This week we hear from both Tom Jones and Rio Ferdinand about grief and how talking helped them, as well as the mindful benefits of baking and some of the issues facing university students.
Legendary singer Tom Jones has been in the news a lot this week after admitting he turned to therapy after the death of his wife Linda. Jones spoke really openly about some of the things he was struggling with, like bad dreams and depression:
“When my wife passed away, God bless her, I didn’t know if I’d make it. There were days when I felt I couldn’t get up. You don’t want to get out of bed to start with,” he told The Independent.
Luckily, his son stepped in and recommended he try therapy, which he admits “helped tremendously.”
There are all kinds of DIY methods that people use to stop patterns of worrying or reduce anxiety – like exercise, gratitude lists or taking a long bath. But there’s another pastime that professionals think might help – and the best bit is you get to eat cake at the end of it!
A report in Metro suggests that the act of baking – preparing food, following instructions, getting creative – can have a hugely positive impact on your mental health:
“Baking actually requires a lot of full attention. You have to measure, focus physically on rolling out dough. If you’re focusing on smell and taste, on being present with what you’re creating, that act of mindfulness in that present moment can also have a result in stress reduction.” said Donna Pincus, an Associate Professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University.
Although this might not work for everyone – especially those living with very severe anxiety or stress – it’s good for those with mild mental health issues to find new ways to take their well-being into their own hands.
Rio Ferdinand has been speaking out in the news, and on a number of different TV and radio shows, in recent weeks about how difficult he found it when his wife passed away.
He admits that the grief was unbearable at times, but talking with friends and professionals about how he was feeling helped tremendously:
“I think in these situations, you need to have the ability to be able to get your feelings out. I think it doesn’t just help you, it helps all the people close, because they then feel more comfortable, because everyone just feels awkward,” Rio said in a new video for Heads Together – the new initiative set up by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
He says that talking to people felt like a “release” after months and months of struggling.
The president of NUS Scotland has spoken out to the media, saying that the number of students who experience mental distress while studying at university is on the rise and more needs to be done about it before students drop out of their courses.
Many universities do offer mental health services, but the problem is there are such big waiting lists that students have left and headed home at the end of term by the time their turn comes around.
There’s a lot of talk at the moment about removing the stigma around mental health problems – we’re very passionate about this ourselves! But it’s hard to get people talking and really change perceptions in the long run when so many don’t know enough about the ins and outs of mental health problems – especially if they’re never experienced things like stress and depression themselves.
BBC Newsround has created a series of videos that aim to get people talking about mental health and better understanding what’s going on when someone says they’re struggling. It’s a great guide for all kinds of people – from relatives who you need to explain a mental health problem to, to kids who may not know much about talking about their mental health at all.
Every week we’ll be bringing you a fresh summary of the top stories concerned with mental health, wellbeing and productivity, which provide us with insights into how we can better tackle the mental health issues that affect us all.
Keep checking back to our blog every week to find out what you’ve been missing. You can also follow UK Therapy Guide on Twitter for the last news: @UKTherapyGuide