World Health Day

Mental Health Awareness

World Health Day takes place on 7th April 2016 and this year’s theme is diabetes. This is a highly relevant theme for people with mental health problems, as there is a direct link between mental ill-health and diabetes.

Many people with mental health problems are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Physical health complications are a common cause of having a diagnosed mental health condition.

However, diabetes is treatable and if you have a mental health condition, it is imperative you talk to your community mental health team about having regular health checks to check for signs of conditions such as diabetes.

In 2008, an estimated 347 million people in the world had diabetes and the prevalence is growing, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, gives us the energy that we need to live. If it cannot get into the cells to be burned as energy, sugar builds up to harmful levels in the blood.

There are 2 main forms of the diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes typically make none of their own insulin and therefore require insulin injections to survive. People with type 2 diabetes, the form that comprises some 90% of cases, usually produce their own insulin, but not enough or they are unable to use it properly.

A large proportion of diabetes cases are preventable. Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes.

As ever, the issue comes back to improving one’s mental wellbeing as well as physical health through healthy eating and regular exercise to prevent such conditions from taking hold. Anything from small changes in diet, eating more protein in meals such as oily fish and eating lots of green vegetables, to improving fitness through joining a gym or taking up swimming,  for example.

This World Health Day, let’s all focus on our health and wellbeing and keep abreast of regular physical health checks to avoid developing such conditions or to spot them and take charge in self-management to arrest the disease.

Our Recovery College Greenwich has been running a series of Expert Patient Programme courses on managing diabetes for students. If you receive a diagnosis of diabetes it is vital you liaise with your GP and health professionals over expert training in self-management of the condition.

Our mental health support workers can provide clients with health and wellbeing advice and support to improve diet and exercise regimes, as well as emotional support should a client develop the condition of diabetes.

Bridge is committed to promoting health and wellbeing in our staff and clients and will do all it can to raise awareness of health issues and implement ways in which to improve our wellbeing.

Bridge offers support  to anyone suffering from mental health illnesses. We have programs that will improve your wellbeing.

Contact us at Bridge to find out more.

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12 hours ago
Vulnerable veterans of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq living in supported housing at the UK’s largest barracks are set to lose help with #mentalhealth problems, triggering fears of a return to homelessness and lost lives. #bridgesupport BridgeMH photo
1 day ago
Delays in discharging #mentalhealth patients were highlighted in a recent Care Quality Commission report at St Thomas' Hospital following an unannounced inspection. It acknowledged the increase in both demand and complexity of cases since the pandemic. BridgeMH photo
4 days ago
Results from our Forensic Support Services show ex-offenders with #mentalhealth problems thrive in a community setting, and with the right frameworks in place, community mental health services can be safe, successful, and cost-effective. #bridgesupport BridgeMH photo
5 days ago
With the right experienced support, there is an alternative for people in an acute #mentalhealth crisis who would otherwise require hospital admission. Could our dedicated Bridge Back Home Team get you home? #bridgesupport
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6 days ago
A decline in vital life skills and a diminished capacity to live independently are just some of the repercussions of residing in expensive hospital #mentalhealth units for far longer than necessary. Our 24-hour support offers an alternative pathway. BridgeMH photo
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The NHS was told all serious #mentalhealth patients need their own rooms 20 years ago, but over 1,000 beds remain in dormitory-style wards in use today; compromising patient privacy, sleep, and safety. #MentalHealthMatters BridgeMH photo

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