Finding the courage to seek help for our own mental health is one of the most empowering, but also, often one of the most challenging things we can do.

This Mental Health Awareness Week (9th – 15th May,) Thrive: Mental Wellbeing is encouraging the UK to share their experiences and advice behind help-seeking.

With the aim of normalising open conversations about mental health at work and home.

Influencers, organisations, and the public are all encouraged to post their messages of I Get Help across social media.

Mental health issues in the UK increased sharply during the pandemic, a recent report by Mind found that two in three adults (65%,) said their mental health worsened during the first national lockdown.

With 1 in 4 (26%) having experienced mental health problems for the first time,1 it is no surprise that an already stretched and pressured NHS has seen a record number of mental health referrals.

Sadly, it’s likely these numbers underestimate the true situation. Showing vulnerability and being able to communicate when we feel stressed and overwhelmed, takes bravery and courage. Something that not everyone is prepared for or feels able to do.

Overcoming the first hurdle by recognising and accepting that you are not feeling as well as you once were, plays a great role in tackling mental health issues. Thrive’s campaign - I Get Help aims to not only normalise conversations at home and in the workplace but to encourage others to be familiar with their mental health journey and develop a ‘help strategy.’

With NHS waiting lists for mental health services at an all-time high, and private therapy too costly for many, seeking help can seem unattainable, but how we seek help and the avenues we can explore have been revolutionised.

Technology is playing a big role in making support accessible and affordable, a recent survey amongst employees found mental health apps like Thrive: Mental Wellbeing are the most used tool for mental health support1 and positively, many employers are realising the advantages in broadening the support they offer their staff.

For those unable to access support via their employer or GP, self-care is the most important foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

This can come in many forms – making time for respite, reducing any negative self-talk, journaling, reminding yourself of the positives and achievements that have been made in the day and learning to be mindful/aware of yourself so you can recognise what is/has been impacting you in any way.

The best metaphor is like the safety announcement on a plane: ‘putting your own mask first and then helping others put theirs on’ - you have to make sure you yourself are looked after and understand what has a positive impact on you, before being able to help others.’

There are many ways we can take charge of our mental health; we just need to pay attention to ourselves first. We’ll only normalise mental health by openly discussing our experiences, in turn inspiring others to do the same.

Mental Health Awareness Week 9th – 15th May, creates an opportunity to acknowledge how you truly feel and why, to proactively explore what works for you, to source what support you can access and empower not only yourself but those around you to include mental health into daily conversations.

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, Thrive will be sharing people’s experiences of seeking help and their advice to those looking to build their own help strategy with the hashtag IGETHELP.

Thrive Mental Wellbeing