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13 May 2019

Join the #NofilterjustMe campaign
for Mental Health Awareness Week

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), Southern Health is encouraging local people to post #nofilter selfies to support its body image themed social media campaign: #nofilterjustme.

The aim of the week-long campaign is to raise awareness of body image, celebrate differences and promote inclusivity. Alongside this, the local NHS Trust will also be promoting its local mental health services and the support available to people in need. 

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How do I get involved? 

Simply take a picture or 'selfie' (with no filter!) add the hashtag #nofilterjustme and tag @Southern_NHSFT on Twitter or @southernhealth_nhsft on Instagram.

Here are a few examples:

I’m ditching the filters for #mentalhealthawarenessweek #nofilterjustme @Southern_NHSFT or @southernhealth_nhsft

Help me get the nation talking about body image and mental health. Take a picture!  #nofilterjustme  #mentalhealthawarenessweek @Southern_NHSFT or @southernhealth_nhsft

Why the theme body image?

Last year, the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of adults have, at times, felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they’ve become overwhelmed or unable to cope - that’s almost 1 in 3 people.

Body image issues can affect us all at any point in our lives - from a new mum who is unhappy with her post-baby body to an older man who may be feeling insecure with a reduced level of fitness. Nevertheless, research has shown that negative body image is most common amongst younger generations, especially with the increased use of social media. 

The Royal Society for Public Health found 46% of girls, compared to 38% of all young people, have reported that social media has had a negative impact on their self-esteem. 

Hope Virgo, a leading mental health campaigner:  

 “The first thing that a lot of us do in the morning, even before we get out of bed, is have a quick scroll through social media - I know that it’s something I do far too often. We look at these so-called images of ‘perfect’ lives, people with ‘perfect’ bodies, people who have filtered the image so much they could be a completely different person.

This becomes normality and, as someone who has lived with anorexia and been in recovery now for 10 years, it is so frustrating that we live in a world where people who are successful are portrayed as ‘thin’. We lack real images of the world and true photos of us all." 

Daniel Winter-Bates, Assistant Operational Manager for Specialist Community Services at Southern Health:

“Social media can make you feel extremely vulnerable - especially when posting a picture…I have had body image issues since a child and so rarely post any full body pictures for fear of judgement.

To combat this, I tend to add filters, smile more and generally post a picture of the person I would like to be seen as, rather than a person who is feeling low or stressed.” 


Sophie Robbins social media campaigner:  

“I used to feel stuck in a social media comparison trap, where I would scroll through hundreds of heavily edited and choreographed images that only made me feel disappointed with my life, my skin, my hair and above all my body…

During my recovery from an eating disorder, I discovered Instagram accounts which were honest about their ‘real’ lives and spoke out against unrealistic beauty standards – and this inspired me to build a more positive relationship with my appearance.

Now my feed is full of people sharing their own journey with self-love and I feel so much happier!”  

Top Tips to tackle body image issues – Mental Health Awareness Week

 13 -19 May is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is Body Image.

 Your body is amazing, there is no piece of technology that can match its complexity, sophistication and ability to heal itself. Despite this over a third of Adults in the UK have felt anxious or depressed because of concerns about their body image *. Many people struggle with their bodies and feel that they do not match a standard that is often presented to us in the media.

 A recent report by the Royal Society for Public Health suggests that the pressure to conform to beauty standards that are sometimes praised online can encourage harmful behaviours. The study found that that 46% of girls compared and 38% of all young people reported that social media had a negative impact on their self-esteem and body image.

 Louise Clifford is a Team Manager for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Eating Disorders Service. She said “Body image and altered thinking around what is and isn’t normal or acceptable can have a huge impact on a person’s self-esteem. This can cause anxiety and lead to issues like eating disorders. However, there are a few things that you can do to remain body positive…”

 1)    Appreciate all that your body can do

2)    Keep a top 10 list of things you like about yourself – things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like

3)    Look at yourself as a whole person, don’t focus on specific body parts

4)    Surround yourself with positive people

5)    Take the images you see on social media with a pinch of salt – perhaps try following #bodypositive.

Mental health problems can affect 1 in 4 people. Across Hampshire, support is available to you from services such as italk, MIND, Steps2Wellbeing and Talking Change.  Nationally, you can get support by contacting BEAT, the UKs eating disorder charity or by calling the Samaritans 24/7 365 days a year. 

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