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Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 turns spotlight on stress

Wednesday 16th May 2018
This years Mental Health Awareness Week has been launched, with hundreds of fundraising initiatives taking place to inspire conversations about stress.
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    Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place once again this week (May 14th to 20th), with this year's event to focus on the topic of stress.

    Organised annually by the Mental Health Foundation since 2001, the national week of awareness is designed to raise the profile of mental health and associated problems, inspiring conversations and action to promote the message of better mental health for all.

    Stress has been chosen as the topic for the 2018 event, reflecting the growing prevalence of this problem among people in the UK. A survey commissioned by the foundation to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week has shown that 74 per cent of British people have felt so stressed they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope at some point over the past year.

    Of the 4,619 people surveyed, 16 per cent said they had self-harmed as a result of feelings of stress, demonstrating the significant risk this problem can pose to people's overall wellbeing.

    This is why hundreds of events are taking place around the country this week to spark healthy dialogue on the topics of stress and mental health, with schools, businesses, community groups and private citizens all hosting fundraisers in support of the Mental Health Foundation.

    The main national fundraising event at the centre of this year's campaign is called Curry & Chaat, an initiative that encourages people to get together with their friends and enjoy a curry together to raise funds for the charity. The Mental Health Foundation hopes that this will prove more popular with men than the its existing flagship community event, Tea & Talk.

    Mental Health Foundation director Isabella Goldie said: "Individually, we need to understand what is causing us personal stress and learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us.

    "We also need to change at a societal level. This includes ensuring that employers treat stress and mental health problems as seriously as physical safety."

    Written by Angela Newbury

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