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World Mental Health Day: How do you feel?

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

When was the last time you felt stressed? Today is world mental health day, the RLA is encouraging landlords to pause and take the time to consider their mental wellbeing.

According to the mental health charity MIND, around one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

Stress can be both a cause and a consequence of other mental health problems, and recent research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation thinktank reveals that three in four Britons have been so stressed at least once over the last year that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

How to spot the signs of stress

According to the MIND, stress can manifest itself through a range of physical, emotional and behavioural changes and symptoms. These include:

Sleeping difficulties

Tired all the time but unable to switch off

Rapid breathing

Eating too much or too little

Snapping at people and feeling irritable

Smoking or drinking alcohol more than usual

What to do if you feel stressed

There are a range of specialist charities, some of whom have already been mentioned, that are able to offer advice if you are feeling stressed or are struggling with another mental health condition. Check out a full list of charities which offer support here It is also advisable to speak to your doctor about your situation.

Reach out to other landlords just like you

They say a problem shared is a problem halved, and that’s true of our popular members-only Forum.

Whether you are concerned about a financial problem, or just need some advise and support from other landlords for a particular situation that you are faced with, chances are one of our members on our Forum has been through a similar situation themselves, and can give you support.

Come to our local groups to network

While the focus of this years Mental Health Awareness Week campaign is stress, it’s fair to say that being a landlord can sometimes feel lonely and isolating. According to a recent ONS report, around 1 in 20 adults in England reported that they felt lonely ‘often’.

As well as having unlimited access to our Forum, RLA members can network thanks to our local affiliate groups. There are several groups that are affiliated with the RLA, which hold frequent meetings.

For example, North West Property Owners Association , Portsmouth and District Private Landlords AssociationYork RLA, Yorkshire Coast RLA, Sheffield and District Landlord Association,

Apprehensive about arrears? Tax or other tenant  issues troubling you? Train with the RLA

We offer a vast range of training courses here at the RLA, and our classroom courses are another opportunity to meet other landlords like you, while brushing up on your knowledge of a particular subject. Our classroom courses are delivered by expert trainers. We also offer e-Learning courses, so you can learn at your own pace. Check out our full range of course here.

How can I support a tenant if I suspect a tenant has a mental health problem?

Of course, mental health problems can also affect tenants. RLA Landlord Advice Team Manager Rupinder Aujla said:

“Sometimes tenants will be upfront about their mental health, sometimes they wont. Mental health awareness week is a good time to check up on your tenants, listen to them and be supportive.

“For example, if a there has been unusual activity-say a tenant normally pays their rent on time and suddenly they missed a payment, then it would be a good idea to give them a quick call to check that they’re ok, and that they’re still in employment.

“If a landlord has noticed unusual activity and they live reasonably close to the tenant, then it could also be a good idea to drive by the property. If the house looks unkempt, for example the grass hasn’t been cut, then it could be an indication of a bigger problem”.

If you know that a tenant is struggling, it can be helpful to point them in the direction of people who can help, for example the Citizens Advice Bureau or local support groups.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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