Gp Urges People To Prioritise Their Mental Health

Issue 64

A GP at Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital is urging people to prioritise their mental wellbeing and to seek help via their GP surgery, after new figures predict a ris

The Centre for Mental Health has predicted

that up to 10 million people, almost a fifth

of England’s population, will need new or

additional mental health support as a direct

result of the pandemic. The shocking statistic

re-emphasises the need for better mental

health awareness and discussion, beyond the

official awareness days.

As we go through what is left of this year and into

the next, many will be feeling the mental strain of

the pandemic, whilst others may be experiencing

the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder


SAD is often linked to reduced exposure to

sunlight during shorter winter days and can

present itself in similar ways to depression, with

symptoms including persistent low mood and

interrupted sleep.

Dr Pip Singh, GP at Nuffield Health Newcastle, is

urging people to seek help if they’re experiencing

persistent low mood and other symptoms

associated with mental ill health, as the right

diagnosis can determine the most effective

treatment options.

There are several ways people can look after their

mental wellbeing on a day-to-day basis, Dr Singh

shares his top tips below.

Maintain a good diet

Although junk food may appear appealing at the

time, the long term implications of persistent

over indulgence can lead to weight gain and

other health-related problems such as type two

diabetes and heart disease.

Do some cardiovascular exercise

This can be from very basic home-based exercises

such as short walks to more intense exercises

such as running, swimming and gym-based

training. Alternatively, there’s a variety of guided

home workouts available online. The goal is to

increase your heart rate, as by doing so the brain

will release endorphins and they can have a

positive impact on your mood.

Find time for your hobbies and interests

If your hobbies have been temporarily suspended

due to the pandemic, could you look for a new

hobby or interest? Is there something you have

always wanted to do, that you may now have

time for?

Maintain alcohol within sensible limits

The government guidelines suggest 14 units

of alcohol a week for both men and women.

One unit is the equivalent to a small glass

of wine, one measured shot of spirit or a

half pint of normal strength beer. Although

alcohol will give you an immediate sensation

of relaxation, long term overuse can lead to

lowered mood and health problems such as

heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

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