How Our Emotional Health Can Be Impacted

Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss

Bullying

Being Bullied

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Financial Issues

Homes

Becoming Homeless

Substance Dependency

Substance Dependency

Workplace

Difficulties at Work

Relationships

Relationship Problems

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Poor Physical Health

Loneliness

Isolation and Loneliness

Sexuality

Sexuality And Gender Identity

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Disability

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Growing Up & Growing Older

Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss can have a severe impact upon our emotional health, but what springs to mind when you read or hear those words?

Many of us associate grief with the loss of a loved, fellow human or perhaps a pet.

Besides the obvious, what other things might mean we go through a period of grieving which can affect our emotional health?

If you’re suddenly feeling low, become tearful, having dark moments, or you’re just not quite yourself, have a think – have you suffered a loss recently, meaning you could be going through the grieving process?

Of course, whenever you sense a change in your emotional health, the first thing you should do is contact your GP, but do discuss any loss you’ve experienced as this might assist your GP with any treatment they can give you.

Some examples of Loss and Grief might be:

  • The death of a loved one or a pet
  • The loss of an item with sentimental value
  • Retirement
  • Children Leaving Home
  • Losing or changing jobs
  • Losing or moving house
  • As you grow older, noticing you are not quite as agile, physically and mentally, as you once were
  • The loss of life as you once knew it because of a physical disability

There are many more examples we could give, but they’d take pages and pages to write!

All those points above are examples of losing something we value, and the natural grief that arises from that loss.  Remember, it’s not always the death of a human or pet that can impact, but lots of other things too.

All losses create change in our lives.  Recognising loss, grief and change can help us adapt and cope better when it happens.

If you need to talk about loss and grief in your life, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

#compassioninsociety

Being Bullied

Being bullied, although more commonly associated with younger generations, can happen to anyone at any time in any environment.

Whether you’re a child, teenager or young person at school, college, university or even on a work placement, or an adult who is, or isn’t in work, sadly anyone can fall victim to a bully.

The impact on an individual’s emotional health can be devastating, leading to feelings of worthlessness, complete lack of confidence, feeling ‘stupid’, anxiety, fear, isolation, depression, self harm and even thoughts of suicide.

Some may become reclusive and may not want to discuss what is happening to them.  This might be partly through feeling ashamed and also because very often the victim has done absolutely nothing to deserve such treatment, leaving them feeling very confused about what is happening and may be wrongly blaming themselves.

Some may decide to try harder to ‘fit in’ in an attempt to gain acceptance.

Everyone reacts differently to being bullied, depending on the circumstances, but there’s no doubt it can have a seriously negative impact upon the victims.

Whether it’s face to face at a place of learning, online, in the workplace, within the family, even within care homes and hospitals, bullying is not acceptable and should be reported to someone who can give you support.

If being bullied is resulting in changes in your emotional health, the first thing you should do is contact your GP to discuss what is happening to you and how it is making you feel.  This will help your GP to assess your overall emotional health and decide what treatments, actions, interventions and/or therapies might help you.

If you are being bullied and need to talk, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

#compassioninsociety

Financial Issues

Financial problems can make people feel anxious, frightened, isolated and as if they have no control of their situation at all.  Their emotional health can spiral downwards very quickly, so it’s important that communication with creditors is started as soon as you realise there is a problem.

Even if you don’t feel that you might qualify, it’s always worth checking to see if you are entitled to any benefits.  Visit the Government website for more information on the benefits available and how to claim.

Fear of opening the post, answering the front door or the telephone, are all natural reactions when we are in debt and don’t know which way to turn.

Debt can consume our thoughts every waking moment of every waking day, but there are things you can do to reduce the stress, regain control and start to plan for an easier future.

Most creditors welcome the opportunity to talk things through with you and help you put in place a payment plan which is manageable and affordable.  By doing this as soon as possible, you can help relieve some of the stress of the situation.

If you’re concerned about Bailiffs, check out this Government page which lays out what they can and can’t do depending on the type of debt and to whom it is owed.  You do have rights and it is good to know what they are depending upon your circumstances.

