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Mental health problems, sometimes called mental illness or mental disorders, covers to a broad range of problems with different symptoms. Find out about spotting the signs of mental health problems and how to get help.
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year (NHS England, 2020). Mental health problems, sometimes called mental illness or mental disorders, covers a broad range of problems with different symptoms. However, they are generally characterised by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviours and relationships with others.
Often, mental health problems are formally diagnosed when they are long-lasting and have a significant effect on a person’s day-to-day life. However, it’s important to remember that not all mental health problems get diagnosed and that diagnosis is not a requirement for someone to receive help and support with their mental health.
Examples of mental health problems include:
You can find more information on the Mind website about these plus other types of mental health problems and details of where to find help with them.
There are many factors that can contribute to mental health problems and, because everyone is different, some things may affect certain people more than others. Common factors in mental health problems include:
Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviours can be an early warning sign of a mental health problem:
Mental health problems are common but you don’t need to deal with them alone. If you are worried about your mental health, or about someone else’s, there are lots of places that can offer you help and support.
We all need help sometimes. You don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental illness, you don’t even have to know exactly what’s wrong. Whenever you are ready to talk to someone, you can.
If you are worried about your mental health, or about someone else’s, there are lots of places that can offer you help and support.
You can also speak to your friends, family, a trusted adult, GP, a Brook service or another healthcare professional.
Helping someone else
It can be hard to know what to do when someone you care about is going through a difficult time. Read guidance created by young people on helping a friend or relative with their mental health.
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