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As we step into Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May), it is fitting to shine a spotlight on a topic that has for too long been concealed in the shadows: anxiety. This year’s theme, chosen by The Mental Health Foundation, is particularly pertinent. At Green Ribbons, we’re dedicating ourselves to join the cause, increasing understanding and awareness around anxiety, and more importantly, providing information on ways to prevent it from becoming a debilitating issue.

Anxiety is, unfortunately, a common part of human existence, a survival mechanism evolved to alert us to potential threats. But for many, it goes beyond the occasional worry or fear. It becomes a constant, unrelenting force, an unseen burden that affects every aspect of their lives. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that 1 in 6 people in the UK experiences some form of anxiety disorder. This is not a fringe issue. It’s a pervasive, societal concern that calls for our collective attention.

You might ask, “Why focus on anxiety?” The reason is simple. By focusing our efforts on one aspect of mental health, we can delve deeper, providing a more comprehensive understanding and set of tools to address it. Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental health issues, not just in Scotland, but worldwide. By focusing on anxiety, we’re tackling a major part of the mental health spectrum.

This week, we’ll publish a series of articles delving into different aspects of anxiety. We’ll explore its many faces, the different types of anxiety disorders, and the various ways it can manifest in our lives. We’ll talk about the impact of social media and technology on our mental wellbeing in this digital age. And we’ll discuss practical tips and strategies for managing and reducing anxiety.
We’ll kick off with a deep dive into the nature of anxiety. We’ll explore its biological roots, the role it plays in our survival, and how it can go awry. From Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) to Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, and more, we’ll unravel the complexities of these conditions and provide insight into their management.

As we navigate the week, we’ll also shine a light on anxiety in specific sectors of our community. For instance, we’ll look at anxiety amongst gamekeepers, firefighters, and farm staff, professions that face unique stressors that can often lead to mental health challenges.

While we delve into these topics, it’s crucial to remember that help is available. No one has to face these challenges alone. Green Ribbons, alongside many other organisations in Scotland, offers resources and training to help manage and mitigate the effects of anxiety. Our training courses, such as Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid and individual three-hour modules, provide practical, hands-on strategies for understanding and managing mental health issues.

The goal of Mental Health Awareness Week is just that – awareness. To bring these conversations out of the shadows and into our daily discourse. We want to break down the stigma associated with mental health, particularly around anxiety disorders. We want to foster a community that understands and supports each other, and most importantly, we want to ensure everyone knows that it’s okay not to be okay.

So, let’s come together as a community. Let’s learn, share, and support each other during this Mental Health Awareness Week, and beyond. We hope you’ll find our series of articles helpful and informative. Remember, you’re not alone in this. Together, we can turn the tide on anxiety.

Stay tuned for our next article. Until then, take care of yourselves and each other.

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