The theme of this year’s mental health awareness week is ‘Stress’. Stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event. We know that a little bit of stress is a good thing as it can mean that we are trying new things and moving out of our comfort zone. However, prolonged stress can have negative impacts on our mental and physical health.
Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down, stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into a more serious problem, and this could happen to any one of us. Everyone is different and mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages in your life.
Diagnosed mental health difficulties will affect 1 in 4 people throughout the world at some point; as we know, MH is on a continuum and our relationship with our MH changes throughout our lives. Mental Health disorders are among the leading causes of ill-health worldwide (World Health Organisation).
While stress is not a mental health problem in and of itself, experiencing overwhelming stress for a long period of time is often called chronic, or long-term stress, and it can impact on both physical and mental health.
74% of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. (Mental Health Foundation, 2018)
Here at BTAH we are taking steps this week to highlight the importance of noticing moments of stress and finding time to engage in activities that support in reducing stress levels, particularly when working within such a complex and fast paced environment. By doing this we can be in the best position to also support our young people through this stage in their lives which we all remember can hold high levels of stress and anxiety. We have made visible posters with short, quick, practical ideas on how to reduce stress, staff are encouraging conversations amongst students, and an assembly will be held to further educate and support.
With a special focus on our Year 11’s as they go through their GCSE exams we know this can increase their stress levels and have made resources available that encourages self-care during this time.
As we put Mental Health and Stress in the spotlight we can reduce the stigma encouraging transparency and allowing those in need to seek help early. We encourage you to join us as we support Mental Health Awareness Week.