Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week focuses on stress - read our exclusive blog now.

Mental Health Awareness Week (14 to 20 May 2018) is about stress and how we’re coping with it.

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – it’s part of everyday life. But when you’re overwhelmed by stress it may lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 is a great time to think about how we can all address the causes of stress.

An exclusive blog from our mental health team to help you cope with stress in your caring role.

What is stress?

It can be difficult to identify exactly what stress is, and we know from what you tell us as family carers, that you often experience pressures in a number of ways; from your caring role in supporting a family member living with mental well-being difficulties to the wider impacts of this on your own well-being.

Stress can affect people in different ways and can lead to mental health difficulties. Mental health difficulties can themselves lead to stress.

What can help?

Our Information Advice Guidance and Emotional Support service is here to provide support to you in your caring role. We provide one to one emotional support and the chance for you to meet with other family carers to talk and build peer support with others within our Family Carer Open Space sessions. These take place regularly in Stowmarket, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds. To find out more please contact us on 01473 835420 / MH@suffolkfamilycarers.org .

Family Carers have shared this feedback regarding our services:

‘The group has made me feel less isolated and has given me the ability to share what I am feeling about my son’s condition. I can manage to do this with my family and a good friend but otherwise someone dealing with mental illness can feel very alone’.

I find this group very useful. I have made friends and I am also able to help others with advice gained from my caring role. It allows me a break too. It is a really friendly group, long may it continue’.

The importance of being active and connecting, not only with each other but also the natural world, is also key, both to our physical and mental well-being. It doesn’t need to be an intense activity as slower paced activities such as walking bring many benefits. For those who would like to, getting out in areas of natural beauty can also support positive well-being and reduce feelings of stress. Suffolk Wildlife Trust have a range of reserves across Suffolk that can offer opportunities to connect with nature http://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/ whilst enjoying a well-being walk.

The Mental Health Foundation are inviting people to get involved in raising awareness of mental health and reducing the impact of stress by getting together to have a curry & chat fundraising event. You can find out more using this link  https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/get-involved/curry-and-chaat

‘The aim is simple: to get together with friends, enjoy a delicious curry and raise money for the Mental Health Foundation and our vision of a world with good mental health for all’ (Mental Health Foundation)