7 Resources To Bookmark For Good Mental Health

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12/05/2017 09:53 | Updated 25 May 2017

While one in four people will experience mental health issues in their lifetime, recent figures reveal as many as two thirds (65%) of Brits have experienced a mental health problem, such a panic attack or depression.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is focussed on “surviving or thriving”, rather than focussing on why so many people are living with mental health issues the campaign turns the issue on its head and asks why so few are “thriving” with good mental health.  

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a range of resources to explore your own mental health, learn from others and explore the notion of good mental health. 

Read: Do What You Want Zine

Do What You Want

Created by Ruby Tandoh (author, food writer and former Masterchef contestant) and her partner Leah Pritchard, Do What You Want is a zine covering mental health.

The 150-page publication features interviews, essays and illustrations, and explores the multi-faceted nature of mental wellbeing from personal experience to the provision of accessible mental health care.

The project is very personal for the couple, both of whom have suffered from mental health issues in the past.

Pritchard, 26, said in a statement: “Do What You Want is about so many different things, all brought together under the banner of mental wellbeing. It’s about how to take care of yourself if your mental health is poor, it’s about stigma against mental illness, it’s about caring for friends and family who are unwell.”

It was important for the couple that the zine is inclusive and intersectional. “We wanted the stories - and the tellers of those stories - to be a diverse as possible. Mental illness can affect anyone, and we wanted the zine to reflect that,” added Pritchard.

How to access:

The magazine is available in hard copy or ebook here. All proceeds being split between a range of charities and not-for-profits

Listen: Bryony Gordon’s Mad World Podcast

Telegraph

With the tag line ‘why it’s totally normal to feel weird’, Mad World offers a frank, warm and down-to-earth discussion of mental health issues.

Journalist, columnist, author and now podcast host, Bryony Gordon came out publicly about her mental health issues after suffering for years with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Her second book Mad Girl is dedicated to the issue.

Her first podcast guest was Prince Harry, who made international headlines talking about his mental health struggles following the death of his mother for the first time. Gordon reveals she has a stellar line-up of guests still to come in the initial 10-episode run, but that ultimately her aim was to make the podcast relatable.

“Podcasts seemed to me to be one of the best way to get the conversation about mental health heard. Literally two people, in your ear, on your commute to work or while you’re out for a run,” she told HuffPost UK.

“The idea of hearing actual human voices feels much more intimate to me than written pieces - and you really get the unvarnished sense of the person when you hear them in conversation. No, glitz, no glamour, no hatchet jobs. Just the person, talking through the stuff in their head.”

How to access:

Free on the Telegraph website here.

Shop: Dept. Store For The Mind

Dept Store For Mind

Think of the Dept. Store For The Mind as a treasure trove for mind - a place where you can dive in and explore your deepest thoughts, emotions and memories.

Founder Sophie Howarth told HuffPost UK: “Most retail focuses on the superficial, whereas Dept. Store For The Mind is a shop for the soul and mind. What is inside is so much richer and interesting - a terrain that would never run out.”

Ruth Williams, Business Psychologist and Managing Director atDept. Store For The Mind told HuffPost UK: “In a world where much of the literature around mental health focuses on change we invite instead an exploration into our own individual uniqueness so we can discover greater self-compassion. Through a release from self-judgement and greater acceptance of ourselves we naturally begin to soften and eventually let go of our judgement of others.

“Our design challenge is about how we can take wisdom about the mind that is often buried beneath layers of complexity and create simple, beautiful objects that will resonate with something fundamentally human in all of us.”

Although the shop does sell products that help those with mental health issues - such as the Ten Deep Breaths bracelet and thoughtful cards to send to those in need - but it is also a place to pay attention the mind before reaching crisis point.

“The mind is complicated, but that is something to be celebrated. We are all capable of so many things - empathy, imagination, connection - and we are all so different,” Howarth said.

Put simply: “It’s a place to get lost and found.”

How to access:

Visit the website

Subscribe: Headspace

Headspace

Headspace is meditation and mindfulness made simple. The easy-to-follow app, with its distinct animations, is great for complete beginners or seasoned pros.

Start with the 10-day free trial to try just 10 minutes of guided meditation per day, then you can purchase a subscription package that suits your needs: daily meditation length increases incrementally and there are SOS meditations for moments of crisis.

Founded by former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson (then an advertising executive), the app is hugely popular. The New York Times said: “Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food.”

Puddicombe told HuffPost UK previously: “Meditation impacts all areas of life. It can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, enhance productivity at work, improve your physical performance in sports and even help to soften the edges in relationships as we become more patient, better listeners, and perhaps a little kinder too.

“The range of benefits is vast and varies from person to person, but at the very least, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like a little more calm and clarity in their life.”

How To Access:

Download here for a free 10-day trial. 

Read: The Happy Newspaper

The Happy Newspaper

The Happy Newspaper does exactly what it says on the tin: provide a positive antidote the doom and gloom of the news.

Featuring 32 pages of positive stories from around the world as well as articles and features on wellbeing and mental health, founder Emily Coxhead hopes the publication will offer “light relief for anybody feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the world”.

Coxhead, a 24-year-old illustrator who has ensured the pages are bright and cheery, told HuffPost UK that she hopes to “restore just a few people’s faith in humanity and remind people just how much good stuff goes on in the world even though we don’t always hear about it”.

“It can be easy to feel totally helpless and overwhelmed by everything going on in the world right now so I think focusing on the small acts of kindness and amazing people doing incredible things is important now more than ever.”

How to access:

The publication is published quarterly, order yours via the online shop. You can also order upbeat and fun merchandise, such as stickers and greetings cards. 

Visit: The School Of Life

School Of Life

The School Of Life is a one-stop shop helping people develop their emotional intelligence, through lectures, workshops, books, and other merchandise.

Headed up by renowned philosopher Alain de Botton, The School Of Life’s raison d’être is “to make the insights of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis widely available”. 

A spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “We help people maintain their mental health by teaching them how to become more aware of and adept at handling their emotions, both individually and in relation to others. Unfortunately, this can’t prevent some of the mental health problems that might come your way, but it can strengthen your overall well-being and expand your ability to cope when issues do arise.”

How to access: 

Download: Pause

Pause

Pause is simplicity at its best. You simply set a time, connect some headphones and then follow the instructions. This audiovisual app asks you to track your finger around the screen and feel an almost instant sense of calm. 

According to a description on iTunes app store: “PAUSE triggers the body’s ‘rest and digest’ response, quickly helping you regain focus and release stress within minutes. The calming audiovisual feedback in the app is designed to help you keep your attention and focus in the present moment.”

Speaking to Wired, creator Peng Cheng said: “Every one of us can move our finger slowly and gently around a smartphone screen but there’s no meaning to it.”

How To Access:

Download here for £1.99.

Make: Something Crafty

AndreyCherkasov via Getty Images

We’re constantly told about the benefits of creative pursuits in giving us a bit of perspective or - at least - distraction. A 2016 study found that everyday creative activities, including knitting and drawing, led to an “upward spiral” of increased wellbeing.

So why not hold a ‘crafternoon’ and get creative with friends and family? Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, has provided online resources to help people get crafty, while also raising money for a the cause.  

Resources include tips on how to upcycle everyday items, make bunting and create felt bears.

How To Access:

Visit the website

Hobbies That Improve Mental Health
 
Useful websites and helplines:
  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk
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