental health problems are more common than many people think. Because there are often no outward signs, you may not realise anything is wrong. Two of the most common mental health problems are depression and anxiety.

What can affect my mental wellbeing?

There are lots of reasons why your mental wellbeing can change. There may be a trigger point, usually a significant or distressing event, such as:

  • retirement
  • bereavement
  • relationship or family problems
  • money worries
  • disability or poor health, including sight and hearing loss
  • being a carer
  • being on your own
  • the time of year.

What can I do if I’m feeling down?

If you’re feeling out of sorts and have any of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you may be experiencing depression:

  • loss of self-confidence and feeling down
  • feeling anxious
  • not being able to enjoy the things you usually enjoy
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • avoiding people, even those close to you.

If you have any of these symptoms, speak to your GP and explain how you’re feeling. Together you can agree on what next steps may be best for you.

The sooner you can address your problems, the less likely they are to develop further. Although it can be difficult, speaking to your friends and family about how you feel can help you see things from a different perspective. If you would rather speak to someone you’re not close to, you may find it helpful to talk to a counsellor or visit a support group.

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