Mental wellbeing concerns can refer to a range of mental health conditions and can affect the way an individual thinks, feels and behaves. Mental health symptoms include; withdrawal from friends/family, changes in eating habits, suicidal thoughts, extreme mood changes, feeling sad, alcohol or drug abuse, having paranoia or hallucinations and issues understanding and relating to situations or people.

Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem. If you are in good mental health, you can make the most of your potential, cope with life, and play a full part in your family and among friends. Some people call mental health emotional health or wellbeing and no matter what it’s called, it’s just as important as good physical health.

Mental Health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass. But sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us.

Everyone is different; some may bounce back from a setback while others may feel weighed down by it for a long time. Your mental health does not always stay the same it can change as circumstances change and move through different stages of your life.

There is a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much. Many people do not even feel comfortable talking about their feelings, but it is healthy to know and say how you are feeling.

How common are Mental Health Problems?

Mental health problems are common. Up to 1 in 4 people will experience poor mental health at some point in their lives. This could be caused by stressful events such as academic worries, bereavement, relationship breakdown, or financial issues. These feelings can often be intense, but are often temporary. With the right support and help people make good, positive steps towards recovery. Some people will experience more serious problems with their mental health. These types of mental health problems often occur as gradual changes that a person may not notice or realise. People might start to behave differently, or start having thoughts or beliefs they didn’t have before.

What are the signs that things may not be right?

Most people will feel low, anxious or irritable at some point in their lives. But if you have several symptoms at the same time, this could mean you have a mental illness, especially if you have had them for some time. If your day-to-day life is getting worse because of these symptoms, then this could also be a sign that something is not right.

The following symptoms could be signs of mental health problems:

  • Being anxious and irritable.
  • Having a low mood for a long time.
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate or remember things.
  • Sleeping less or too much.
  • Changes in your mood.
  • Finding it difficult to manage everyday life, for example, preparing food and washing regularly.
  • Feeling teary.
  • Becoming suspicious and paranoid.
  • Becoming isolated and withdrawn.
  • Having suicidal thoughts.

Many people who live with a mental health problem or are developing one try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s reactions. And many people feel troubled without having a diagnosed, or diagnosable, mental health problem - although that doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling to cope with daily life.

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