What are mental health difficulties and what helps?

What are mental health difficulties?

The most common difficulties with mental health are those which affect our emotional wellbeing. These include depression or anxiety where people can experience symptoms such as:

  • profound sadness
  • lack of energy
  • unsettling agitation

It is important to ask for help, for example from your GP, if you are experiencing these.

Some people may also have very serious difficulties with their mental wellbeing. This may include feelings of sadness or anxiety going on for a long time, or which are overwhelming. For other people, they may have experiences where their sense of reality may be affected. They may hear voices or experience thoughts and beliefs which are not real.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these difficulties, it is very important to get help from a GP or reputable support organisations as soon as possible. 

Find support organisations for mental health

Some factors which can affect our mental wellbeing may be hard for us to control, such as if we lose a job. However, there are many things we can all do to help us to maintain our mental wellbeing and deal with the difficulties life can throw at us.

What helps us to keep mentally well?

There is evidence to suggest that there are key things we can all do to give ourselves the best chance of having positive mental wellbeing and developing the resilience to face life’s challenges. 

Many mental health charities now recommend techniques such as mindfulness, breathing exercises and grounding activities (that help you focus and feel grounded). Here are some examples:

Mindfulness resource on MIND website

Less Stress in 60 Seconds on SAMH website

Grounding Technique on Young Minds website

Breathing and relaxation exercises for stress on NHS.scot website

Five Steps to Wellbeing - MIND website

Read our useful guides

Cover of PDF file Looking After Mental Health at Work showing two men looking at work plansIn partnership with mental health charity Penumbra we have compiled two guides to accompany this web resource. These will help you to find ways to talk to your employer and support your own mental health at work. 

View PDF guide Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Apprentices

View PDF guide Looking after Mental Health at Work




Logo of mental health charity Penumbra

We are grateful to mental health charity Penumbra for providing advice and information on mental health for this resource. If you need support, you should contact your GP or professional mental-health support organisation.

Find support organisations for mental health