Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s Mental Health Week and we’re using this as an opportunity to better educate ourselves on the topic. Mental Illnesses come in a variety of different forms and affect everyone in a different way, with symptoms some wouldn’t believe. To help you spot an individual in need we’ve broken down some of the characteristics that may be an early sign of a developing mental disorder but it’s important to note there are various reasons behind someone’s behaviours and not everyone wishes to share.

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If you believe you or someone around you is displaying signs of troubled mental health having open discussions is the first step forward, you can’t force someone to open up but you can offer encouragement and support.

> Over sleeping, many find day to day activities unbearable and will use sleep as a form of escapism this could be for long periods of time or regular intervals throughout the day. It’s not always a personal choice either, occasionally an individual’s body can not handle the strain in their brain so will respond with automatic sleepiness and lack of concentration.

> Withdrawal from social activity, often seen in patients with depression is a common sign picked up upon by surrounding family members and friends. This consists of an individual losing interest in activities and people they usually jump to be around. Time alone can often seem like the best option as to not drag others down with them but in return has harsh consequences.

> Inability to cope with daily problems or stress, this symptom spans across a spectrum with some lashing out as an instant response and endangering themselves further and some retracting and becoming borderline irresponsive with minimal communication and interaction with activities or people.

> Suicidal thoughts and behaviours are common with some mental illnesses. If you think you may be in danger of hurting yourself or anyone else, get help right away. This could be contacting a health expert or call your local emergency number.

thinking doesn't get better on its own — so get help.

If you want to speak to someone about your mental health or any problems or worries you may be having, please contact the Herts NHS mental health helpline on 0800 6444 101 (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week) or email (for non-urgent enquiries).