Be there. Be yourself this winter
With the season of long, dark nights and cold rain upon us, it is not only important to look after your own mental health, but also those around you.
The effects of stigma and discrimination are often exacerbated over the winter when people's feelings of isolation, panic, stress or depression can be more keenly felt.
One in four Scots will experience mental health problems, which means that if it doesn't happen to you it will happen to someone you know. Support from family and friends can be the single most important factor in recovery from a mental health problem. It's often the simple things that you do which make a real difference to those people experiencing mental health problems.
This winter the ‘see me' campaign is urging everyone to look after our own mental health, and the mental health and wellbeing of those around us.
Help Yourself! Five Ways to Well-being:
• Try and keep active, even when the weather isn’t great. Physical activity can help boost your overall well-being.
• Connect with other people. Make time to chat. Ask someone how they are. Then listen.
• Volunteer some time to help others. You’ll feel good, too!
• Take time to notice the world around you – even the small things.
• Keep learning – it can be fun and build your confidence.
And also, it’s a good idea to be sensible around alcohol as this can often act as a depressant.
Help Those Around You
• Make sure that your friends and family know that you care about them. You can do this in small ways. You know yourself that if you’re not feeling great, just knowing that someone is thinking about you can make a massive difference.
• Ask someone how they’re doing – then take time to listen to what they have to say.
• If someone close to you is experiencing mental ill-health, you don’t have to be an expert. Friendship and support can save lives.
• Sometimes winter can feel like a time when everyone retreats into their own homes. Keep an eye open for people around you who might appreciate a kindly word or visit.
• If someone you know needs immediate help for a mental health problem, try not to worry. Ask what kind of help they need and respond immediately.
• If you or someone you know needs to speak to someone urgently, these numbers are useful:
0800 83 85 87
Weekday: Mon-Thurs 6pm - 2am
Weekend: Fri6pm - Mon 6am
08457 90 90 90
24hrs 365 days a year
GATEPOST (for people in land-based occupations such as farming or forestry)
0300 111 4166
Mon- Fri 9am - 5pm
Visit www.seemescotland.org for more information on how to support someone with a mental health problem.
If you want to know more about the Five Ways to Mental Well-being then visit the Mental Capital and Well-being report.