Mental health awareness

Mental health is a big factor in everyday lives and is a big part in the decrease of mental well being in many people. One in eight people under the age of nineteen in England have a mental health disorder, and among children aged 5 to 15, one in nine had a mental health disorder. Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people, and these include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder. A good mental health means a person can develop their resilience to cope with the difficulties in life and grow into a well-rounded individual. The best way to maintain a positive mentality is to:

• Have a good physical health, balanced diet and regular exercise • Have freedom to be creative • Socialise with friends and family • Attend a school which checks up on your mental state • Taking part in activities at school or outside • Feeling loved and cared for • Acceptance from people • Believing you have someone to share issues with

There are many reasons which can trigger mental health problems in young people such as: moving school or home, developing into a teenager, family problems, low self esteem and dealing with a loss from someone. The most common mental health problems are depression (teenagers more likely than young children), generalised anxiety disorder, PTSD (the turmoil of witnessing something traumatising), self-harm and eating disorders. Receiving emotional support when dealing with mental health issues is not always there for some children and teenagers. It’s difficult to speak out about how you feel when you are so used to bottling everything inside of you, until one day you burst. Every mental health disorder affects in different ways, but they all take a drastic turmoil on young people and how they live their everyday lives.

We tend to suffer in silence as its hard to reach out for help, not everyone understands the mental pain we feel. It can be really hard for some people to get themselves into school in the morning, and most of the time the added pressure of school can be a trigger for some mental health problems. Mental health is discussed in school but is ‘glamorised’ in the fact that it is not taking seriously enough and many students offend others by saying they have a mental health issue, to some who are suffering deeply. It is a glamorised topic, which is never handled in the right context when talking to students. To maintain a positive well-being, young people need a support system where they feel comfortable to just have someone to listen to them. Listening. That’s all we really need sometimes, no other strings attached. Mental health should not be a taboo subject ‘what mental health needs is more sunlight, more candour, and more unashamed conversation’, but it should not be glamorised and seen as a ‘popular’ part in culture where everyone states they have it. We need to grow as individuals to comfort those who are suffering in silence, to show our support and love for those who need help. Mental health is never going to leave, but the way we deal with it will change and develop through the future, hopefully for the better. Remember; you are loved. I’m going to leave this article with a quote I enjoyed, ‘If we start being honest about our pain, our anger, and our shortcomings instead of pretending they don’t exist, then maybe we’ll leave the world a better place than we found it’ by Russel Wilson.

By Eve Shipley