World Mental Health Day – 10th October 2018

Today is World Mental Health Day and the focus for 2018 is young people and mental health in a changing world.

Mental health, also known as emotional well-being, isn’t just something those with poor mental health, it is something we should all prioritise as part of our overall general health. It just as important as physical health and merits a similar level of awareness. Issues with our mental health can sometimes start in young people and providing sufficient support for early interventions is crucial.

Our mental health is concerned with:

  • Our thinking, feeling and behaviour
  • How we cope with life events and experiences
  • Our beliefs about ourselves, others and the world around us
  • How we are affected by stress
  • How we deal with stress

The majority of any mental health issues will occur by the time someone is 24 years old. Young people have a huge amount to go through during school years including exams, adolescence and puberty, bullying and self-harm, changing schools and making new friends, growing and learning about themselves constantly and so much more. Currently there is not enough funding or resources available to ensure that those young people needing mental health support have access to help. Yet early interventions could make all the difference.

Be Part of the Solution

Mental health for young people needs to be a priority for everyone. It’s also very easy to be part of a solution and to facilitate help and support where needed.

  • Keep the conversation going
    • Mental health issues are not going away. Being open to talking about issues or experience you may have and feel able to share will help increase awareness.
  • Notice what is going on for the young people in your life. Check out the poster below for signs to look out for.
  • Do basic training in Mental Health First Aid.
  • Promote open communication and transparency with the young people in your life. Often, starting a conversation could be the biggest hurdle.
  • Remember that it is healthy to talk about your feelings. Being able to do this with young people may encourage them to be able to do the same.

Mental Health First Aid

Click on the image below to download the pdf poster version free courtesy of MHFA England (Mental Health First Aid England).

There are many resources available online for finding support for young people including here.

Psychotherapy at Bluecoats Sports Club Horsham

Southdowns Psychotherapy is also now at Bluecoats Sports Club in Horsham

I am pleased to announce a second location for Southdowns Psychotherapy.

In addition to a base in Washington, I will offer psychotherapy and counselling services from the therapy room at Bluecoats Sports Club in Horsham. The therapy room is a private room beyond the gym and offers a convenient location close to Horsham town centre. Bluecoats Sports is located within the grounds of Christ’s Hospital school to the south of Horsham town centre. It is within easy distance of the A24 making it accessible to locations up and down the main road including Southwater, Barns Green, Broadbridge Heath, Mannings Heath, Nuthurst, Maplehurst, Billingshurst and surrounding areas.

Bluecoats is under 10 mins walk from Christ’s Hospital train station

I can offer limited times at both locations and welcome you to mention your preferred location when you get in touch.

Bluecoats Sports Health and Fitness Club
Christ’s Hospital
RH13 0YB

The 5-4-3-2-1 Simple Tool To Reduce Anxiety and Stress

5…4…3…2…1  –  5 Simple Steps

When anxiety takes over and threatens our peace of mind, we can feel overwhelmed and it can be difficult to stay in the moment.

The following “5-4-3-2-1” tool is a simple yet effective method for regaining control of your mind and aims to ground you again in the moment when anxiety threatens to take over.

This exercise helps bring us back to our senses by inviting us to focus on our senses and encourages us to focus on our breathing. As with any type of trigger, remembering to take deep breaths in and out will control hyperventilation and slow your heart rate.

This technique can be used in a panic attack as it promotes the calming response in our body to combat the emergency panic response in our body.



Look around and name five things you can see. Wherever you are, take the time to look up and around and focus on naming 5 items you can see around you. No matter how big or how small, state 5 things.


Look around and name four things you can touch. Whether it is the back of your own hand, your toes or the chair you may be sitting on. State 4 things you can feel.



Look around and name three things you can hear. These things need to be external sounds rather than any internal bodily sounds you can hear.



Look around and name two things you can smell. This may be tricky but you could focus on your breathing and smell the air going in and out of your lungs or you may be able to smell a cushion on the sofa or the palms of your hands.


Name one thing you can taste. You don’t have to actively look to put something in your mouth for this one. It may be the taste inside your mouth. Maybe you had a sandwich and coffee for lunch and you can still taste those flavours.



When intense emotions threaten to overwhelm us, focusing on the above exercise will help to ground you and bring your thinking part of your brain back online. You will regain a sense of control and calm in being able to help yourself combat anxiety triggers.

For more support with anxiety, get in touch with Alana to book an assessment session and to find out more about how psychotherapy can help with anxiety. You can also download a copy of the Southdowns Psychotherapy 54321 Grounding Exercise here.