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This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

How anxious are we? Mental Health Awareness Week targets anxiety

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Mental health, News

Are we more anxious as a nation? Are the years of austerity, threats of terrorism, worries about our health and the privations of old age taking their toll - more so than in previous generations?

Whatever the reality, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF)’s recently published report, Living with Anxiety, reveals “nearly one in five people feel anxious a lot or all the time and, for this group, anxiety is something almost two-thirds experience on a daily basis.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the young and the unemployed are more likely to feel anxious, making them prone to coping strategies at odds with healthy living. The survey also indicates only seven percent of us seek help for anxiety from our GPs – a lack of self-awareness perhaps and evidence of society's continuing stigma around mental health issues.

are-you-anxiety-aware-heroNo surprise then that Living with Anxiety is a primary focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (running  until 18 May), the theme of which is to “raise awareness and understanding of anxiety and its potentially debilitating effect on the nation’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.” When you consider anxiety lies at the root of many mental health problems, or at the very least, exacerbates them, it’s clear why the MHF has the condition firmly in its sights.

So, are you anxiety aware? Is the organisation or community in which you work and live understanding and supportive of those who struggle to cope day to day? Either way, this week is an opportunity to promote awareness.  If you haven’t done so already, get involved online or take advantage of free to download promotional materials, which include campaign posters and guide leaflets.

What’s your story?

If you have used or provided services designed to help people manage their anxiety, the MHF – and this blog – would love to hear from you. What works? What doesn’t? What more can we do as a society, and as individuals, to manage anxiety in ourselves and others? It’s a big topic so please don’t be shy in sharing your views and experiences.

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  1. Comment by termite posted on

    Mental health cares is still about disempowerment and control, but for the cruel treatments, patient care today is worse than it was in the 50's. In those days staff had time to care and talk to patients, they didn't have to play silly childish games, there weren't so many barriers to caring, really caring! I am not sure the nurses today know what 'care' means and how many of them can sit with a patient and hold a reasonable conversation?

    Mental health care needs a revolution, anyone can be a psychiatrist, just buy the ICD10 and the BNF, nobody looks at root cause, they just treat the symptoms, once int he stem, there is no escape!

    • Replies to termite>

      Comment by Carol Fejdman posted on

      Yes I agree recently I have been a patient with the NHS and have had to use all of my mental strength to gain an appointment and the operation that I need after suffering a particularly nasty fall. This had consequences for my mental health. I have worked since I was 15 years old and am now 60 and have always paid my NI stamps. These stamps were I believe set up in the first place for NHS and yet when needed it is not available unless you assert yourself. I must have ploughed thousands in over the years as I have always worked taking off only a couple of years to have two children.....I have found that as with the world their approach is individual some of the doctors and nurses have been very caring and some not all. I believe this is societal not just NHS based.... I would agree that England as a whole must get their act together and realise that without our mental health the whole of society will how about all of us trying harder to respect each other, empathise with another, and by being true to ourselves and others perhaps it will rub off some how..............

  2. Comment by Pearl Baker posted on

    Nothing has changed in twenty years, Local Authorities, have no money and will do all in their power not to provide essential services to the severely mentally ill, the CCG have absolutely no idea. I am not sure if they know what severe and enduring mental illness is. It is well documented that mentally ill patients lives are shortened by ten to twenty years, but they do nothing, day centres close, no daytime activities. Carers ignored. There is a great discrepancy over the country. NHS England must get their act together,and set the Policies in stone, and not leave it open to the discretion of the individual CCG and LA to do what they wish

    A 'muddle, like you have not seen before.

  3. Comment by Sheryl (age 48) posted on

    I have suffered depression and anxiety for years and I think the majority of people just don't get it, health professionals try their best but unless you have personal experience it's hard to understand. Most days I just want to curl up in a ball and hide away from the world. It takes all my effort to get through the day sometimes but I try to not let it beat me. My GP dished out more anti deps this week again as they worked before but I need time to find the root cause, this needs to be funded through the nhs: I don't need CBT that's just the word of the moment because it shows results on a piece of paper and it's not right for the majority. Society is changing we are becoming less compassionate and helpful and it's worrying. Anything which brings mental health out of the dark ages is great.