13-May-2019

Supporting Mental Health Week

Supporting Mental Health Week

Monday 13th to Sunday 19th May is Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation who is celebrating its 70 anniversary this year.

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Week is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

McGinley Support Services is pleased to be supporting the campaign aligned to one of our values inclusion;

“We believe everyone should have the same life chances. We treat all individuals within our workforce, staff and the wider community as equals and strongly pursue the principles of diversity and inclusion, taking positive action where we can to make a difference.

Why body image?

Body image is closely linked with mental health, the more comfortable you are with your own body, the greater your overall wellbeing and with national research being published this week it is clear that body image issues can affect anyone at any time of their life.

As part of our continued commitment to raising awareness of mental health, this week staff at McGinley Support Services will be taking part in a number of internal events such as ‘Tea and Talk’, ‘Walking Wednesday’ and Thoughtful Thursday.  To close out the week we are also encouraging staff to participate in a dress down day with a blue theme all in aid of the Mental Health Foundation.

New body image statistics

New online surveys were conducted by the Mental Health Foundation with YouGov in March 2019 of 4,505 UK adults 18+ and 1,118 GB teenagers (aged 13-19). The results highlighted that:

  • One in five adults (20%) felt shame, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year.

  • Among teenagers, 37% felt upset, and 31% felt ashamed in relation to their body image.
  • Just over one-third of adults said they had ever felt anxious (34%) or depressed (35%) because of their body image.

  • One in eight (13%) adults experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.
  • Just over one in five adults (21%) said images used in advertising had caused them to worry about their body image.
  • Just over one in five adults (22%) and 40% of teenagers said images on social media caused them to worry about their body image.

What can we do?

Clearly, action is needed to build and promote positive body image and support good mental health and wellbeing in relation to our bodies. Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies and our report highlights key recommendations for: 

  • Effective regulation of how body image is portrayed.
  • The need for commitment from social media companies to play a key role in promoting body kindness.
  • Taking a public health approach to body image by training frontline health and education staff.
  • Individually being more aware of how we can take care of ourselves and others in relation to body image.

Tips for individuals

  • Individually being more aware of the steps we can take for ourselves and others.
  • If your body image is a significant cause of stress, or if you’re being bullied about how your body looks, consider talking to a friend, a trusted adult or a health professional.
  • Spring-clean your apps on your smartphone.
  • Notice the people and accounts you’re following on social media and be mindful of how you feel about your own body and appearance when you look at them.
  • If you see an advert in a magazine, on television or online that you think presents an unhealthy body image as aspirational, you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority.
  • At home, parents and carers can lead by example, by modelling positive behaviour around body image, eating healthily and staying active.
  • In our daily lives, we can all be more aware of the ways in which we speak about our own and other people’s bodies in casual conversations with friends and family.
  • Find the best way that works for you to stay active.

For more details on this year’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign or if you would like to seek support visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/