This year the focus of Mental Health Awareness Week is on stress. It is thought that around two thirds of people experience a mental health problem during their lifetime and in a lot of cases this is due to stress. Therefore, although stress is not a mental health problem in itself, it can often lead to depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. It can also lead to physical health problems such as cardiovascular disease and joint and muscle problems. It is important for people to be attuned to their levels of stress and take care of their wellbeing, especially in high stress work environments and social situations.

In general, stress levels are much higher among those who are affected by poverty and with little if any social support. The constant strain of dealing with poverty on a daily basis contributes to long term mental health problems.

You can read more about stress in the UK in this report from the Mental Health Foundation.