Not Alone campaign

Not Alone campaign banner

The council, in partnership with the Slough Wellbeing Board, has launched #NotAlone, an initiative to raise awareness on the importance of looking after your mental health.

The aim of the campaign is to raise mental health awareness in Slough and the importance for everyone, whatever their age or situation, to ensure they take time to look after their own mental health.

#NotAlone is also promoting the Mind endorsed Five Ways to Wellbeing research by the New Economics Foundation, which outlines five straightforward steps everyone can do to look after themselves mentally. Read our guide to following these steps.

#NotAlone is additionally about reminding everyone they are ‘not alone’ and support is there, if it’s needed - people can seek advice, become a member of a group and more to help to address their situation.

Or if someone thinks they know someone who requires assistance, they can perhaps point them in the direction of one of the many local organisations and charities here for them.

#NotAlone wants to help people in the borough identify proactive ways to address their situation, focusing on what a person can do, instead of what they can’t.

#NotAlone hopes to play a part in ending the mental health stigma and normalising mental health too, as people should not feel the need to apologise for their situation or how they’re feeling.

Why everyone needs to look after their mental health

Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Our mental health can affect the way we think, feel and even act; as well as determine how we might handle situations, relate to others and make choices.
As your mental health can have such an impact on your life, it is so important to take time to look after it.

According to the NHS, approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

In addition, they found as many as one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

As the numbers above show, mental health issues affect so many of us and from a wide variety of situations.

You or someone you know could be affected and not even realise – especially if you or they have been coping for so long with it. But it is very important to remember support is out there if it’s needed.

Read on to see if you recognise any of the following signs in yourself or someone you know.

Who is affected?

There are many factors that can affect a person’s mental health, including biological factors (such as genes or brain chemistry), life experiences (such as trauma or abuse) and having a family history of mental health problems.

The four most common mental health disorders in the UK are depression, post traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder and anxiety. 

Spotting the signs

You or someone you know could be living with mental health problems. If you’re experiencing one or more of these, it could be a sign that you need to seek support:

  • an inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
  • eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • pulling away from people and usual activities
  • having low or no energy
  • feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • having unexplained aches and pains
  • feeling helpless or hopeless
  • smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
  • hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • thinking about harming yourself or others.

If you think a mental health issue could be causing you or someone you know distress, and perhaps professional help is needed, you should discuss your concerns with a GP, counsellor or a trusted person.

Additionally, there is Kooth, a free online mental health tool for children and young people in Slough. It provides online counselling and emotional well-being support, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop. The Mind website has lots of useful tips too.

Also check out our guide to following the Five Ways to Wellbeing. They outline five ways everyone, no matter a person’s age or situation, can ensure they are looking after themselves mentally.

Follow the campaign on Twitter, using the official hashtag #NotAlone.