The theme of this year’s awareness raising week is ‘body image’ – how we think and feel about our bodies. Just over 34% of people feel down about the way they look according to recent research. Being unhappy about the image we project to the world has a big impact on our mental health and wellbeing and in some cases can lead to more serious conditions.
Body image can be affected by a number of things including:
- Our relationships with our family and friends
- How our family and peers feel and speak about bodies and appearance
- Exposure to images of idealised or unrealistic bodies through media or social media
- Pressure to look a certain way or to match an ‘ideal’ body type
Other issues can also have an impact on body image and mental health that are specific to certain factors and experiences, such as:
- Long-term health conditions
- Cultural differences around body ideals
- Gender and sexuality
According to research carried out by the Mental Health Foundation with YouGov in March this year, one in five adults (20%) felt shame about the way they look, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image. You can read a case study by a 2gether service user who has shared her experience of body dysmorphia here.
You can also join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MHAW2019 and #BeBodyKind. Events and activities are taking place across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire in support of MHAW 2019 which runs until Sunday 19 May.
Wednesday 15 May
- The Communications Team will be at Hereford Library from 10am to 4pm.
- The Social Inclusion Team will be at Tewkesbury Borough Council offices.
In Hereford at the Council Foyer the info cart will be manned at lunchtime from 12pm – 14.30pm
Thursday 16 May
- The Social Inclusion Team will be at Tesco in Stow-on-the-Wold.
- Hereford Library – information stand manned from 11am – 2.30pm by 2gether’s Community Older Adults Mental Health Team.
Friday 17 May
- Hereford Library – information stand manned 11am – 2.30pm by 2gether’s Community Older Adults Mental Health Team.
- There will be a multi-agency information stand outside the Shambles Market in Stroud from 9am to 2pm.
- The Information Bus will be at Ebley Mill from 9am to 1:30pm and Nailsworth Bus Station between 3pm and 5pm.