Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 – anxiety and the things that can help

You’ll no doubt have seen that last year the Mental Health Foundation announced that Mental Health Awareness Week will return in 2023, from May 15 to 21 and this year’s theme will be anxiety and the things that can help. They’ll be taking on one of the most common and pressing mental health concerns of our time. Anxiety. What do we mean when we talk about anxiety?

It’s a natural human emotion but, in some circumstances, it can get out of hand and become a mental health problem. A lot of different things can contribute to feelings of anxiety, including exams, relationships, a new job, a date, or a big life change.

It’s also an emotion people frequently experience around money and not being able to meet life’s basic needs – especially now, in the cost of-living crisis. However, anxiety can be a problem if it affects your ability to live your life. If your anxiety is ongoing, intense, hard to control or out of proportion to your situation, it can be a sign of a mental health problem.

Anxiety can affect your body and mind, with mental symptoms like feelings of dread, panic, or irritability, and physical symptoms such as (but not limited to) nausea, dizziness, or panic attacks. Anxiety can also affect your behaviour. You may withdraw from friends and family, feel unable to go to work, or avoid certain places. You may also be hiding the way you’re feeling, so other people don’t notice.

The good news is that anxiety can be made easier to manage. By focusing on anxiety for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2023, we hope that it will improve public understanding of anxiety and share some of the things that can help prevent it from becoming a problem. And we also hope that the week will keep up the demand for change – to make sure that improving mental health is a key priority for the government and our society.

Dealing with anxiety can be hard. But there are some things we can do to manage these tough feelings.

Have a look at the Mental Health Foundation’s tips on ways to manage anxiety. These evidence-based recommendations are things we can all do to help cope with feelings of anxiety.

If you are struggling with anxiety, the first step is usually to speak to your GP. You can find more information about anxiety and how to get help here: uk/explore-mental-health/a-z-topics/anxiety

If you need to speak to someone, here are some great charities that can offer support and advice;

Samaritans – 116 123

First Response – 0800 923 9323

YoungMinds text ‘YM’ to 85258.