I’m sure you will have read and seen a lot about mental health in the media recently, everything from Prince Harry recounting his personal reflections, to the many events and campaigns advertised to raise awareness. We are led to believe that mental health problems are on the increase and that we can all be affected by it; for many of us, at first glance, that may not always ring true. But if we take the time to sit down and have a good think about the stresses and challenges everyday life brings there will almost certainly be times when we have felt anxious, down or just not quite ourselves.
That’s not a problem of course, that’s life, but just as a heart murmur or high cholesterol readings can be warning triggers to do something about your physical health, then it could be that certain feelings or circumstances are starting to tip you off that your mental health might need recharging.
Next week, 8 to 14 May, is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year the Mental Health Foundation wants us all to take a different approach. Rather than asking why so many people are struggling with mental health problems think about why too few of us are enjoying good mental health.
Are you surviving rather than thriving? And if so, what steps can you take to change that? What help is available to you or what help can you offer others?
How can we build resilience to protect ourselves against slipping downhill and continue thriving and improving?
All next week and beyond, the Mental Health Foundation will be encouraging debate and discussion on whether we are surviving or thriving and what we can do to bring about change.
To find out more check the website www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week where you will find all you need to know about getting involved and info on the social media channels.
This is a monthly message from Charmaine Arbouin at the British Consulate in Malaga. Charmaine is the Consul for Andalucía and the Canary Islands. Her team help thousands of British nationals in distress every year.