Increase in Mental Health Problems

This BBC news item caught my attention the other day. I was struck by what seems to me a dramatic increase over the last twenty or so years. While as the article states some of this may be explained by increased reporting, there has been a significant increase in severe mental illness and self harm even allowing for this.

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The graph NHS Digital, Mental Health & Wellbeing in England, Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014 *Percentages scored in the highest category for overall neurotic symptoms

What does this mean for us, both as individuals and as a society? My  view based purely on anecdotal evidence and my own experience is that increasing pressures in society from various sources mean we have lost some of our capacity to care both for ourselves and for each other. I saw this increasing pressure in the NHS before I took early retirement and friends have said the same about other work places. I do not believe that the NHS is particularly worse than many other environments to work in, just that increasingly many staff are being asked to do more with fewer resources and inevitably that leads to problems with depression, anxiety, burnout and in extreme cases even psychosis for those who are vulnerable to this.

What then is the answer?

All of us need to take responsibility for this at personal, social and political levels. This means paying attention to our own personal energy levels and stresses, noting when colleagues and friends are struggling and making time for them and finding ways of not buying in to a society that insists on attempting to increase national wealth all the time. The need for never ending growth if a fallacy.

A big part of looking after ourselves and those around us is this noticing when things are not OK and taking time out for an Aromatherapy Massage, spending time in nature, going for a drink after work with colleagues etc.

Around Cambridge where I live and practice, despite the ever increasing amount of new development, we have many open spaces, community gardens and orchards, and nature reserves to do this.

And if an aromatherapy massage is what you need to de-stress and avoid tipping over into being one of those statistics, phone 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com to talk about booking an appointment.