You can also speak to:

If debt stress is resulting in changes to your emotional health, you should contact your GP to discuss what is happening and how it is making you feel.  This will help your GP to assess your overall emotional health and decide what treatments, actions, interventions and/or therapies might help you.

If you are in a difficult financial situation and need to talk, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

**SOS gives the above sites as examples only.  Please speak to your GP and do your own research to ensure you find the right support for you.

#compassioninsociety

Becoming Homeless

Becoming homeless, for whatever reason, is a traumatic event in our lives.

It can leave us feeling displaced, lost, anxious, fearful, depressed and without hope.

Our homes, very often, are part of our identity, of who we are, of how we present ourselves.  But most importantly, they are generally our own space, our safe zone, our comfort blanket, our retreat.

When this is threatened with removal, the emotional impact can be significant.

Depending on your situation and whether you are a current home owner or a tenant (council or private) may be relevant to the kind of help and support you could seek.

The organisation Shelter offer great advice and guidance on what happens if you’re threatened with eviction which is worth reading.  They also have sections for private tenants and mortgage repossessions

If homelessness, or the threat of it,  is impacting your emotional health, you should contact your GP to discuss what is happening and how it is making you feel.  This will help your GP to assess your overall emotional health and decide what treatments, actions, interventions and/or therapies might help you.

If you are homeless, or maybe made homeless, and need to talk, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

**SOS gives the above sites as examples only.  Please speak to your GP and local health authority and do your own research to ensure you find the right support for you.

#compassioninsociety

Substance Dependency & Misuse

People can become dependent upon, or misuse many things – illegal drugs, prescribed drugs and alcohol being just three.

For the dependent person, as well as their family, friends and colleagues, life can be erratic and unpredictable in nature, which could lead to severe emotional distress for everyone involved.

People do not purposely set out to become dependent upon drugs or alcohol.  They do not purposely set out to hurt themselves or those that they love.

What can start off as social drinking may develop into an unhealthy reliance upon alcohol; occasional recreational drug taking can escalate into taking stronger drugs more often; an extra prescribed pill here and there for chronic pain can become a daily occurance, all affecting someone’s ability to take part in family activities, be responsible for their children, working and forgetting to take care of themselves.  Everything may revolve around their needs, causing tensions at home and at work and has been known to destroy relationships.

If you, or someone you know, has a problem with alcohol and/or drugs, whether illegal or prescribed, please speak to your GP urgently.

Alcoholics Anonymous have been around for a long time, offering support to those who need it.  There is also support for families of drinkers which can be invaluable.  Al-Anon is one such organisation.

UK Rehab have a great website for those struggling with prescribed drug misuse or addiction.

The NHS website has guidance for addiction of all other drugs.

**SOS gives the above sites as examples only.  Please speak to your GP and do your own research to ensure you find the right support for you.

If you need to talk about drug or alcohol abuse, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

#compassioninsociety

Difficulties At Work

There might be many reasons why our emotional health may be affected within the workplace, whether that is a physical space, or online.

Some of these reasons could be:

  • Being excluded or overlooked
  • Anything you say is dismissed as not relevant or important
  • You are treated differently to your colleagues
  • You are treated differently because you have a protected characteristic 
  • Your workload is too heavy
  • You have not had sufficient training in your role

All employees have rights within the workplace.

If you believe your job, place of work and/or your colleagues is impacting your emotional wellbeing, you should speak to your line manager and explain how you are feeling and if you have a protected characteristic, ask them if a reasonable adjustment could be considered to help you.

Starting the conversation is a very positive first step to take in helping yourself and your employer and colleagues to help you feel more settled and included.  Remember to explain to them how the current situation is affecting your emotional health so that they can fully understand.

You should also speak to your GP immediately if you’re feeling anxious, under stress or depressed because of things that may be happening at work

For guidance and advice, you could visit:

https://www.acas.org.uk/checking-your-employment-rights

**SOS gives the above sites as examples only.  Please speak to your GP and do your own research to ensure you find the right support for you.

If you need to talk about difficulties at work, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

#compassioninsociety

Relationship Problems

Sadly, throughout our lives, most of us will experience problems with relationships or, in some cases, complete breakdowns of those relationships.

