It’s world mental health day (Thursday 10 October) and to mark it we are sharing some tips on managing your mental health from a health professional and a person with Parkinson’s.
John Hinson has lived with Parkinson’s for ten years and has experienced mental health concerns linked to the condition.
John finds the following helps improve his mood and mental wellbeing:
Firstly, I try to be as mobile and as independent as possible.
I use mobility devices like scooters wheelchairs and rollators.
I try to get out and be as physically and mentally active as I can, but also rest as often as necessary to recharge.
I sing with a small group of people with Parkinson’s weekly at the State of the Arts Academy and a large Hull based choir.
I get huge enjoyment and a feeling of wellbeing and worth from volunteering for Parkinson’s. I’m also a City of Culture volunteer for Hull and I sit on the board of Hull Truck Theatre.
I’m blessed to have a local family and strong local friendships. Becoming a grandfather recently has also brought me great joy.
A Parkinson's nurse shares her tips
Emma Edwards is a Parkinson’s nurse who has worked in the past as a mental health nurse with a special interest in Parkinson’s.
Here Emma shares better ways to manage mental health and promote good mental health in Parkinson’s.
Ensure you are on the most effective Parkinson’s medication regime
Experiencing anxiety and stress when Parkinson’s symptoms are not managed well is common. Speak with your local Parkinson’s specialist team for further advice if you can.
Increase your activity
Engaging in regular activity can help your mental and physical health.
Doing something active every day can lead to improved wellbeing and can help Parkinson’s symptoms too.
If you are not sure what activity suits you best, you can talk to your local Parkinson’s team, visit our exercise information, see if your local Parkinson’s UK group are running anything like walking or exercise classes or go to your local fitness centre to see what groups are on.
We are hardwired for connection
Don’t bottle things up if you are feeling down, connect with someone that you trust and talk about it. This might be someone in your family or a friend. It may be a health professional.
Online group support with people that understand what you are going through can also be really helpful.
Learn to be more mindful of your body and emotions
Being in tune with how you respond to situations and learning how to cope more effectively in situations can improve mental health.
There are different ways to learn how to be more mindful; this might be something you do in a group (like Yoga based activities) or by yourself (like meditation).
The Headspace app is a free downloadable app if you want to try the latter.
We also have information and tips on mindfulness.
Paying it forward
Even the smallest act of helping others can make a positive difference on your mental health.
It could be giving a compliment to another, helping out at a local group, or engaging in Parkinson’s research.
You local Parkinson’s specialist team should also be aware of research opportunities that may interest you.
See our information pages for further information on mental health symptoms and Parkinson’s. If you are experiencing mental health symptoms we suggest talking to a health professional about this, for example your GP, Parkinson’s Nurse, or consultant.
You can also get involved in our campaigns for improving mental health services for people with Parkinson’s.