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New advice on how to tackle mental health issues

The current climate has brought mental health issues into the public eye. Thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, there is now a real dialogue beyond medication and meditation. Particularly for those isolating on their own, waiting for test results and too worried to walk down the road. But help is out there.

One thing I find is helpful is mindfulness. You focus on the here and now, rather than the past or future. It takes practise but you can train your brain to focus on your surroundings.

Mental health issues affect over 400 million people around the world and is of great cost to the economy due to productivity loss as well as health-related burden. The COVID-19 pandemic has already shown clear evidence of direct and indirect adverse effects on psychological and social wellbeing due to added stresses of unemployment, isolation, infection fears and worsening physical health. The evidence suggests that increased anxiety, depression, loneliness and insomnia are inevitable consequences of a pandemic, mirroring studies in China which have already reported elevated rates of these conditions.

Mindfulness is the ability of being fully present and aware in the moment. Achieving and practicing this ability has been associated with positive effects on cognition, workplace performance and a generally improved state of mental wellbeing.

Anna and a range of other panellists who include medical professionals and Alastair Campbell, will be debating re the above on July 14th at The Brain Forum (virtually). Anna is a television and radio presenter with a particular passion for mental health and emotional wellbeing. She is also an author, counsellor, life coach and is ambassador of the mental health charity Mind.

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Suzi

Suzi

Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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