#Family: 5 Tips for improving #mentalhealth

Mental health affects overall health, and this is a very good reason for addressing conditions, and dealing with the mental ill health and not just the physical symptoms, which are often more obvious.

Here are five tips to help you manage Mental Health issues:

  1. If somebody in your family is acting out of character and you are concerned, simply ask if they are okay. Remember to be sincere and look them warmly in the eyes.
  2. Keep on top of your own mental wellbeing, by avoiding stressful situations and creating a healthy work-life balance, because everyone has mental health, so we are all vulnerable to mental ill health.
  3. Sports Scientist and Personal Trainer, Marc Dressen says, ‘It is scientifically proven that even just a small amount of regular aerobic exercise can counteract depression, which occurs alongside many of the mental health conditions… this is for various reasons, but one is because of the release of feel-good hormones in the brain.’
  4. As well as exercise playing a significant role in mental health, so does nutrition, Marc says ‘…any foods that don’t need a label are good for you, for example fresh fruit is a good start to the morning, instead of sugary cereals. Junk food will not satisfy you in the long run, and can bring the mood down, so avoid this as much as possible.’
  5. Do a Mental Health First Aid course, through MHFAEngland.org, and learn more about how you can assist others, gain more awareness and end the stigma of mental health conditions.

“Before I did the MHFA training, I would have found it more difficult to spot the signs of mental ill health in others. That might sound strange coming from someone who has depression, but in reality, depression is a very insular experience and it’s hard to recognise the signs in other people. MHFA taught me what to look out for and as a result I’m much more empathetic and able to spot when someone might be struggling. The MHFA training also made me realise that I need to look after my own mental health more and keep an eye on how I’m feeling, as well as supporting others. Now, if I notice some warning signs that suggest that I’ll be going through a bad depression episode, I can approach people and let them know that I’m going to be unwell, and they can know what’s going on and be more prepared.” Mick Wood, Royal Mail postman and Adult Mental Health First Aider

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