Mid Ulster District Council will be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 (8th to 14th May) by promoting five steps to mental wellbeing.
According to prescribing trends, Northern Ireland has significantly higher levels of depression than the rest of the UK, with almost 1 in 5 individuals showing signs of a possible mental health problem.
Research has shown that there are five steps that really help to boost people’s mental wellbeing. There will be a series of posts and tweets across the Council’s social media pages throughout the week, giving links to what’s available in the local area, based on the following themes:
• Connect – Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.
• Be active – Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our well-being. It can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. Research has shown that low-intensity aerobic exercise – 30 – 35minutes, 3 days a week over 10 – 12 weeks was best at increasing positive moods, so why not take advantage of the drop in classes at your local leisure centre. Take a walk through Dungannon Park, along the shore at Ballyronan Marina or around Mid Ulster Sports Arena’s Trim Trail (all free), go cycling in Davagh Forest or play a game of football at Drumcoo Playing Fields. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
• Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? The Burnavon, Cookstown; Ranfurly House, Dungannon and Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy all have a range of classes and courses throughout the year.
• Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.
• Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Cllr. Trevor Wilson gave his voice to the support, saying, “One of the council’s main priorities is to help our residents to live safe, healthy and independent lives, as such we are keen to promote the benefits of recognising and acknowledging the signs of poor mental health, and to provide services that can promote and support mental good health and wellbeing.”
For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week visit the dedicated webpage at www.mentalhealth.org.uk or follow the #MHAW17 hashtag on social media. To find out about services offered by Mid Ulster District Council, visit www.midulstercouncil.org