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The Conversations Are Beginning As Mental Health Awareness Week Ends

Updated: Nov 4, 2018

As first seen in The Huffington Post

It's Mental Health Awareness week, as you've probably already heard.

And it's coming to an end.

But the conversations that are starting must continue. People are speaking up, and people are sharing their experiences about mental health problems. Prince Harry and others are helping to thaw the collective British stiff upper lip, breaking barriers in talking about mental health. As initiatives such as Frazzled Café gain momentum - Ruby Wax's M&S partnered drop-in for people to chat with trained volunteers about the stresses of life - hopefully this openness will continue.

When more than 300 million people are living with depression, it's time to have these conversations. The World Health Organisation is devoting this year to the discussion, using World Health Day to launch the Depression, Let's talkcampaign. The videos highlighting depression have already clocked up more than 7 million views in just a few weeks.

But there is so much more to be said. The conversation about mental health is just starting. Once we have addressed the immediate impact of mental health conditions on people's lives, we need to discuss how to manage them, and how to prevent them where possible.

We need to start talking about how we use our minds. Talking about how we can develop thought patterns that evidence suggests could help decrease the progress or relapse of some mental health conditions. Talking about how analysing the way we process information can help us change how we think and behave, as in therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy. Discussing evidence suggesting that approaches such as mindfulness can help prevent relapses of depression.