This conversation is about mental health. Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs.

Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem. If you have good mental health, you can:

• Make the most of your potential
• Cope with life
• Play a full part in your family, workplace, community, and among friends

Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘wellbeing’. Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down, stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into a more serious problem, and this could happen to any one of us. Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback, while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time.

Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages in your life. Unfortunately, stigma can be attached to mental health problems.This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much. Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it’s healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.

  1. Talk about your feelings
    Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
  1. Keep active
    Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better.
  1. Eat well
    What we eat may affect how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect.
  1. Drink sensibly
    We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
  1. Keep in touch
    Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life.
  1. Ask for help
    None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.
  1. Take a break
    A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.
  1. Do something you’re good at
    What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past?
  1. Accept who you are
    Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, and others cook fantastic meals.
  1. Care for others
    Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

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