Northern Trust encourages you to look after your mental health

Our mental health influences how we feel and think about ourselves. It affects our capacity to learn, to communicate and to form and sustain relationships. Distress, low mood and anxiety are major mental health problems of the 21st century and affect 1 in 3 of us at some time. Looking after your mental health is as vital as looking after your physical health.

There are things you can do to keep yourself mentally well and it’s important that you take some time out for yourself each day, even if it is only 30 minutes to chat to friends, go for a walk or read a book.

Physical activity
You don’t have to be running marathons to benefit from physical activity, you just have to be moving. Exercise improves symptoms of depression, anxiety and helps reduce levels of stress. The council offers a wide range of activities for people of all ages and abilities !!! One programme which is supported by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Councils is the Health Matters Programme. Speak to your GP to find out if you can be referred to the programme which is run in Antrim Forum, Six Mile Leisure Centre and Valley Leisure Centre.

Get out and get involved in your community. Getting involved in your local community can give a sense of purpose, it can be fun and you are guaranteed to make new friends!

Life style
Life style and diet can have an impact on our mental health. It has been proven time and time again that there is a direct link to diet and mental health so try to eat a healthy balanced diet and if you drink alcohol do so in moderation.

If you feel down or are worried about your mental health contact your GP who can help you decide what level of support you need and can refer you for help or treatment.

Alternatively you may wish to talk to a friend. Sometimes it can be a relief just to tell someone you are struggling. Your friends care about you and can often offer a different point of view or way of looking at a problem.
A range of information and other support services are also available:

Lifeline, Northern Ireland’s confidential crisis helpline supports individuals and families suffering despair. Lifeline counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and give confidential help, contact them on 0808 808 8000.

Minding Your Head website includes information on mental health support services

Samaritans helpline provides a listening ear for those in distress.
Tel: 08457 909 090

Rural Support provides practical help and emotional support for farmers and other rural dwellers
Tel: 0845 606 7 607

Debt Action NI can provide help and support for anyone with financial difficulties. Tel: 0800 917 4607 or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau

Aware Defeat Depression offers a range of support services for those with depression. Tel: 0845 120 2961

CRUSE Bereavement Support is available for adults and children after a bereavement. Tel: 028 27666686

Domestic Violence Helpline is there for anyone affected by domestic abuse – men and women.
Tel: 0800 917 1414

Bereaved by Suicide Support Service offers individual counselling,group support and signposting to Barnardos Child Suicide Bereavement Service Tel : 028 2563 6607

The Northern Trust website gives mental health advice and details of support services

7th May 2014

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