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'In The Face of Fear' report

Are we becoming more fearful in the UK? The question is answered by the Mental Health Foundation in their report, In The Face of Fear, with a clear 'yes'. The report presents evidence showing a consistent increase in anxiety over the past couple of decades.

Mental health in a scared — and scary — world

The MHF’s own national fear survey carried out in 2007 reveals a growing perception that the world is a frightening place, and that individuals respond, not surprisingly, by being scared of many aspects of it.

The thrust of the report is that these two phenomena — an increase in the number of people with anxiety issues, and the generally fearful perception of the world — are linked to each other. If there is a high degree of fear in our society, then a proportion of us inevitably become anxious enough to seek the help of a therapist or doctor, alongside large numbers of us who feel distressed and anxious but find it possible to cope without help.

The steps we can take

However, there’s nothing inevitable about any of this. As a society, we can take steps to counter fear, to make the world feel and crucially, be safer…and, the report argues, this is a clear and urgent public health issue, with social, economic and cultural dimensions, and one we absolutely can’t afford not to tackle.

As a society we must take steps to make the world feel and, crucially, be safer

The report lists pragmatic steps any government, of whatever hue, could take immediately, to promote good mental health. At present, only about £4 million, or less than 0.1 per cent, of the £4.5 billion adult mental health investment is directed at prevention. Business, education, media have a role to play in reducing fearfulness by increasing understanding of the way it works, and making this understanding work for us. Our culture is very good at ignoring fear and its effects — and when fear is ignored, it can rule us more easily. The report puts forward a way out of the trap.

The House Partnership, 21st March 2016


CBT for Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the most popular form of therapy for a range of issues that fall under the umbrella term 'anxiety', using a solution-focused, 'here and now' approach to facilitate recovery. We take a look at what this means and at the evidence in its favour.

Counselling for Social Anxiety

We all feel a little anxious in social situations sometimes, but Social Anxiety can be extremely uncomfortable and even debilitating, limiting people's potential and even causing them to avoid many social situations. We explore how Counselling can help with this.

Mindfulness for Anxiety

Mindfulness has been practiced as part of meditative exercises for thousands of years, becoming renowned for its calming function and its ability to improve mental and spiritual well-being. Modern psychological research is beginning to reveal that it is an effective form of therapy for anxiety.

How to deal with a panic attack

Steve Hayes, the main force behind Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is himself a panic attack sufferer in recovery. Panic responds very well to behavioural therapies such as CBT, especially when combined with mindfulness approaches.