Celia Richardson, the Mental Health Foundation's Director of Communications said: "We don't talk about our mental health. We share information and advice about the vitamin supplements we take, how we deal with minor ailments, and how we stay in shape. But we don't talk about how we stay well mentally, how we cope with stress, and what keeps us feeling balanced and positive. This is one of the reasons people who develop common mental health problems feel isolated and alone. They just don't realise how many people have felt the same as them.
Anti-depressant prescriptions have almost trebled in the past twelve years, and rates of anxiety and depression have been on the rise among teenagers for 25 years. Around half of people with depression do not go to their family doctor about it. There's a wealth of untapped knowledge out there among ordinary people about how they try to stave off common mental illnesses like depression, and how they stay well. Fear of the stigma attached to mental illness means people are often reluctant to discuss it. But this means we don't find out from our friends, families and colleagues all sorts of useful coping strategies. It also means we don't get to talk about our more difficult feelings and get the reassurance we need."
Five top tips for good mental health:
� Talk about your feelings - sharing your feelings with others and being listened to can help enormously.
� Ask for help - if you think you may need professional support, see your GP and be clear about how you feel. Think about seeing a counsellor. Talking therapies can be useful in helping people to work through their problems.
� Keep active - physical activity is a proven way to keep mentally well. Exercise makes us feel better immediately through the release of uplifting chemicals into our bodies. It can also be a great way to meet people!
� Eat well - a balanced diet is essential to maintaining good mental health. A growing body of research shows direct links between what we eat and how we feel.
� Drink sensibly - even though it makes us feel good in the short term, alcohol is actually a depressant. Sensible drinking is key, particularly when we are feeling low or anxious.
� Keep in touch with friends and loved ones - close relationships have a huge impact on how we feel on a daily basis so manage them the best way you know how.
Did you know? 10 Mental Health Facts to make you think�
� In the UK, there are more suicides on Mondays than on any other day of the week.
� 1 in 10 people will have some form of depression at any one time.
� By the year 2020, it is estimated that depression will be second only to heart disease as an international disease and disability burden.
� Around half of all people with depression do not go to their GP. Two-thirds of those who do see their GP present with physical ailments or sleeping problems rather than psychological symptoms.
� In 2002 / 2003, the economic and social cost of mental health problems in England stood at �77 billion.
� Among teenagers, rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years.
� 40 per cent of older people living in care homes are depressed.
� Approximately 2 million people of working age in Britain are currently taking psychiatric drugs.
� Job applicants with a diagnosis of diabetes are significantly more likely to be offered a position than applicants with a diagnosis of depression, all other factors being equal.
� One in ten children aged 5 to 15 experience clinically defined mental health problems.
World Mental Health Day was founded by the World Federation for Mental Health and is celebrated every year to raise awareness about mental health around the world.
Some of the most common mental health problems include:
� Stress - Stress occurs when we are placed under abnormal pressure either at work or in our personal lives. In short doses most people can handle stress. It can also be positive and help us perform better in challenging situations. But left unchecked, prolonged, chronic stress can be debilitating often leading to problems such as anxiety and depression.
� Anxiety - Anxiety can be described as an overwhelming feeling of discomfort or unease. At the same time that you feel anxious you may also experience the symptoms of a panic attack: physical changes such as sweating, a racing heart, palpitations or rapid breathing. 1 in 10 people experience anxiety on a regular basis and it can be severely limiting.
� Depression - Depression can affect anyone. It is usually related to upsetting life events, such as bereavement, relationship difficulties, physical illness, or job or money worries. Symptoms associated with depression can include low mood, loss of interest and pleasure, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, tearfulness, poor concentration, fatigue, reduced or increased appetite and weight, sleep problems and anxiety. People with severe depression may plan or attempt suicide.
� Eating disorders - The most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. These affect about 2 per cent of adult females and some men. Both are severe mental health problems which can lead to serious physical disease and fatality.
� Self-harm - Like anorexia, self-harm has a higher prevalence in teenagers and young people. It affects approximately half a million people across the UK. It can become an habitual coping or self management strategy during times of mental distress. Self-harm is often associated with depression, low self-esteem and a poor physical self image. There is also a strong association with sexual abuse.
� Dementia - Dementia a disease of ageing. About 1 in 20 people over the age of 65 are affected, and 1 in 5 people over the age of 80. Alzheimer's Disease is the most common form. People with dementia can become confused, leading to restless or repetitive behaviour, which can be very distressing for everyone concerned. They may also seem irritable, tearful or agitated. They may develop other problems such as depression, disturbed sleep, aggression, inappropriate sexual behaviour and incontinence.
The Mental Health Foundation uses research and practical projects to help people survive, recover from and prevent mental health problems. We work to influence policy, including government at the highest levels. And we use our knowledge to raise awareness and to help tackle the stigma attached to mental illness. We reach millions of people every year through our media work, information booklets and online services.