Submitted by hannah.roderick on 14 May 2019 - 8:51pm
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 13-19 May 2019. The theme this year is Body Image; how we think and feel about our bodies.
How does body image affect mental health?
Having body image concerns is a relatively common experience and is not a mental health problem in and of itself; however, it can be a risk factor for mental health problems. Research has found that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders.
Conversely, body satisfaction and appreciation has been linked to better overall wellbeing and fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours. Though feeling unsatisfied with our bodies and appearance is often more common among young women, body image concerns are relevant from childhood through to later life and affect both women and men.
What can we do?
Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies and the Mental Health Foundation's report highlights key recommendations for:
- Effective regulation of how body image is portrayed.
- The need for commitment from social media companies to play a key role in promoting body kindness.
- Taking a public health approach to body image by training frontline health and education staff.
- Individually being more aware of how we can take care of ourselves and others in relation to body image.
What's happening locally?
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week in Middlesbrough, BBC Tees and Men Tell Health are hosting a 'Super Speakeasy' evening. It’s a chance for people who have experienced mental health problems, their partners and families, and those who work in mental health to get together and chat about the work being done in Teesside, North Yorkshire and County Durham. It will take place on Friday 17th May, from 4pm to 6pm at Off The Ground Coffee, with soft drinks and nibbles provided.
If your organisation is hosting an event as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, create a login for our website and share the details for free.