– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness week in the U.K., which runs up until 19 May.
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s theme is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.
Using the hashtag #BeBodyKind, organisers are hoping to get the message out there that it’s time to promote positive body image and support good mental health and wellbeing in relation to our bodies.
In new research, carried out by the Mental Health Foundation with YouGov, of 4,505 U.K. adults 18+ and 1,118 teenagers (aged 13-19) it was found that one in five adults felt shame, just over one third felt down or low, and 19 per cent felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year.
Among teenagers, 37 per cent felt upset, and 31 per cent felt ashamed in relation to their body image.
Just over one third of adults said they had ever felt anxious or depressed because of their body image, and one in eight adults had even experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.
Further findings revealed that just over one in five adults said images used in advertising had caused them to worry about their body image. And just over one in five adults and 40 per cent of teenagers said images on social media caused them to worry about their body image.
Report authors are calling for effective regulation of how body image is portrayed, the need for commitment from social media companies to play a key role in promoting body kindness, taking a public health approach to body image by training frontline health and education staff and people being more aware of how we can take care of ourselves and others in relation to body image.
On Monday, celebrities including Prince William, Stephen Fry and Jameela Jamil, took part in the Mental Health Minute, which was broadcast across British radio stations.