The Lanarkshire Mental Health & Well-being Site has been
created in response to the many people in Lanarkshire who have
wanted information to be made more easily available and more
accessible. The information is for the general public, people who
have mental health care needs, professionals and carers.
What is Mental Health
Mental health is about how people think and feel. How we think
and feel affects our overall health, well-being and quality of
life. Many factors influence mental health - housing, jobs,
schools, transport, the environment - as well as they way we live
our lives. Everyone has mental health needs. From time to time,
most of us feel stressed, anxious, worried or afraid. We may also
have experiences that are very difficult to cope with, such as
losing our job, bereavement, or the end of a relationship. Being
bullied, sexual or racial harassment, experiencing discrimination
because of a mental health problem, not having a voice because
we're too young, too old or simply different, can all have an
impact on our mental health.
Promoting Our Own Mental Health
Doing something positive can make all the difference - for our
own and others mental health:
Accepting ourselves - Our beliefs, background,
culture, religion, sexuality and experiences make us who we are.
Everyone is entitled to respect.
Accepting others - It's easy to feel threatened
by people who are different. You'll feel better and learn more if
you can accept others. Everyone has something to offer.
Talking about it - Most people feel isolated and
overwhelmed by their problems, sometimes it can help to share your
feelings. If you feel there is no one to talk to, you could call a
Being a good listener - Good listening is a
skill. Rather than offering advice, it can help to let the person
work things out as they talk. Hear them out, avoid making
judgements, check from time to time that you've understood.
Keeping in touch with friends - Friends are
important, especially at difficult times. You don't have to be
strong and struggle on alone. Be there, and let others be there for
you. Be a good friend and neighbour - keep in touch.
Getting involved - Meeting new people and getting
involved in things can make all the difference for you and others.
Joining a club or offering your services as a volunteer can be
rewarding and help you feel less alone.
Drinking in moderation - Drinking alcohol to deal
with problems will only make things worse. It's best to drink in
moderation and avoid binges. If you're worried about your drinking
speak to your doctor.
Taking care with Drugs - Illegal drugs can
trigger mental health problems. If you have a drugs problem, talk
to someone about it.
Learning new skills - Learning a new skill can
increase your confidence whether it's for pleasure, to make new
friends or to improve your chances of a job.
Doing something creative - All kinds of creative
things can help if you are worried or low in mood. They can also
increase your confidence. Music, writing, painting, drawing,
poetry, cooking, gardening can all help. Its important to
experiment to find something you enjoy.
Relaxing - Try and make time for yourself. Fit
things into your day that help you unwind such as reading,
listening to music, prayer or meditation. Do what you enjoy or find
Keeping active - Regular exercise really helps if
you're feeling low in mood or anxious. It can give you more energy
too. Find something you enjoy like a team sport, swimming, walking,
Asking for help - Everyone needs help from time
to time. This can be from friends and family, a support group,
faith community or from your local doctor or community mental
health team. It's OK to ask for help, even though it can feel
Surviving - When times are difficult, sometimes
all we can do is survive. Take one day at a time and don't be too
hard on yourself. Take time out if you need it. If you have a
long-term mental health problem, try to plan the care you need with
your key-worker and others for when you're less well. (from www.mentality.org.uk)
What is Mental Illness
The term mental health problem is the most common term used to
describe mental illness. One in Four people in Lanarkshire (110,000
adults) will have mental health care needs at some point in their
life and 75% of us will know someone who has had a mental health
Despite the fact that most people will have some personal
experience of mental ill health it remains poorly understood by
many. Because of this, many people face prejudice and
discrimination in their everyday lives. However, unlike the images
often found in books, on television and in films, most people can
lead productive and fulfilling lives with appropriate treatment and
support. In fact, between 70% and 80% of people who experience
mental health problems will recover. It is important to remember
that having a mental health problem is not someone's fault, its not
a sign of weakness, and its not something to be ashamed of.
In the past 25 years, mental health research has made great
strides in the diagnosis and successful treatment of many mental
health problems. Common types of mental health problems include
depression, anxiety or phobias, less common mental health problems
include bi-polar disorder (also called manic depression) and
schizophrenia. Treatment can range from self-help such as talking
to family and fiends or reading a book to help you understand and
deal with problems, to medication and talking therapies.
Where To Go For Help
Speak to your GP if you are worried about your mental health or
feel you require help or support. They will be able to arrange
translation for you if this is required.
If you require further information or want to know more about
what support is available in Lanarkshire, Please contact:
Hina Sheikh, Diversity and Equality Co-ordinator, NHS
Lanarkshire, 14 Beckford Street, Hamilton, ML3 OTA. Phone 01698
Kevin O'Neill, Mental Health Needs Assessment and Service
Development Manager, NHS Lanarkshire, Strathclyde Hospital, Airbles
Road, Motherwell, ML1 3BW.
Phone 01698 245000 or