This week we’ll be doing a bit of a mini-series to mark Mental Health Awareness week, and this year’s topic is body image, and how we think and feel about our bodies.
Working in facial aesthetics, this is a significant subject as we do get a lot of people wanting treatments because they are unhappy with the way they look – a survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation highlighted that One in Five UK adults have felt shame because of their body image in the last year.
At SkinHD, we want to help build and promote positive body image and support good mental health and wellbeing in relation to our bodies, especially if you are seeking facial aesthetic treatments.
We don’t promote a ‘perfect’ or ‘fake’ look and don’t aim for unachievable goals based on airbrushed or photoshopped pictures you might see on social media – we aim to enhance your natural features rather than change your look completely. We know that providing a ‘tweakment’ isn’t a quick fix to improve your mental health or the way you feel about your body, and stress the importance of this in our consultations.
All our practitioners are trained in mental health awareness and we strive to maintain a responsibility to provide professional aesthetic treatments in an ethical manner.
Please know that if you are struggling with your body image, or any other mental health issue, that #ItsOkayToNotBeOkay and you should try reaching out to a friend or health professional about how you’re feeling.
There are other actions we can take to improve how we feel about our bodies and protect, promote and maintain a positive body image throughout our lives:
- Spring clean the apps on your phone
- Be aware of how you feel when using them – if you find them stressful in relation to your body image consider uninstalling them
- Look at the accounts you follow on social media and be mindful of how you feel about your own body image when you look at them
- Consider muting or unfollowing hashtags that cause you to feel negatively about your body image, and consider the impact of comparing yourself unfavourably to others
- If you see an advert that you think promotes an unhealthy body image, you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority
- Lead by example – model positive behaviour surrounding body image by eating healthily and staying active. Praise children for qualities unrelated to physical appearance. Avoid criticising your own or other people’s appearance. Avoid placing unrealistic expectations on how people look. Support others to express their emotions and communicate their feelings about their bodies.
- Find the best way that works for you to stay active
If you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone – there are people and organisations to reach out to that won’t judge and are here to listen.
Samaritans: If you need someone to talk to then Samaritans are available on 116 123 (UK) for free, 24/7. They are there to talk to, listen and they won’t judge or tell you what to do.
Mind: If you are looking for professional support then Mind can help you with their Infoline. They can find information for you on what support is available in your local area. You can call them on 0300 123 3393 (UK), they are available Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm.
Beat: If you want to speak to a trained eating disorder helpline support worker then you can call Beat‘s helpline on 0808 801 0711 (UK) they are open 365 days of the year 12pm – 6pm Mon – Fri and 4pm – 8pm weekends and bank holidays.
CALM: If you want emotional support as a man or for a man in your life then you can call CALM’s helpline on 0800 58 58 58. It is for men in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. They’re open 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year.
Maytree: If you are feeling suicidal or are having suicidal thoughts you can contact Maytree. Maytree have a house available for people at moments when they’re feeling suicidal. They offer a free 4 night, 5 day stay for adults, with the opportunity to be heard in complete confidence, in a caring, safe environment. You can contact them on 0207 263 7070.
Urgent professional help: If you are concerned that you are developing a mental health problem you should seek the advice and support of your GP as a matter of priority. If you are in distress and need immediate help and are unable to see a GP, you should visit your local A&E.