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On our first aid courses we teach our students to look out for physical symptoms and warning signs that someone is unwell. We frequently see posters and television adverts that tell us how to recognise if someone is having a stroke. But we cannot always assess someone’s wellbeing just by what we can see on the outside.

Today, on World Mental Health Day we went to remind our customers and friends how important it is to look after your own and each other’s mental wellbeing. Whilst someone might look perfectly healthy on the outside it is wrong to assume that they must be healthy on the inside.

Mental health is just as important as our physical health but we often forget to stop and take a moment to respect and look after our minds, so this World Mental Health Day we want to continue to break through the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

NHS digital published its annual mental health statistics yesterday, reporting that there have been 49, 551 new detentions under the Mental Health Act, meaning that there has been a 2.4% increase in the last year.

To ensure that people are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve under the Mental Health Act, we must break the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

Mental illness presents itself in all different shapes and sizes and can come and go at different times throughout a person’s life.

If you ever feel down, anxious or as though you are losing control over your mental health then speak out! The chances are that your friends and family have experienced the same feelings at one time or another. Never feel ashamed to speak about your feelings.

A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about what you eat and how much you exercise. It’s about taking time for yourself and allowing yourself to switch off—whether that’s reading a book, gardening, visiting friends or listening to music. Find what makes you happy and calm, and never forget to reach out to those around you, whether that’s to talk about your own mental health or to ask someone how they’re feeling.

It’s okay not to feel okay.

For more information about mental health please visit these useful links:

All of these organisations have helplines, and information of who to contact if you feel as though you need to speak to someone.
Sophie mattinson