This section refers to all kinds of relationships – family, workplace, social and intimate.  And all of these breakdowns could impact on our emotional health.

Sometimes, relationships break down simply because people move on and form different relationships with different peer groups at different points in their lives.  One person may feel no loss at all, whilst the other party may feel anger, hurt, upset and a sense of abandonment.

At other times, relationships may have become destructive for everyone involved and whilst it is never an easy conversation, an honest and open discussion without recriminations may help all parties realise it could be best to move on.  This can bring a sense of huge relief, but can also create a sense of loss and grief.  These are natural emotions.

Remaining in an unhealthy relationship, whether or not physical abuse is involved, can have a serious impact on the mental wellbeing of everyone, including children and young people.  It’s important that the emotional health of everyone is considered.

Family Lives have a useful website which explores relationship breakdowns in greater detail.

Support Line is another organisation which helps support anyone struggling within a failing or failed relationship

For children who are worried about family relationships, you can take a look at Child Line’s website for help and guidance.

**SOS gives the above sites as examples only.  Please speak to your GP and do your own research to ensure you find the right support for you.

If you need to talk about relationship problems or breakdowns, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

#compassioninsociety

Poor Physical Health

Ever felt fed up, down and not quite right and just assumed you were having an ‘off’ day?  But the off day turned into another and another and another ..

Sometimes our mood may drop because we are physically unwell and depression is quite common in relation to certain chronic physical conditions.  Equally, on the flip side, poor emotional health may mean we could develop physical illness if we have stopped taking care of ourselves.

Take a look at the National Institute of Mental Health website to learn more about how physical and psychological illness could be closely linked.

Another way in which poor physical health or physical injury can impact our emotional health is when our mobility is reduced. For example, you enjoy playing football or love running, but twist your ankle or break a bone.  The psychological impact when you can no longer do what you took for granted can be quite intense, so do speak to your GP if you feel you are affected.

Of course, whenever you sense a change in your emotional health, the first thing you should do is contact your GP and discuss any physical symptoms, new or existing,  as this might assist them with any treatment they can give you.

If you need to talk about poor physical health, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

SOS list the above websites as suggestions only, not as endorsements and you should do your own research to find the best sources of support for you.

#compassioninsociety

Isolation & Loneliness

Feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely to exist amongst the older population as family, friends and ex colleagues pass on.  However, people of any age can feel isolated and lonely, even if they are not actually alone.

Have you ever been in a room full of people but felt alone?  Have you ever been in a small group of people but you feel on the outside?

Ever wondered why you are with a certain group of people at a certain event as there is no one for you to engage with?  You are not alone in feeling like this and it can have a huge impact upon your self esteem and general emotional health.

Sometimes, your confidence may be low causing you to unwittingly isolate yourself.  Take a look at some social confidence building tips for guidance.

Living in rural areas and working alone can add to feelings of isolation. Take a look at the First2HelpYou website for more information and support.

If you live alone and have very little opportunity to interact with others, you could take a look at Age Uk’s website, where they discuss the differences between isolation and loneliness amongst older people.

Of course, whenever you sense a change in your emotional health, the first thing you should do is contact your GP, but do discuss feelings of isolation and loneliness with them, as this might assist your GP with any treatment they can give you.

If you are feeling isolated or lonely, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

SOS list the above websites as suggestions only, not as endorsements and you should do your own research to find the best sources of support for you.

#compassioninsociety

Sexuality & Gender Identity

Becoming sexually aware, of ourselves and of others, can be confusing for many.

As our bodies and minds develop in our younger years, we may find ourselves wondering if we want to gender identify at all.  We may be confused about our sexuality – who are we attracted to? Why? Especially if it is someone who identifies as the same gender as yourself.

Being worried about being anything other than heterosexual and comfortable with the body you were born with, could impact your emotional health, so it’s important to talk to someone you trust, be honest with yourself and most of all, be proud of who you are.  Coming out is a decision for you and you alone, at a time that you feel is right.

