Column: "Why our I'm using my own personal experiences to help others with their mental wellbeing"

Mental health. What is it? Who does this affect? I too had little understanding until I lost my husband to suicide in 2017.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 3:48 pm
Worksop Guardian new mental wellbeing columnist, Vicky Waring

Did you know that Bassetlaw has the highest figures for suicide across the whole of Nottinghamshire?

With several definitions of mental health, I feel this one is a good sum up.

It is defined in national policy as ‘a positive state of mind and body, feeling safe and able to cope, with a sense of connection with people, communities and the wider environment’.

Remember, mental health is not a negative word. Just like physical health and is a descriptor of all things good.

And again, just like physical ill health, we all too can experience mental ill health.

For me, I prefer to use the term mental wellbeing to describe the positive state of mental health.

I hope that it will help to keep your attention and desire to want to keep reading and make a change.

Welcome to the new monthly mental wellbeing column.

My name is Vicky Waring, a resident of Bassetlaw who, since losing my husband to suicide, is using my own personal experience to try and help raise the awareness and reduce the stigma of all that is associated with this.

Here are some figures I am sure you have heard before.

One in four adults will experience a mental health problem each year and one in six will report experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week, with the number of people reporting mental health problems going up in recent years.

Many of you will probably have some acknowledgment of the stigma associated with mental health.

My hope is that as a community we can put an end to this and make our towns more mental wellbeing friendly.

So what better time to launch this new column then with this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week which is from May 10 to 16.

Founded 21 years ago and hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, it’s all about starting the conversation.

The theme this year is nature, one of my favourite ways to support our mental wellbeing.

But why nature?

The Mental Health Foundation in their recent research found that during the pandemic millions of us turned to nature and in particular went out for walks. It was one of the top strategies for managing our mental wellbeing.

For me, walking has become a key focus of my mental wellbeing and having two energetic dogs, I don’t have much of a choice!

We have some beautiful walks, parks and nature reserves right on our doorstep that we can visit.

Can you recall a time you turned to nature for a sense of relief and relaxation to support yourself mentally?

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Sam Jackson, editor.

If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing or know someone who is then these charities can help.

Samaritans: 116 123, MIND 0300 1233393, Anxiety UK 03444775774, CALM 0800 585858, Rethink Mental Illness 0300 5000927 and YoungMinds 0800 802 5544