• Dr Helen Care

Mental Health Awareness

This mental health awareness week, we are passing on information from The Mental Health Foundation. These notes are from their published guide to good mental health for school children. You can find their website details at the end with links to lots more useful info.

Good mental health helps us to cope with life’s ups and downs and to ask for support from others when we need it.

When times get tough . . .

Remember that it is normal to go up and down the spectrum of mental health at different times in our lives.

Here are some things you can do to support yourself when things get tough:

Try writing down how you feel

Some young people find keep a ‘mood diary’ helpful to record how they feel on different days and identify any patterns which might explain what is upsetting them.

Reach out to others who are struggling

If you know that someone else in your friendship group is also finding things difficult, reach out to them and see if you can support each other. Helping someone else can help you feel better too.

Be kind to yourself

When times are hard, it’s important to be extra kind to yourself, just as you would be kind to a friend in need. Think about what you might find comforting – re-reading a favourite book, playing some favourite music, watching a film you enjoy with a friend or parent/carer, going for a walk to clear your head.

Speak to someone you trust

One of the most important things you can do is to speak to someone rather than ‘bottling up’ your feelings inside yourself. Choose a close friend, family member or a teacher or other school staff member to share your worries with.

Ask for help

If you continue to struggle, and especially if you have any thoughts about hurting yourself, speak to a member of school staff or ask your parent/carer to book a GP appointment for you.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone directly, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or Childline on 0800 1111. Remember there shouldn’t be any shame in asking for help, in fact it’s a sign of courage.

Find out more. . .

Use the resources below to find out more about mental health and wellbeing:

The Mental Health Foundation website has a useful A-Z of key mental health topics: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z

Young Minds provide useful information for young people and their parents about mental health, seeking treatment and the mental health system: https:// youngminds.org.uk/

Childline have lots of advice about managing different feelings as well as their phoneline which is open 24 hours a day https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/ your-feelings/

Kooth provide counselling support both face to face and online https://kooth. com/

Mind have a whole range of information and support information for children and parents on their website: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/

Published by The Mental Health Foundation at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

forwarded by A Confident Start - psychology that works for your family

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