Torbay’s Public Health Team is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week taking place from Monday 11 May to Sunday 17 May.

Since its inception, by the Mental Health Foundation, in 2000, the campaign has generated public debates around how anxiety, sleep deprivation and lack of exercise can impact our emotional health and wellbeing.

This year’s topic is mindfulness which is an evidence-based, self-management technique which helps people monitor the way they think and feel about their everyday life and experiences. It is suitable to be practised by everyone and by all ages and can be learned both on and offline.

As well as a tool to improve general emotional health and wellbeing, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been shown to help people cope with stress, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been recommended as a treatment for recurrent depression.

In recognition of the role that mindfulness can help play in promoting good mental health, the Mental Health Foundation will be relaunching a directory of teachers and online mindfulness courses during the week. In 2013, research from the University of Oxford found that participants of the online course saw reductions of 58% in anxiety, 57% in depression and 40% in stress.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, the Foundation will also be encouraging supporters to hold events within their workplaces and communities, with over 300 events taking place around the UK last year. The Mental Health Foundation is providing materials and support for these activities, and will be launching the week with an event on the 11 May, attended by their patron, Princess Alexandra. If you want to know all about Mindfulness and how you can get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week 2015, visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/mentalhealthawarenessweek

 


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