By Catherine Henderson
The figures speak for themselves – 1 in every 4 adults have a diagnosable mental health problem in any one year, unemployed people are twice as likely to commit suicide, the UK has one of the highest rates of self harm than any other country in the European Union. Add to these alarming facts new reports which show that the pressure of life in an economic downturn can cause major anxiety and therefore an increase in mental health problems and the need for innovative support becomes that much greater.
Edinburgh based Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Ruth Johnson, is well aware of the pressure that life in a recession can bring to people. Later this month she will introduce her own response by delivering an 8 week course, Johnson says “The course will be targeted at raising people’s self esteem and focussing on how people can help themselves to get through tough times.”
Chief Executive of the mental health charity Mind, Paul Farmer says “Redundancy and money worries put strain on relationships, cause sleepless nights, trigger stress and increase the risk of developing depression. When it comes to the current recession we are in unchartered territory as to how many people could be affected.”
Johnson continues “I see lots of people who are worried and stressed, and feel their lives are out of control. Nobody is immune to self-doubt I’ve worked with people in senior business roles, hospital consultants and teenagers all struggling in different ways with the pressures in their lives. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help people become more resilient and start to look at life and themselves in a more compassionate way.”
The 8 week course at Room4Health in Leith is aiming to offer an alternative to traditional one-to-one support. Johnson says “I will provide techniques on how to break out of negative self image and learn the art of self worth. The course will have a real educational aspect to it, helping people to develop new more supportive mindsets.”