We have been working hard delivering our Raise it Up! mental health awareness workshops in schools to help young people identify changes in their mental health and how to act early when they notice changes in a friend.
The feedback has been amazing and, more importantly, hundreds more young people now have practical, usable skills, and information to support each other. Our young people don’t need any more stats on youth mental health. They are crying out, literally, for hands on tools to help make a difference to their mental wellbeing now.
Empowering teenagers to be positive about mental health and to be actively de-stigmatising it is so important. Why? Well, most young people will have a mental health struggle in their adolescence or know someone who does.
So, what can you do?
A change is a warning sign, it can be anything from withdrawing from their usual activities and isolating themselves, to increasing levels of absence from school or work. Notice if they are just not being their usual self. Some changes to look out for:
Express yourself. Keep doing the things that you enjoy, especially when it is hard to motivate yourself, that is when you need to push yourself to do something that supports your mental health like:
That’s 16 million people experiencing issues such as depression, addiction, anxiety, and PTSD.
This means that right now there are at least 10 million children and adults having issues with their mental health and well-being.
If children aged between 5 and 16 don’t get the support they need, their problems will get worse. And it’s vital that they get help with their issues now, because:
By not giving children and young people the support they need at a young age, society is allowing their problems to manifest. With the right support at the right time, these problems can be managed and prevented. This is a serious issue because at the moment:
This problem is largely caused by a lack of available services. Not only would providing more money for support services benefit young people who are experiencing mental health issues, it would also be a good investment, because currently:
This figure includes both the cost of providing treatment for mental health issues, and the cost to the economy from people missing work due to mental health problems. The economic cost of mental health problems should not be underestimated, because:
Mental health is the single largest cause of disability in the UK. In terms of causing disability, mental health is a bigger problem than both cancer and cardiovascular disease. Yet treatment for mental health problems is still woefully inadequate.