Mental Health Awareness Week - Raising Awareness About Anxiety

by Bryan Woods

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 15th – 21st May.   The focus this year is on anxiety, and in particular the anxiety caused by the current cost of living crisis.



There is no doubt that this has caused a huge amount of worry and anxiety for people.   We can usually cope with small increases in the cost of food, fuel, and household bills.   But the recent massive price increases in all of these have been very challenging to deal with.

Apart from financial worries, there are many other life issues that can cause anxiety.   Among these are losing a job or starting a new one, work stress, exam pressures, health problems, and relationship issues. 

Our anxiety can also change over time or as our circumstances alter. For example, I am now more anxious about a long-term health issue than I am about money.

We all have short-term fears or worries. However, when anxiety extends over a long period it really impacts in a detrimental way on our mental health.

Anxiety is now one of the most common mental health issues.   Among the different types of anxiety is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). The NHS defines this as a “ …long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.

In England, 6 in 100 people will be diagnosed in any given week with generalised anxiety disorder, according to the mental health charity Mind.   The Mental Health Foundation has also found that less than 50% of people with generalised anxiety disorder access treatment.

As with any mental health issue, the earlier help is sought the easier it is in the long-term.   During Mental Health Awareness Week there is help available online from the Mental Health Foundation and Mind. 

The Mental Health Foundation organises Mental Health Awareness Week in association with Mind.   The Mental Health Foundation website gives information and tips on how to cope with anxiety.   There is also a link to Anxiety UK.   Established in 1970, this registered charity is run by and for those with anxiety.

Mind also have a very useful website that has information on money and mental health.   There is also an Infoline telephone number.   This service provides information and signposting.   (There are email and postal addresses too.).  In addition, there is a link to Side by Side, which is Mind’s online community, and a section signposting people to their local Mind.

I have personally had generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety for many years.   However, I have learnt how to manage and control my anxiety.   This has been partly through prescribed medication – but also by volunteering with Havant & East Hants Mind.   This has helped to dispel my social anxiety to some extent.   I have also learnt the benefits of breathing exercises and mindful meditation.   So it can be done!

Hammersley Homes are celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week with a Big Give match-funded campaign. £5,000 of match funds has been awarded to Hammersley Homes by the Big Give Kind to Mind fund. To benefit from this match-funded grant, we need to raise £5,000 of donations.   Any donation, of whatever amount, will be doubled to help us reach this target.  One donation, twice the impact!