Today is World Mental Health Day, a global event that raises awareness of mental health issues, highlights support available and campaigns for more to be done to ensure everyone gets the care that they need.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, nearly 50% of UK adults believe that they have had a diagnosable mental health problem in their lifetime, yet just 33% have received a diagnosis.
Furthermore, young people are particularly vulnerable to ill mental health, with one in five adolescents experiencing a mental health problem in any given year and one in 10 children and young people clinically diagnosed.
According to our 2018 Members’ Survey, more than 82% of FHT members regularly support clients experiencing stress and anxiety, while over 34% support clients with a diagnosed mental health condition.
Many studies have looked at the effects of complementary therapies for mental health problems, with one recent study suggesting that aromatherapy could aid people experiencing depression.
A team of scientists at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University conducted a systematic review of 12 randomised controlled trials (five on aromatherapy through inhalation, eight in aromatherapy massage and one involving both methods).
The 12 selected trials involved a combined total of 1,226 subjects, of which 984 were female and 224 male, with a mean age of 47. Treatment times and frequency varied across the studies. The selection of essential oils used were determined by the aromatherapists. Where the oils were inhaled, lavender and bergamot were primarily used, whereas the aromatherapy massage studies opted for a wider range of oils, including lavender and rose otto.
Two of the five inhalation-based studies and five of the eight massage trials reported improvements in symptoms. Aromatherapy massage was also found to be more effective than inhalation for alleviating depressive symptoms.