Mental Health Awareness Week 14 to 20 May 2018

14 May 2018
Pupils painting a mental health week banner

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 14 to 20 May 2018 and this year’s theme is ‘Stress, are we coping?’.

Stress is our body’s way of dealing with pressure. When we encounter challenging situations, our body is stimulated to produce stress hormones that trigger a ‘flight or fight’ response. This is the same response to a dangerous situation such as being chased by a lion, as it is to dealing with a challenging colleague at work, or other life’s stressors.

Repeated stressful events and over activation of our stress hormones over a period of time however, can be bad for our mental and physical health, and can lead to depression and anxiety.

Are you feeling stressed, depressed, anxious or have recently gone through a bereavement? Call Waltham Forest Talking Therapies (WFTT) on 0300 300 1554. WFTT is a free and confidential NHS service.

See below for helpful tips for dealing with stress, and services in Waltham Forest.

Why not take Mental Health Foundation’s stress test, designed using the evidence-based perceived stress scale?

1. Connect with Others

If you're feeling too stressed, connecting with others or talking to someone can really help. You could start by talking to a trusted friend or family member about how you feel. 

Your GP may be able to support you with getting the help you need such as free Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a talking-based treatment for managing their difficult feelings.

Most workplaces have an independent confidential line that may offer support on a wide range of issues including managing workloads, debt, marital issues, performance, productivity and other issues that may affect our employees.

2. Be active

Being physically active releases feel good hormones called endorphins and can help you feel good and sleep better – helping to lower stress levels.
Try and integrate physical exercise into your lifestyle, even just going out and getting some fresh air, and taking some light physical exercise, like going for a walk to the shops can really help.

3. Take time out, have fun

Take time to relax and do the things that make you happy. Strike the balance between responsibility to others and responsibility to yourself, this can really reduce stress levels.

Make time for fun and relaxation, and try to do something you enjoy every day. Find a way of being active that you like. more tips on managing and dealing with stress

4. Give

Giving your time, words or your presence can make a world of difference for someone who may be going through a hard time.

Even in a busy environment like the work place, simply checking in on a colleague, asking how they are or offering to join in a lunch break can help someone through a stressful day.

Five ways to wellbeing Click to get info

Find out about five ways of looking after your mental health here

Some important facts Click to get info

Research from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2016/17 found that over 500,000 workers suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety and that depression or anxiety accounted for 40% of all work-related ill health cases and 49% of all working days lost due to ill health. 

In Waltham Forest there are various activities and services which will enable you thrive and maintain good mental health ranging from sports to talking therapies. Here are a few

  • Talking Therapies offer psychological support for adults experiencing a range of mental health difficulties.
  • Good Thinking is a free digital mental wellbeing service to help people to self-assess and self-manage their mental wellbeing issues online resources, mindfulness training and live peer to peer forums.
  • Samaritans phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for those who need someone to talk to about their problems. You can call their free line on 116 123.
  • Flourish offer emotional support to mothers after they have given birth
  • Our Parks offer various activities every day for free in Waltham Forest, such as Dance Fit, Pilates, Social Sport, Yoga and more.
  • Enjoy Waltham Forest have various walks, cycling and football events for the family this May.
  • Coping Through Football, a project led jointly by Leyton Orient Trust and NELFT, offer football activities to young people and adults who experience social exclusion.

For more information contact Monica: