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Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 Begins

The UK has the highest levels of stress in the workplace than any other West European country and amongst the highest levels of suicide too.

Workplace stress kills and not only the individual concerned but their family and friends suffer greatly at the loss of the person they loved too.

But, stress at work, depression, anxiety and other mental health illnesses also make everyday life miserable for those suffering from it, and those around them who either don't understand how to cope with their suffering friend or family members; or as is too often the case, don't know what the issue is or indeed that the person they are colleagues or friends to is suffering in silence.

This week, this website will dedicate it's pages to reporting on and discussing the issue of the nation's mental health and will encourage people to talk about mental health without stigma, because it is a common state for many of us; indeed 1 in 4 of us right now are suffering from some form of mental health illness.

Pic: click the pic to download the reportTo begin Mind, the mental health charity have produced a report entitled 'Surviving or Thriving: the state of the UK's mental health' which can be downloaded from the E-Library Database and directly from here by clicking on the pic above.

"We all have mental health. Good mental health is an asset that helps us to thrive. This is not just the absence of a mental health problem, but having the ability to think, feel and act in a way that allows us to enjoy life and deal with the challenges it presents. Yet it can be easy to assume that ongoing stress is the price we have to pay to keep our lives on track. It is time to challenge that assumption." - Mind

Some key findings in the report:

* Only a small minority of people (13%) report living with high levels of good mental health.

* People over the age of 55 report experiencing better mental health than average.

* More than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression.

* Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem.

* This rises to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34 and people living alone.

* Over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks.

Our news pages will bring you items relevant to the week and begins with a video of the debate at CWU General Conference held last month, whish is very pertinent to those of you working for BT specifically and in a stressful working environment generally.

Commenting on the issue and on this weeks theme, Web Editor, Chris Ingram encourages everyone to talk about their mental health problems and not suffer alone. He said:

"As someone who has suffered with depression and anxiety all my life, I can safely say that talking is the only therapy which will help to ward off those inevitable feelings of self harm that come in the darkest hours of the darkest days.

It is something you learn to live with, but cannot do so without getting help from professionals, loved ones, and those you learn to trust."

He also commented on the fact that most people do not understand just what a panic attack can feel like. In his case, he described it as being in a metal tube with hot air flowing through it at high speed. He explained further:

"It would come in waves and last for hours most days. One day it was so bad that a thick blue coloured winter coat had turned a turned black and clung to me with the sweat that was seeping from every pore. I was immersed in this metal tube ligned with hundreds of seeringly hot metal spikes which would stab my skin continuously from head to toe. It was like being in a wind tunnel with red hot air blowing through it at speed.

The fear and anxiety it caused made me feel I had to run and never stop until I was able to find a high place from which to fall into a cold icy sea."

If you are suffering and in need of support and help, or need someone to talk to right now, you can call the Samaritans on : 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI)


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