Mental health affects everyone.
We're looking at some ways we can take action for ourselves and others, in this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
Even if you aren’t one of the 1 in 4 people who each year report having mental health issues, it’s likely you know someone who is.
Mental Health Awareness Week can be an opportunity to:
Challenge your own preconceptions and inappropriate language The #IAMWHOLE campaign led by Rizzle Kick’s Jordan Stephens calls on individuals to stand together, against negative stereotypes and language surrounding mental health by challenging others and themselves about the words they use and learn more about the impact these stereotypes and insults can have. Check out the campaign video at the top of this article.
More on how we can be mindful of language around mental health in this Huffington Post article.
Find out more on how to support friends and family with mental health issuesRethink Mental Illness have a series of guides for siblings, parents and carers, and a directory of support groups, and a Mental Health SOS guide.
Take a Social Media Self Check-Up There is growing evidence that social media is linked to poor mental health (even Facebook has admitted this)This BBC guide gives some simple tips for ‘How to stay happy and healthy on social media’
Explore techniques for improving and maintaining your own mental wellbeing
The NHS has a moodzone page with techniques for managing stress, anxiety and depression
Many people find mindfulness helpful in managing thoughts – here is Mind’s page on mindfulness. Though many mindfulness resources charge subscriptions, there are free apps and guides out there. Here is a list of 5 free Mindfulness apps.
- Listen to a piece of music and choose to focus on one aspect of it.
- For example, the rhythm - what instruments play the beat? Follow how it changes, maybe even focus on one aspect of the rhythm such as the hi-hat pattern.
- The lyrics, or the main melody if you’ve chosen an instrumental piece.
- If while listening your attention wanders, gently remind yourself to return to the sounds and sensations of the music.
- Notice how your mind and body responds to the mood and pace of the music, and try a piece with a different mood and pace next time.
5 Ways To Wellbeing is a simple, research-backed method to enhance wellbeing.
- Be Active
- Take Notice
- Keep Learning
Here is the government's page on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.
One of our favourite techniques for dealing with difficult times is one shared by many familiar musical names – songwriting."I think any time I've ever got down or ever felt low the one thing that picks me up from that is writing a song about it” Ed Sheeran
Plenty of musicians have now spoken out about their struggles with mental health, and the majority seem to find their creativity an emotional outlet that supports their wellbeing. On his latest album Stormzy tackles his own mental health journey and the "realisation of how fragile we are as humans. In the most beautiful way possible" And recognises the importance of sharing his story with his fans - “If there is anyone out there going through it, I think for them to see that I went through it, would help”.
Our Mental Health Awareness Week Mind The Music Blog Takeover concludes tomorrow, with a deeper look at our Mind the Music programme.
Mind the Music is Community Music’s new 3-year programme working with music and mental health. We are providing a wide range of training in mental health issues for our tutors, which we are opening out where possible, to any arts and music leaders working with young people. Mind the Music is funded by the JA Clarke Trust and Children in Need.
Mental Health Support For further information on mental health support services, visit the Mind website.