As we enter Day Three of Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s an opportune time to look at how can we prevent mental ill health – and be kind to ourselves, as this year’s theme focuses upon.
However, to understand how to prevent mental ill health, we must first understand what causes it.
Mental ill health has often been seen as being all about our genes and our biological make-up, or has been put down to a chemical imbalance, or simply a result of our negative life experience.
But according to the Mental Health Foundation, the most important factors are a ‘wide range of social, economic, family and emotional factors that interact with our genes and our biology’.
Mental health problems affect many people, from very different walks of life, and in Northern Ireland we experience it more than in any other region of the United Kingdom.
The Mental Health Foundation outlines three types of prevention, which you can read in detail here.
You can promote better mental health by taking steps such as getting better sleep, drinking less, taking exercise and practicing mindfulness. There are a number of other ways to promote better mental health, largely aligned to the Five Ways to Well-Being which you’ll find here.
If you have been feeling adverse affects from the coronavirus lockdown, Action Mental Health has also compiled a host of resources to help you navigate these uncertain times. Read here to find out more.