Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Mental Health Awareness Week (13 – 19 May) is taking place across the UK this week to talk about the problems and stigmas around mental health issues.

The Mental Health Foundation began the initiative in 2001, in a bid to raise awareness for mental health problems affecting millions of people in the UK today.

Currently, in the UK, one in four people are said to be suffering with a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.

This year the theme the foundation is focusing on is body image.

According to the statistics gathered by the charity and polling website YouGov, the way we feel about our body and looks is having a detrimental impact on our mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation’s research indicated that one in five of the 4,505 adults surveyed (20 per cent) felt shame over their body image.

In addition, over a third (34 per cent) felt down or low about the way they looked and 19 per cent felt disgusted because of their body image.

Concerningly, one in eight adults said they felt suicidal because they were so unhappy with how they looked.

Statistics indicated that this issue was even more prominent in teenagers, as 37 per cent of adolescent respondents felt upset about their body image and 31 per cent felt ashamed of their body image.

Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive of The British Psychological Society said body image is a “policy priority” in 2019.

Mr Bajwa said: “Body image is an important subject – not least for children and young people, whose wellbeing is the society’s policy priority for 2019.

“Worries about how we look can impact our self-esteem and confidence, and the media has a strong influence on what we think a ‘normal’ body looks like.”

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