Mental Health Awareness Week

Monday 14 May to Sunday 20 May is Mental Health Awareness Week.

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s focus is stress.





Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.

The Mental Health Foundation have outlined seven steps to help protect yourself from stress, including:

  1. Eat healthily
    – The Healthy Lifestyles Team run a number of free eat healthy programmes for Barking and Dagenham residents, including LEAN Living, LEAN Beans and HENRY 
  2. Be aware of smoking and drinking alcohol
    – If you need support or would like more information on quitting smoking or drinking less alcohol visit our stop smoking and drugs and alcohol pages
  3. Exercise
    – Try and integrate physical exercise into your lifestyle as it can be very effective in relieving stress
    – Visit our move more pages for advice, tips and free exercise programmes
  4. Take time out
    – Take time to relax
    – Strike the balance between responsibility to others and responsibility to yourself, this can really reduce stress levels
  5. Be mindful
    – Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to life that helps us to relate differently to experiences. It involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings in a way that increases our ability to manage difficult situations and make wise choices
    – Try to practice mindfulness regularly
    – Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time
  6. Get some restful sleep
    – Could you amend your environment to help improve your sleep?
    – For full details on tips on getting a good night’s sleep read the Mental Health Foundation’s guide to how to sleep better and ten top tips for good sleep
  7. Don’t be too hard on yourself
    – Try to keep things in perspective
    – Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience
    – When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said
    – If you stumble or feel you have failed, don’t beat yourself up
    – Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive
    – Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself


If you would like to speak to a professional regarding your mental health please visit the Barking and Dagenham IAPT webpage for more information.