Did you know that one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life?

We all expect to get a cold or sore throat from time to time, but when it comes to the way we feel emotionally, it can be hard to recognise or admit that we're not feeling 100%.

Mental health problems are common and can happen to anybody, regardless of age, race, gender or social background. We all have times when we feel down, stressed or frightened. Mental health is just like physical health. It can be good or bad, lead to problems that last for a few weeks or ones that need to be managed over a lifetime.

People are often anxious about discussing their mental health, worried about what people might think, or unaware of who to turn to. Most of us would simply not feel as comfortable telling friends and family about having a mental health problem, as they would saying they had a physical illness.

You should see your GP if you feel like your mental health is affecting your daily life, relationships, work or causing you distress.

However the good news is that just as you can do things to improve your physical health there is more and more research showing us how certain things we do can help our moods, reduce the risk of depression, strengthen relationships, keep us healthy and even add years to our lives!

Could you follow the 5 ways to wellbeing and improve your mental health?

  1. Connect with the people around you – close relationships with friends and family can add up to 7 years to our lives! Have a conversation, pass the time of day, make time for a chat or a cuppa with a neighbour.

  2. Be active – Discover a physical activity you enjoy and suits your level of mobility and fitness, because exercise makes you feel good and can improve your mood

  3. Take notice – Savour the moment, whether walking to work, around a local park, eating your lunch or talking to friends, will help you appreciate what matters to you.

  4. Keep learning – Enjoy achieving a new challenge and boost your confidence by trying something new or rediscovering an old interest.

  5. Give – Join a volunteer group or just do something nice for someone – it can be incredibly rewarding and a good way to connect.

You can find out more about how to look after your mental health or find services near you here