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.