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Chair's blog

Get support for body image issues

25 April 2019

Body image issues can affect us all, whatever our age or gender. With the rise of social media, it’s becoming increasingly hard to escape unrealistic images of the ‘perfect’ body and the pressure to conform can be overwhelming for some. 

That’s why your local NHS is supporting this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), which is focusing on body image. 

It’s normal to be interested in your appearance. However, if you spend a lot of time worrying about a specific part of your body, comparing your appearance to others or covering up flaws that other people don’t notice, it may be a sign of a body image disorder. 

We know that having a positive image of ourselves is an important part of our mental and physical wellbeing. Negative thoughts and feelings about our body can lead to varying degrees of anxiety, depression or even an eating disorder. 

I urge anyone who is experiencing negative thoughts about their body, especially if they are impacting on their daily life, to contact the free and confidential NHS Talking Therapies service on 0300 300 1554 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri), or book an appointment with their GP. 

As well as providing support through workshops, group sessions, guided self-help and one-to-one sessions, Talking Therapies now offers guided digital therapy. This new online option enables people to work through their individual support programme at their own pace and in the comfort of their home. 

For more information about Talking Therapies, please visit www.mytalkingtherapies.org.uk