Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
Anxiety is an emotion that we all experience at some point in our lives. It’s a natural response to stress or danger, and it can even help us perform better in certain situations. However, when anxiety becomes a persistent and overwhelming feeling, it can negatively impact our mental health and wellbeing.
Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, from May 15th to May 21st, is centered around the theme of anxiety. The aim is to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety while highlighting the importance of early intervention and support. By providing information on the things that can help prevent anxiety from becoming a problem, we can make it easier for people to manage their anxiety and improve their mental health.
"Mental Health Awareness week (MHAW) is always an important time for us here at Your Place. It is not just about promoting good mental health, but enabling a sense of belonging and empowerment among our residents. This year’s theme of MHAW focuses on #Anxiety, and with the rising cost of living as well as other socioeconomic factors, we can understand the impact this may have on our anxiety. One way we try to alleviate our resident’s anxiety is by creating spaces with a sense of fun and enjoyment – such as our regular coffee mornings e.g. Kenyan Coffee morning, King’s Coronation tea. We also deliver regular wellbeing sessions, one of which will include a guided painting session this week. This is a great way for our residents to socialise, and also get involved in something that might be new for them.” - Elif, Mental Health Specialist"
However, it’s important to acknowledge that anxiety can also be influenced by broader societal factors, such as poverty, inequality and financial insecurity. Homelessness, in particular, is a growing issue that affects more people than ever in Newham, and often linked to financial instability, poverty and ill health.
Homelessness can be both a cause and a consequence of mental health problems. For example, someone may experience a mental health crisis that leads to them losing their job and ultimately becoming homeless. Alternatively, someone who has experienced homelessness may develop anxiety or other mental health problems as a result of the trauma they have experienced.
Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 provides an opportunity to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding both anxiety and homelessness. By advocating for change and demanding that improving mental health becomes a key priority for governments and society as a whole, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive society for all.