One in 20 people will experience anxiety each year

Mental health problems can affect the way we think, feel and behave. They affect around one in four people in Britain, and range from common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, to more rare problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Most people know someone who has experienced a mental health problem. They can happen to anyone, at any time. And it’s likely that, when you find a combination of self-care, treatment and support that works for you, you will get better.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in the UK – it’s thought that around one in 20 people will experience anxiety each year.

Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, says: “The reasons for experiencing anxiety vary from person to person, but might include having low self-esteem, trying to take on lots of different responsibilities or past and childhood experiences.

“Many people wait too long before seeing their GP, discounting social anxiety as just day-to-day stress. But it’s not the same as being ‘a bit shy’ and it’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you feel like your anxiety is interfering with your ability to do the things you normally would.

“If you feel that you or someone you know may have anxiety it is important to speak to someone, such as your GP or friend or family member, as soon as possible so you are not alone in dealing with it and can get the right help and support.”

Tips for dealing with anxiety

Tell someone

If you feel that you may have anxiety, speak to a friend or a professional such as a counsellor.

Exercise and eating well

Exercise is good for your mind as well as your body. Regular exercise will lift your mood, help you sleep better, and give you more energy and it’s also proven to be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Make sure you get a balanced and healthy diet including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as these are proven to lift mood.

Sleeping well

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important contributors to good mental health and not getting enough can affect our mental wellbeing and quality of life.

Online support

Lots of people also find online forums helpful, particularly if they are unable to confide in friends or don’t have strong social networks. We would encourage those people to visit online peer support networks like Mind’s Elefriends website (www.elefriends.org.uk) where people can discuss their problems with others who are going through similar experiences and talk about potential solutions

Mind helplines
  • Mind Infoline – 0300 123 3393 Info on mental health problems, what treatment and support is available to you (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
  • www.mind.org.uk/information-support
  • info@mind.org.uk