It has been really encouraging to see the coverage that mental health awareness week is generating. The Mental Health Foundation and Mind are running some great campaigns - particularly Doing Good Does You Good which promotes the value of volunteering. The saying is true - I find volunteering fun, rewarding and puts me in a more positive mood. It can also be a way of giving back something, when as a patient you have received so much support!
Mental health is a big problem and awareness is growing, but one area I hope to see mentioned is the mental health consequences for patients with long-term conditions. Often ignored by medical professionals pre-occupied with the physical condition, the depression and anxiety can build up and end up making the physical condition worse. I hope that doctors become better at taking into account mental health when they talk to any patient about their condition(s). Any health change we go through is accompanied by an emotion - some of those emotions need professional help and doctors are ideally placed to signpost to that.