Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 13-19 May 2019 and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. Last year, they found that 30% of adults felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Having body image concerns is relatively common 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 linked with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders. Conversely, body satisfaction and appreciation are linked to better overall wellbeing and fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours.
Body image concerns can be influenced by a number of factors such as relationships with family and friends, peer pressures, and exposure to idealised or unrealistic bodies online.
How this affects children is a major cause for concern as 50% of mental health problems are established before the age of 14. In their report, the Mental Health Foundation highlights key recommendations on government policy, education, training and advertising standards to address the prevalence of body image contributing to mental health problems.
Family Care is proud to support the foundations’ cause. We know Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can help right now by promoting Mental Health Awareness Week to your friends and family and talking more openly about body image. The Mental Health Foundation have provided a list of ‘Tips for Individuals’ whose mental health may be affected by body image, which is a great place to start.
You can also share this article to your fans on social media and help us raise awareness together.
If you or someone you know is affected by mental health problems, we recommend making an appointment with your GP to discuss further. You can also seek help and advice from MIND, the professional Infoline open 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday. The number is 0300 123 3393.
Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery.
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