One in eight UK adults experienced suicidal thoughts due to body image

14 Mai, 2019, 17:10 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Black Dog at the ICR in Sutton

"Businesses can't claim to put their employees first without destigmatising mental health, introducing bespoke programmes that are created to support their workforce and acknowledging that we all have mental and physical health and we will all experience issues with it".

Just over 22% of all UK adults and nearly half of 18-24 year olds said images on social media had caused them to worry about their body image and the majority of adults surveyed think the UK Government needs to do more to protect the public from the presentation or use of unhealthy body images in advertising and social media.

Josh Krichefski, CEO at MediaCom UK, said of Mental Health First Aid England's report: "The manifesto from Mental Health First Aid England shows us that numerous UK workforce are suffering without a wellbeing support network". The charity wants tough reforms to the social media and advertising linked by critics to body image problems.

The opinion poll on body image was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) Scotland to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019.

Julie Cameron, head of programmes at MHF Scotland, said: "The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is body image and our research published this week highlights the huge impact that negative body image can have on the mental health of both adults and young people".

He added: "For some people this is potentially very severe, with large numbers saying they have self-harmed or had suicidal thoughts and feelings".

"Body image issues can affect anyone and at any stage in life".

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The survey asked people about their experiences with social media and advertising.

"Many people identified social media as an important factor causing them to worry about their body image - and the majority of respondents felt the Government needed to take more action".

"This could be enforced by the new independent regulator, which is already part of the Government proposals contained in the Online Harms White Paper".

Paul Browett, 35, of Glasgow, said social media, TV and celebrities had helped to fuel his insecurities. "They should look like themselves and nothing more".

Central England Co-operative is trying to help reduce the stigma around mental health by urging over 8,000 colleagues to find the time to have a brew and lift someone's spirits.

The Mental Health Foundation survey also found about one in five adults felt "disgusted" or "shame" due to their body image in the past year. One in five of all United Kingdom adults and 46% of 18-24-year-olds said images on social media had caused them to worry about their body image.

Mental Health Foundation Scotland, which carried out the research, wants the United Kingdom government to reform social media and advertising rules.

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