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Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

There is often a lot of confusion about what we mean when we talk about mental health. Many people immediately start thinking about mental health problems or mental illness – but this is only one part of the picture. Everyone has ‘mental health’ and this can be thought of in terms of:

  • How we feel about ourselves and the people around us.
  • Our ability to make and keep friends and relationships.
  • Our ability to learn from others and to develop emotionally.

Being mentally healthy is also about having the strength to overcome the difficulties and challenges we can all face at times in our lives – to have confidence and self-esteem, to be able to take decisions and to believe in ourselves.

Having said that, it’s also important to understand when you might need to get some help or support with how you are feeling – or to know when perhaps you may be experiencing a more serious problem.

It is quite normal to sometimes feel worried, anxious or upset when things don’t go as you hope – everyone faces pressure in their lives at certain times and these can include:

  • Exams.
  • Work and getting a job.
  • Growing up and becoming more independent from your family.
  • Making up (and breaking up) with friends.

Living with Good Mental Health - 5 Ways to Wellbeing

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of actions to promote people’s wellbeing. They are: Connect, BeActive, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. These activities are simple things individuals can do in their everyday lives.

Feeling close to and valued by other people is important to everyone. It’s clear that social relationships are essential for people’s wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.
With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection:

  • Speak to someone new
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
  • Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is.


Be active
Regular physical activity is linked with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all ages. But physical activity doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good. Over activities such as walking can provide some level of exercise.  

Here are a few ideas:

  • Take the stairs not the lift
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Walk into work or school - perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well!
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
  • Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work/school in the morning.


Take notice
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. Being aware of what is taking place in the present directly improves your wellbeing and savouring ‘the moment’ can allow you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.

Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
  • Take notice of how your colleagues/friends are feeling or acting
  • Take a different route on your journey to or from work/school
  • Visit a new place for lunch.


Keep Learning
Learning through life boosts self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.

Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:

  • Find out something about your colleagues/ friends
  • Sign up for a class
  • Read the news or a book
  • Do a crossword or Sudoku
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Learn a new word.


Giving and participating with others makes us feel happy and are good for our health. The smallest act of ‘giving’ can count; even giving a smile to someone can make a big difference, or giving your parents a hand cleaning the house can really help.

Committing to an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is related with an increase in wellbeing.



Time to Change

Mental health problems are relatively common. One in four of us will be affected by mental illness in any year. Yet, nearly nine out of ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result. This can be even worse than the symptoms experienced. Time to Change is England's biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.
Time to Change is an anti-stigma campaign run by the leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. These charities provide a lot of information about:

  • Different mental health conditions;
  • What you can do to help yourself or people you know who have a mental health condition;
  • Help and support if you are facing stigma and discrimination because of a mental health condition.

Where to get Support, Advice and Help

If you want to try and help yourself before contacting an agency below.

Sane offers online advice for those in crisis and can also be contacted on 0845 767 8000.

Living Life to the Full external is an online course aimed at improving people’s wellbeing - taking this course may make you feel stronger and better able to help other people.

Get Self Help  external has some resources for dealing with suicidal thoughts.


Mental Health Support Tameside