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This week is mental health awareness week, the aim of Mental health awareness week is to tackle stigma and help people understand and prioritise their and others’ mental health.

The mental health charity Mind says there are several clear signs of stress including sleep problems, headaches, panic attacks, blurred eyesight, high blood pressure, and heartburn.

Stress can make you do unusual things, such as biting your nails, eating too much or too little, being restless, and withdrawing from people around you. Various factors can cause stress. One significant circumstance or incident in your life may be the source of it. Or it could be a culmination of numerous smaller issues.

How you can get help

  • General Practitioner (GP): Your GP is usually the first point of contact for accessing mental health support. They can provide an initial assessment, offer advice, and refer you to specialist services, such as counselling or therapy.
  • NHS mental health services: The NHS offers several mental health services, including talking therapies (such as cognitive-behavioural therapy or counselling), medication, and community-based support. You can sometimes access these services through your GP or self-referral.
  • NHS 111: If you need urgent help with stress or any other mental health crisis, you can call NHS 111 (England) or the equivalent service elsewhere in the UK. They can provide advice and direct you to the appropriate support services, including emergency help if necessary.
  • Mental health charities:
  • Samaritans:
  • Phone: 116 123 (24/7 helpline, free to call)
  • Email: jo@samaritans.org
  • Website: Samaritans
  • SHOUT:
  • Text: SHOUT to 85258 (24/7 crisis text support, free on all major mobile networks)
  • Website: SHOUT Crisis Text Line
  • Mind
  • Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
  • Email: info@mind.org.uk
  • Text: 86463 (24/7, free to text)
  • Website: Mind
  • Online resources: Numerous online resources and self-help tools are available for managing stress and improving mental well-being. Websites such as NHS Every Mind Matters and Mind provide practical tips, information, and guidance on stress management techniques.
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