Mental health experts on the one thing they wish everyone knew

Mental health experts on the one thing they wish everyone knew

Ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10, we requested psychological well being professionals to share their high insights. By Abi Jackson.

Taking care of our wellbeing is a lifelong endeavour – for each our our bodies and our minds – and it received’t look the identical for everybody.

But if psychological well being professionals might share only one nugget of knowledge with us all, what wouldn’t it be?

Saying no doesn’t make you egocentric

“For a few of us, saying no might be actually laborious. It may fill us with emotions of guilt, and even ideas about being egocentric. But the truth is, there’s nothing egocentric about saying no,” says Gemma Campbell, counsellor and scientific content material specialist at Kooth (

“Someone who is ready to say no maybe has more healthy boundaries than somebody who agrees to issues they don’t wish to do. Having more healthy boundaries isn’t about refusing to assist out, it’s about understanding our private limits, and determining what we’re OK with.

“Over time, this implies we’re in a position to consider our personal wants, in addition to the wants of others.”

Men do search assist

“The one factor I want everybody knew is that males do search assist. By perpetuating the stereotype that ‘males don’t discuss’, we find yourself reinforcing that concept,” says Dr Zac Seidler, director of psychological well being coaching at Movember (

“We have to cease making assumptions and begin asking males what they want, as a result of we all know hundreds of thousands of males are reaching out for help. We preserve telling males to open up, however we’ve to be able to take heed to what they need to say.

“You can’t make somebody share earlier than they’re prepared, however there are some things you are able to do to get the dialog going. Keep issues low-key, judgement-free, and ask open-ended questions. It can really feel like two steps ahead, one step again, however don’t let that discourage you. Keep displaying up for them.”

It’s regular for remedy to really feel laborious

“It is pure when contemplating beginning remedy to really feel excited and anxious on the identical time, even when it’s one thing that’s been in your thoughts for a very long time,” says senior therapist Sally Baker ( “It’s essential to discover a therapist you are feeling you can be snug working with. Request an introductory chat so you will discover out extra about their expertise and the way they work.

“Remember, having to enter forensic element about your life isn’t at all times essential anymore to realize highly effective therapeutic outcomes – that is known as ‘content material free’ remedy. If that is what you want, it’s obtainable for you.”

Everyone is worthy of help and self-care

“Many of us expertise that horrible sensation the place we view ourselves as undeserving. These sorts of emotions have elevated submit the pandemic. Yet it’s vital to keep in mind that every of us suffers not directly,” says UKCP psychotherapist Dwight Turner (

“Having these ideas doesn’t imply we’re damaged, and sitting with a counsellor or psychotherapist might be the right route in the direction of recognising we deserve that promotion, the applause, or that particular person we’re having dinner with. Seeing a psychotherapist or counsellor ought to be a necessary a part of all our psychological well being self-care.”

Sleep actually does have a large impression

“When we sleep, our brains undergo a bunch of processes, which assist regulate our bodily and psychological well being,” says Dr Lindsay Browning, psychologist, neuroscientist and sleep skilled for And So To Bed (

“During sleep we regulate our hormone manufacturing, together with hormones that management happiness, equivalent to dopamine. If we don’t get sufficient sleep, we are able to have an imbalance in hormones, which might impression our temper and bodily well being.

“We additionally course of tough conditions we’re dealing with in our lives by means of our dreaming (REM) sleep. So after we don’t get sufficient, our brains don’t have the time and alternative to do that, and we usually tend to be depressed and anxious. This is added to the truth that, with out sufficient sleep, we could really feel too drained to get issues finished throughout the day, and begin to really feel unhappy and anxious about that too.”

Burnout might be prevented

“We’ve been inundated with finest practices for work-life stability and self-care. The actuality is, individuals have completely different wants, pursuits and coping mechanisms – it’s about putting the suitable stability for you,” says Dr Sarah O’Neill, scientific director at Spectrum.Life (

“Setting boundaries between work and private time is a superb first step. Add in stress administration – correct sleep, diet and common bodily exercise go a good distance in stopping burnout. Recognising what’s inside your management (and never) can be vital.

“Your job design and workload are normally outdoors of your management, round which you will want to speak along with your employer – even the very best self-care methods might be overwhelmed by unsustainable job roles. You can concentrate on managing stress, work-life stability and navigating life tasks. To actually handle burnout nevertheless, additionally, you will want to have interaction along with your employer when there are areas of your position which can be unsustainable, as that is on the core of it.”

Physical exercise actually is drugs for the thoughts

“Being lively can enhance your bodily wellbeing, however it may additionally allow you to keep a wholesome thoughts. People who train commonly have higher psychological well being and emotional wellbeing, and decrease charges of psychological unwell well being,” says Gosia Bowling, psychotherapist and nationwide lead for emotional wellbeing at Nuffield Health (

“Exercise will help relieve emotions of stress by releasing anxiety-reducing chemical substances and supplying you with a mood-lifting dopamine spike. Remember: the best positive factors are sometimes seen in those that go from doing nothing to doing one thing – you don’t need to be an athlete, all the pieces you do counts. Even a brief burst of 5 to 10 minutes of brisk strolling can improve your psychological alertness and raise your temper.”

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