Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Third of Northern Ireland adults in despair over body image

Mental health first aid lift for ScotRail staff Central England Co-op makes 'big brew' for mental health awareness
Anna Jefferson | 15 May, 2019, 12:56

According to the survey of 2000 employed adults, only 1 in 10 workers feel comfortably talking about self-harm, psychosis, eating disorders, postnatal depression or schizophrenia.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week this week, MHFA and Bauer Media Group urged employers to sign up to a workplace manifesto, which asks organisations to treat mental and physical health equally; implement the six core standards for a mentally healthy workplace as set out in the government's Thriving at Work review; and develop diverse and inclusive workplaces where staff feel comfortable to "bring their whole selves" to work.

"Body image issues can affect anyone and at any stage in life".

Julie Cameron, Head of Programmes at MHF Scotland welcomed the new National Advisory Group on Healthy Body.

The Duke of Cambridge and stars of television and music have recorded a radio message to mark the start of mental health awareness week - highlighting the value of listening to a friend in need. Two in five (40%) said images on social media have caused them to worry about their body image, with 40% expressing that their friends have said something to cause them to worry about their body image.

The advice includes suggestions such as employers leading on a wellbeing strategy at work; supporting and training managers to have the confidence and knowledge in managing mental health; and workers identifying personal stress triggers, supporting colleagues and asking for help when needed.

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Mr. Ratburn from 'Arthur' is gay and just got married
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He added: "Being body-conscious is not exclusive to women, yet when a man takes pride in his appearance or has anxieties about his body, this is often met with a joke, sarcasm or a putdown". Research by the Mental Health Foundation found 13% of adults had experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.

She said: "The impact social media can have on a person is extreme".

"We need to support each other as a society and break the stereotype of what people should look like". "There needs to be more awareness that mental illness is not something anybody chooses, it isn't something that they should be looked down on or criticized for".

In light of their recent findings, The Mental Health Foundation has called for immediate action to be taken to help safeguard young people across social media and as they grow up. She said: "This will build on our package of measures to improve the mental health of young people, and directly target the impact of social media and body image on mental wellbeing".

The survey of 4,505 adults also found that about a third of United Kingdom adults have felt anxious or depressed because of concerns about their body image.

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