A good way to begin thinking about improving your mental health and wellbeing is to visit your GP. If you have been feeling low for some time or have recently noticed changes in the way you think and feel then you may be experiencing some of the most common symptoms of poor mental health. These include:

  • loss of appetite
  • feeling low
  • Feeling constantly anxious or worrying
  • thinking negative thoughts about yourself
  • irritability or moodiness
  • finding it harder than usual to concentrate
  • not enjoying your life as much as you once did
  • finding day-to-day life difficult (not feeling up to washing or eating, for example)
  • trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • seeing or hearing things that other people do not see or hear

Although it can be daunting to speak openly with a professional about these common thoughts and feelings, it can be the first step towards building and maintaining better mental health.

Your GP can ask you questions which help you to speak in greater detail about what you’re experiencing to help you both to better understand what you’re going through.

  • They may offer you treatment including a referral for free talking therapies or in some cases medication.
  • They may also suggest some lifestyle changes which have been proven to help people to manage their own mental health.
  • They can arrange to meet with you again to see how you’re doing and they can refer you onto more specialist services if that’s something you both feel would be helpful.

If you feel worried about your mental health or are considering taking your own life, you can call your GP surgery and arrange to speak to someone immediately, or alternatively the Samaritans offer completely confidential emotional support 24 hours per day. Phone 116 123 for free or email jo@samaritans.org.uk