May 14, 2019 Blog

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 – #BeBodyKind

14 May 2019

Monica Lennon MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport

Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to reflect.

We all have mental health, and we can all go through periods of experiencing poor mental health.

Yet although the stigma around the discussion of mental health is reducing –we still have a long way to go before everyone can talk openly about mental health, and access support, without the fear of being judged.

And as a willingness to seek help grows, we also need to make sure that our NHS and public services are properly resourced to give people the help they need.

It’s unacceptable that thousands of young people continue to have to wait months and months to access treatment, and in some cases are still turned away.

That’s why Scottish Labour will keep fighting for more funding for our NHS and for the plan for school-based counselling to be properly resourced and equally accessible for young people across the country.

Because all of us – and young people especially – face so many pressures in today’s world.

Smartphones mean that instant access to social media and work emails are always within arm’s reach – often from when we first wake up in the morning until our heads hit the pillow at night.

That’s why the recent findings of a study from the Mental Health Foundation, that one in seven adults in Scotland have had suicidal thoughts over their physical appearance, should be a wake-up call to us all.

Social media can be a platform for so much positivity, but the expectation to be always ‘switched on’ is harming our health.

Over a fifth of adults and forty per cent of teenagers admit that images on social media have caused them to worry about their image.

That’s why the focus on body image during Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 is so important.

It’s a vital reminder that, if you’re feeling down, you’re not alone in feeling that way – and there is help available.

Take the opportunity this week to chat with family, friends or colleagues about what affects your mental health and wellbeing – and remember to #BeBodyKind