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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Mental health issues can affect anyone at any time, yet the signs and symptoms of mental illness often go unnoticed. Recognising mental health issues is key to seeking help and support. Without awareness and understanding, it may be challenging to identify when someone needs help and how best to provide it. We have written this blog to provide helpful information on recognising mental health symptoms so that we can support those around us in the best way possible.
The UK needs more mental health professionals, which is why the University of Bolton is offering a brand-new BSc (Hons) Mental Health, Well-being, and Counselling course, starting this September. Join the Bolton family and benefit from a supportive community to learn how to positively help people through a difficult time in their lives.
What is Mental Illness?
Mental illness can be described as illnesses that affect a person's thinking, feelings, behaviour, and mood. It is important to note that living with mental health issues does not define who you are; it affects how the person experiences and manages their daily life.
How to Recognise Mental Illness
Mental illnesses can manifest differently; some of the most common symptoms include:
- Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or having low moods regularly
- Changes in sleeping patterns, appetite, and energy levels
- Changes in behaviour, such as withdrawing from activities or avoiding social situations
- Struggling to concentrate or make decisions
- Feeling disconnected and numbing emotions
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Stigma Busting - We Need to Talk About Mental Health
Research produced by mind.org.uk shows that stigma is a significant barrier for many people who experience mental ill-health. The myth that mental illnesses are simply 'made up' or not real means many don't seek help.
It is crucial to recognise that mental health issues are real and can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender or background. By creating open dialogue around mental health and providing a platform for people to talk about their experiences, we can possibly bust the stigma.
Useful Stigma Busting Tactics
Stigma busting is all very well in theory, but how can we implement it? Here are some useful tactics that you could use in your day-to-day life to help make mental health conversations easier:
- Show people reliable information - Providing accurate and up-to-date information about mental health conditions will help eradicate negative misconceptions
- Talk about your experience - Sharing personal stories helps others to understand what someone with mental health issues may be going through. Talking openly can also encourage those who require support to come forward and seek help
- Ask questions and be open to others about their mental health journey - Asking thoughtful questions encourages people to share their experiences and can help to remove any stigma attached to mental illness
Mental Illness does not Discriminate
It's easy to assume that certain groups of people experience more mental ill-health than others, but this isn't true.
While some conditions may be more common in certain population groups, everyone has the potential to experience psychological difficulties at some point in their life and should be able to access appropriate support if needed.
You Don't Have to Deal with Mental Illness Alone
It can be challenging for those who haven't experienced mental health problems themselves to know how best to support someone in need.
Charities such as Mind, Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), and Young Minds are just a few places where information and resources are readily available. The NHS also offers online advice and contact details for support groups.
Mental Illness Is Treatable
It's a common misconception that there is no hope once someone is diagnosed with a mental illness; mental issues can be treated through talking therapies such as counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, medication or lifestyle changes like exercise or good nutrition.
Media reports show that mental health needs to be a top priority, and more professionals are urgently needed to treat patients’ effectively. That's why the BSc (Hons) Mental Health, Well-being and Counselling course at Bolton University is designed to help students gain the knowledge to assist them in developing the required skills to pursue a rewarding career.
If a career helping mental health issues appeals to you, why not become one of the first students to achieve a mental health, well-being, and counselling degree? With its focus on combining psychology, counselling, social and community work, law, and healthcare with the opportunity to gain a professional counselling qualification, it's a great place to start.
You can see in-person why our students love #UniAsItShouldBe; visit one of our upcoming Open Days and find out how Bolton supports its students.
We are here to help! For more information, speak to a member of our Student Services Team at email@example.com or drop us a call on 01204 903807.