The second week of May is Mental Health Awareness Week, where organizations try to raise awareness about mental health. TQUK has already subscribed to Thunderclap to promote the week and has blogged on World Health Day about the society-wide importance of recognising and managing depression. This week’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is Surviving or Thriving, highlighting the stories of how people deal with their mental illnesses.

Today we live in a world this is far more open and accepting of talking about mental health. It has become more common for people to reveal they have an anxiety disorder, depression, a phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder or some other condition. Workplaces are also making accommodations, with leave accommodating mental health issues becoming the norm. After all, statistics have shown that mental health is not uncommon in any way. In England, 1 in 6 people are experiencing a common mental health problem. More than 4 in 10 people in the UK have experienced depression in their lifetimes. And 1 in 4 people in the UK have experienced some form of panic attack.

However, stigma still remains. And while it’s incredibly important to acknowledge mental health, the struggle remains the struggle to normalise the permanence of many of these conditions, to know that day after day, week after week, people must live with these for their entire lives. They should be seen as unremarkable.

What’s worse, mental health disorders tend to affect the most disadvantaged in society. Depression and anxiety are distributed according to a gradient of economic disadvantage. So, if you are economically insecure, poor, or unemployed, you are more likely to suffer from a mental disorder.

Everyone has mental health. And it is just as important to maintain that mental health as it is to maintain your physical health (often more important). Good mental health is not simply the absence of a mental health problem, but, in the words of the Mental Health Foundation, to have ‘the ability to think, feel and act in a way that allows us to enjoy life’. The Mental Health Foundation offers a useful quiz where users can test their own mental health to see if they should seek help from a professional.

As always, many people with mental health issues cannot or would not have been able to cope with them were it not for a dedicated mental health worker. TQUK is trying to grow to make our qualifications in the mental health industry as widely available as possible. The more skills and qualifications people have, the more people get the help they need. Click here to peruse our wide range of qualifications in Health and social care.