There is a great site for trans gender information, including details of local support groups who can offer emotional support – simply go to https://www.transunite.co.uk/

As with anything in life, our feelings, perceptions and beliefs can be subject to change at any time – perhaps meeting someone, experiencing other cultures or even going through a traumatic experience, has made us question our perception of ourselves and has opened us up to new ways of thinking.

Our sexuality, and gender identification, is personal and unique to all of us.

In today’s more open society, we would hope that people find it easier to say ‘This is Me.  This is how I identify.  And I may be different to you, but I should still be accepted’ but it is not always the case.

You may be struggling to tell your family members, colleagues, friends about your gender identity.

You may be struggling to have conversations around gender identity or sexual preference for fear of seeing disappointment in others and feeling judged and treated as if you have had a personality transplant!

Of course, whenever you sense a change in your emotional health, the first thing you should do is contact your GP and discuss your thoughts and feelings,  as this might assist them with any treatment they can give you.

If you need to talk about your sexuality or gender concerns, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

SOS list the above websites as suggestions only, not as endorsements and you should do your own research to find the best sources of support for you.

#compassioninsociety

Disability

Living with a disability affects people in different ways, and can depend on the type and severity of that disability.  Many people live active and fulfilling lives with their physical or psychological disability.

Being born with a disability might mean any emotional impact is different to someone who has to learn to live with a disability following, for example, an accident or a serious illness.

For some, having limitations placed upon us by our own bodies can be emotionally draining.  For others, the achievements they do reach encourages them to keep striving and helps maintain a more positive mindset.

Of course, it may not be you that is affected by a disability – it could be a family member, friend or colleague and you may also have to adapt to fit in with their new ways of living and coping.

For people that are carers, the emotional strain can be tiring, leaving you with less time for yourself.  But there is help out there.  Try Care for Carers for possible resources and guidance.

If you, or someone you know, has a learning disability, then you could take a look at the Mencap website for resources that may help.

The website Disability Rights is a huge resource for anyone who is affected.

Whether you’re the person with the disability, or the carer or family member, any disability can be challenging.  So do take advantage of the wealth of support out there, including any benefits or grants you might be entitled to, which could help ease financial pressures and stress.

Of course, whenever you sense a change in your emotional health, the first thing you should do is contact your GP and discuss your thoughts and feelings,  as this might assist them with any treatment they can give you.

If you need to talk about your disability, or the disability of someone you care for,  call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

SOS list the above websites as suggestions only, not as endorsements and you should do your own research to find the best sources of support for you.

#compassioninsociety

Growing Up & Growing Older

Growing up and growing older are both fantastic voyages of discoveries and adventures, but they can also be times of significant change that can challenge our emotional wellbeing, which could result in depression, anxiety, isolation, eating disorders as examples.

From our first days at school (for the child and parent!), to going through puberty (for child and parent!), to finding our place in the world and determining our identity can be anything but smooth.

Hormonal changes as our children develop can cause mood changes which can be tough on child and parent alike.  There is more about this on the NHS website.

And as we get older, sliding into middle age and then old age, how might this affect us emotionally?

Take a look at psychology today website – they cover just about every doubt that humans transitioning into middle stages of life may encounter, from how they look, to how they’re perceived, from feelings of depression and loss to feeling useless and for some, a focus on morbidity.  They look at symptoms and possible remedies and it’s well worth a read if you’re struggling with aging, whatever gender you are.

For resources on feelings, coping mechanisms and positive vibes in relation to moving into old age then consider looking at the article by Age UK , whose research shows that unless support and encouragement are provided, people can rapidly sink into severe depression.

One thing is for sure – growing up and growing older are a part of life.  But it doesn’t mean that these have to be sad times.  Consider them periods of additional learning and always seek out the positives of your current situation – because there will always be something to build upon.

Of course, whenever you sense a change in your emotional health, the first thing you should do is contact your GP and discuss your thoughts and feelings,  as this might assist them with any treatment they can give you.

If you need to talk about challenges faced with growing up or growing older, call our supportive volunteers on 0300 1020 505, seven days a week, 4pm until midnight or email support@sossilenceofsuicide.org Mon, Weds, Fri 8am until Midday

SOS list the above websites as suggestions only, not as endorsements and you should do your own research to find the best sources of support for you.

#compassioninsociety