Get the Facts and Help Yourself and Others
Reliable advice on mental health is invaluable. At Rethink Mental Illness we provide independent, accredited information through our helpline and website. Today Laura from our advice team (pictured) writes about how getting timely information can be the first step to supporting some with recovery.
Help yourself and others by arming yourself with up to date information on what it is like to live with mental illness. There has undoubtedly been a positive shift in the way that mental health is viewed. It is spoken about a lot more openly and there is an increased awareness about the impact of mental illness. But this Mental Health Awareness Week, we are focusing on turning increased awareness into action and today specifically about turning increased awareness into knowledge.
Rethink Mental Illness runs a helpline that gives people practical, impartial advice about mental illness. Our advisers have in-depth knowledge about a wide range of mental health issues and we have used that expertise to write factsheets.
As we have seen with physical illness, as stigma breaks down and knowledge increases, people become more aware of when to seek help and what steps they can take to live full lives with mental illness. However, to achieve this we all need to arm ourselves with up to date information about what living with mental illness means.
A good starting point might be having a look at one of our factsheets on mental health conditions. For example, 1 in 100 people in the UK are diagnosed with schizophrenia but this is still a commonly misunderstood illness, with many people still believing it means having a split personality, or that people with schizophrenia are dangerous. Read our factsheet to get reliable information and bust the myths here.
Last year our supporters read over 3.8 million pages advice pages on our website, and a further 800,000 people downloaded a factsheet. It is an invaluable place to learn more about mental illness.
Or how about having a read through our factsheet on the Mental Health Act? This is a law that says that people can be kept in hospital for the safety or themselves or others if they are experiencing a mental illness. This is often known as being sectioned, but this is an outdated term. Look at our factsheet here to find out what it really means to be detained under the Mental Health Act. People with mental illnesses often take medication to manage their symptoms. These medications can be really helpful and for some people are the difference between life and death, but they often come with serious side effects. Read our factsheet on antipsychotic medication to understand what someone with an illness like schizophrenia might be experiencing in order to stay well.
Are you worried about your own mental health? Or are you worried that someone close to you might be experiencing a mental illness? Then read our factsheets about what to do if you’re worried about your own mental health or someone else’s. This will give you some practical ideas about what to do or say, and what kind of support you can expect from your GP and other health professionals.
We have other 100 factsheets on a range of topics - get the information you need by visiting our Advice and Information pages on our website today!