Mental Health Awareness Week asks, ‘how do we think and feel about our bodies?’

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 (13-19 May) – which has the theme of Body Image this year – the Mental Health Foundation is encouraging people to talk about how we think and feel about our bodies.

To join in the conversation, employees at Southdown have opened up and shared their own experiences and thoughts.

"There have been different factors that have affected my body image - pregnancy, relationships, reaching 40, and now social media"

It’s so pernicious. It’s everywhere – there’s a spoken and sometimes unspoken, very defined, body image ideal that’s put forward"

Two colleagues have also recorded podcasts sharing their thoughts about body image – listen here. 

Our mental health services, which include Wellbeing Centres, a Recovery College and specialist employment support, are also hosting and involved in a range of activities across Sussex to promote good mental wellbeing and support available.     

Lynne Thomas, lead for Southdown’s mental health services, says,It’s so important that Mental Health Awareness Week is focussing on body image. How we think and feel about our body image physically impacts so much on our mental health, from a young age and throughout our life to when we get older.

"Talking about body image and mental health increases our understanding about the link between the two and helps to dismantle the idea of an ideal body image.  We are much, much more than our physical image.  I hope this week’s activities inspire and encourage people to celebrate all of who we are and see beyond the surface.”    

Over the next seven days, we will be sharing stories, interviews and podcasts @SouthdownHA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reflect the work Southdown does to address mental health challenges, and to help kick-start a conversation about body image. This is a deeply personal topic for many of us. Please feel welcome to join in the conversation and share your own experiences and thoughts, where you feel comfortable to do so.