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Mental Health Awareness Week focuses on body image

The local NHS are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) and the topic for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.
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Last year the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people.

People of any age can feel pressure to look, dress an act in a certain way, creating a daily anxiety and low self-esteem. But there’s no need to feel alone with this and help available in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Personalised Eating Disorder Support (PEDS) is a third sector organisation run by nurses, which focuses on helping people with eating disorders and body image concerns, and is based at Boroughbury Medical Centre, Peterborough. They offer individuals, their families and carers support, they also carry out work in schools and workplaces around body image. Their education focus is on how to create a positive body image and address body bullying. Although they are based in Peterborough, they help people all over the county. PEDS can be contacted on 01733 391537 to arrange an appointment or chat to someone.

There are also other ways to get help in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough:

  • Psychological Wellbeing Service - psychological therapy help for people experiencing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Call 0300 300 0055 and http://www.cpft.nhs.uk/services/pws/psychological-wellbeing-service.htm
  • Speak to your GP – if you need someone neutral to speak to about how you’re feeling, then start with your GP.
  • NHS 111 option 2 – for anyone in a mental health crisis call NHS 111 and press option 2. This service is open all day and all night, every day of the year.

 

Dr Emma Tiffin, Mental Health Lead at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, said “Body image can affect anyone at any age, and impacts directly on our mental health. From an early we are exposed to multiple images showing us what we should look like and sadly some people may be teased for how we look by family and friends. These can stay with us a lifetime and create embarrassment, misery or even disgust about our own bodies.

“This can cause anxiety (sometimes called body dysmorphic disorder), depression, low self-esteem, and can affect people’s day to day life. If you are feeling low about your appearance, then it’s important you seek help.”

15/05/2019