Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week

Date: 19/05/23

Author: Anthony Harrison

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 theme: Anxiety  

Our mental health is important, and we should approach it with empathy. For some, it may be triggering, so be mindful of those more vulnerable. The end of a pandemic, cost-of-living crisis, and generally living through a changing time has been challenging. Big cities like London attract people from other places seeking better opportunities. However, the adjustment to a new setting can heighten the sense of distress, loss of self, and anxiety.  

With that in mind, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 is Anxiety, as appointed by the Mental Health Foundation UK. We must pay attention to our physical and mental feelings and feel comfortable voicing our worries.  

Why is it important to recognise Mental Health Awareness Week?  

Mental Health Awareness Week educates the public about mental health and helps to break down the associated stigma. It promotes prevention, management, and open conversations to support those in need. 

It's really heartening to see an increased emphasis on mental wellbeing. Today, we have access to various tools and platforms that help us openly discuss our emotional concerns. This is a positive change and it's encouraging to know that we are moving in the right direction. 

It's important to talk openly about mental illnesses like anxiety. Doing so helps us build a supportive community where we can seek help without fear of being judged. By opening up, we develop a sense of belonging, a community we can turn to, whether friends or professionals - let's be there for each other. 

Advocating for mental health  

Whether you have struggled with personal mental health or illness in the past/currently or know someone who did/does, your experience can help others. The more we talk about it, the easier it becomes and diminishes the stigma surrounding mental health. For many years, talking about mental health in a social setting was inappropriate. Serious conditions got written off as "feeling sad," "acting rude," or just plain crazy. This can be extremely hurtful to those experiencing a mental health problem and drive them to shut down and distance themselves from the help available.  

Mental health advocates in the public eye reduce the stigma and encourage seeking help. We all need to support those struggling with mental health issues and give hope. Progress has been made, but there's still more we can do together. 

Examples of mental health ambassadors at Mind Charity 


Support for mental health can come from anyone - a friend, co-worker or stranger. Mental health is just as important as physical health, so ignoring mental health concerns can have long-term effects on physical health. Seek help from your GP, a trusted person, or a mental health charity. You're not alone, and there are people ready to help. 

10 questions for mental health self-check-up 

Regularly checking in with yourself is important for staying in control of your mood and emotions. You can start a mood journal to gain insights on your wellbeing and adjust your life accordingly. Seeking professional help and continuing to journal can assist in identifying patterns and finding solutions.


Mental Health and wellbeing self-help  

  1. Keep track of your day  

There are many first steps you can take for your wellness future. It is helpful to keep to a routine and acknowledge your success: big or small. In the depression trenches, keeping track of what you have and haven't done today can be difficult. Let the mind the rest and make a list of the following:  


  1. Limit your screen time  

Blue light from digital devices can negatively affect mental health and lead to sleeplessness. Disconnect from devices 30-60 minutes before bed and do some relaxing activities like reading. Check out our blog for more information on the relation between digital devices and mental health here. 

  1. Volunteer some of your time  

If you feel up for it, you can spread kindness by volunteering! Cook for the homeless, help older adults, or share your tech knowledge. Join our Digital Ambassador sessions and improve someone's quality of life. Check out our volunteer experience and why volunteering is important for the community to learn more.  

  1. Stay aware of the Digital Divide social issue  

We're working to bridge the Digital Divide by offering resources, platforms, and education. Our blog post just in time for "Time to Talk" national campaign focuses on raising awareness and finding solutions. Together, we can empower all digital users and make a positive impact.  

  1. Attend your local community space or a library 

Socialising with people around you can help you get more acquainted and feel less isolated. More importantly, you may find people to share your interests with. This is crucial for those who have recently moved into a new area and may seek guidance or just a friendly face. We have recently partnered with our 500th community space, so there is plenty of locations to choose from. 

How to recognise a mental health problem?  

If you're ever feeling like life is getting too much for you, don't hesitate to reach out for help. There are professionals and national hotlines available to provide guidance and support. Taking this brave step can lead you towards feeling better, and it's important to remember that you're not alone in this. There are hotlines available, which can then guide you to get the help you need. 

To find out if you need to seek professional help, try to answer these questions truthfully:  


You may use this when talking to your GP during an NHS mental health assessment. You can also bring your wellness/mood journal to support your concerns. Your local GP can diagnose and help you start treatment for anxiety and depression; however, a psychiatric evaluation may be advised when it comes to more complex illnesses. Remember, you have the right to ask/consult for any help you believe is necessary from your healthcare provider.  

How to recognise a mental health crisis/emergency?  


In a mental health emergency, call 111 or 999 for a prompt aid. You can be assessed and treated at the nearest NHS hospital. Seek professional help rather than self-diagnose, but knowing the basics of your symptoms can help speed up the process. 

List of resources for mental health help  

It's good to take a break and stay at home to relax. However, mental health needs are unique for everyone. Some people benefit from support groups, meetings, and talking to others who have had similar experiences. Being prepared is always wise. Keep resources ready for unexpected situations. 

  • Mental Health Foundation is the leading resource for mental wellbeing as they offer the broadest range of resources to get you the help you may need.   

  • Mind Charity supplies helpful resources for finding a therapist, including an online tool to locate support groups. They offer talking therapy, a crisis helpline, advocacy, and more. 

  • Anxiety UK provides extensive help through workshops, events, and support groups. They also have a helpline available for those who need it. Check out their resources if you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety. 

  • Bipolar UK  offers help and holds regular support groups, for those who are experiencing symptoms and/or have been previously diagnosed. Visit their website to learn more. 

  • Headspace is a great tool for relaxation, meditation, and better sleep. Try their specific meditations for issues like panic attacks and racing thoughts. 

  • Spotify has podcasts and playlists to help you relax and sleep better. Listen to calming podcasts that distract your mind and focus on your breathing. Or try white noise playlists like "night forest" and "ocean waves" for a peaceful sleep. 

To finalise...

At the end of the day, mental health is complex and unique to everyone. It's important to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling. Treat it with the same care as you would a physical illness. Remember to take care of yourself and use the resources available to you. If you feel affected by the text you have read, seek help here.