Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019. The theme for 2019 is Body Image and how we think and feel about our bodies.
According to Mental Health Foundation Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and directly impact our mental health.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Mental Health Foundation are publishing results of a UK-wide survey on body image and mental health. They will highlight how people can experience body issues differently, including people of different ages, genders, ethnicities and sexualities.
According to Mental Health Foundation “30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people.”
The way in which our experiences and environment affect our body image will be different for everyone. However, overall, the research suggests that body image can be influenced by:
- our relationships with our family and friends
- how our family and peers feel and speak about bodies and appearance
- exposure to images of idealised or unrealistic bodies through media or social media
- pressure to look a certain way or to match an ‘ideal’ body type
Join in the conversation – get the nation talking about body image and mental health. Read Body Image tips from Mental Health Foundation.
At home, parents and carers can lead by example by modelling positive behaviour around body image, eating healthily and staying active.
You can: praise children for qualities unrelated to physical appearance; avoid criticising your own or other people’s appearance; and avoid placing unrealistic expectations on how people look. In addition, you can support children to express their emotions and communicate their feelings about their bodies.
One way we can have a positive influence on our body image is by looking after our physical health, which in turn promotes our positive mental health. We’re gearing up to mark #MHAW on Sunday 19 May.
Join the Foundation and sign up to cycle for positive mental health on Sunday 19 May in the St Albans Charity Cycle Ride (SACCR).
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