Article 15 May 2023 Mental Health Awareness Week: Demystifying Anxiety It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is anxiety. We all feel anxious from time to time, as anxiety is a natural response to the uncertain world around us. In healthy doses, feelings of anxiety can spur us on, keeping us alert and motivating us to deal with the challenges that we face. That being said, it’s important that we recognise and respond when we feel anxious, so that our anxiety doesn’t become overwhelming. Nearly nine out of ten people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination have a negative effect on their lives, so it’s deeply important that we work together to remove these stigmas, and support a culture grounded in MyWellbeing, where we care for each other. Like physical health, mental health is something we all have, and it requires efforts to maintain positive mental health. It also means that like physical health, everyone’s mental health can fluctuate. Anxiety, like many mental health issues, can come with a range of misconceptions and myths which cause stigma around it to grow. One of the most common myths about anxiety is that it’s just a temporary state that can be resolved quickly with a positive attitude or a few deep breaths. However, anxiety can be a chronic condition, and it can be difficult to mitigate its effects without professional help. This is why it’s so important to seek help and support when anxiety becomes too difficult to manage alone. Another common myth is that people with anxiety are weak or inferior in some way. In reality, anxiety can affect anyone regardless of their strength or character. It is not a reflection of weakness, but rather a normal human response to stress and uncertainty. Breaking down this false assumption can help create a more open and honest dialogue about mental health and reduce the associated stigma. Finally, it’s also important to acknowledge that anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to addressing it. Some people may experience physical symptoms like sweating or a racing heart, while others may experience more emotional or mental symptoms like a constant state of worry or fear. Understanding that anxiety can look different for everyone can help break down barriers and encourage a more inclusive conversation around mental health. This week, we’ll be sharing more information on the support available to you at Mitie, so that you are able to flourish and deliver the exceptional, every day. You can also visit our Wellbeing Hub for an overview of the various tools and services you can access. Wondering how you can get involved to show your support? You can purchase a green ribbon, take part in Wear it Green Day on Thursday, share your personal story and more! Visit the Mental Health Foundation page to learn more. MyWellbeing is where we care for each other – looking after our wellbeing is vital, because together we’re stronger. Visit the Wellbeing Hub to learn more about the support in place for your mental health.