MyMind, the centre for mental well-being, released its annual report for 2016 yesterday, showing an increase of 21% in the numbers of people availing of its services.
The centre, which provides fast and easy access to counselling and psychotherapy services in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, celebrated 10 years of service in 2016. A team of over 80 health professionals offer 1500 appointments a month in over 10 languages, including Polish, German and Spanish, as well as many others.
Speaking to The Circular, Communications Officer Carmen Bryce said of the 21% increase:
“Overall, an increase in the number of people accessing our services is a positive thing. It shows that there is more awareness around mental health support and that the visibility around our own accessibility is growing. It also shows that the fight against stigma is working, slowly but surely. It is fortunately becoming more normal for someone to ask for help and with MyMind, the help is there when someone does reach out.”
Discussing stigma and the work that is still to be done, Ms. Bryce continued:
“We need to keep the conversation about mental health going…It’s important to keep on driving the message that it’s OK not to feel OK, and that everyone struggles with their mental health at some stage in their lives.”
When asked about some of the best ways we can look after our mental well-being, Ms Bryce pointed out some easy steps:
1. Take care of your body
There’s a lot of truth in the phrase ‘Healthy body, healthy mind’. It doesn’t have to cost the world to eat well and be mindful of getting your 5 a day into your diet! Don’t smoke or drink excessively. It’s just not worth it. Moderate exercise is proven to be good for your mind as well as your body. Catch up on those zzzzs – 8 hours sleep a night can make all the difference to your mental well-being.
2. Avoid unrealistic goals
We all want to do well in life, but putting yourself under enormous pressure to achieve unrealistic goals can be very damaging to your mental well-being. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high and challenging yourself, but be realistic and always put your health first.
3. Manage stress
Stress will always be a part of life, but how we deal with it is within our control. If you’re feeling stressed, there’s lot of things you can do such as taking a walk, write down your thoughts, practice yoga or mindful breathing, have a laugh with friends – anything that will stop your blood pressure from climbing!
4. Keep talking
Don’t bottle it up. Reach out to someone your trust – chances are they’ll be incredibly understanding and may have even gone through a similar experience.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it
You’re never alone and there is always someone who can help.
Further information on appointments is available at mymind.org.
Fees are based upon employment status. Students can have a session at MyMind for €20. Clients self-refer and appointments are within 72 hours.