Mental health is something that we all have, just like our physical health. This can change at any time and go from being healthy to struggling or unwell. The Word Health Organisation defines mental health as “a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing.”
It basically means how we think, feel or act can be affected which then can affect other parts of our lives such as school or relationships. In school there are many places you can go for support, your tutor, a favourite teacher, CPP, Head of House, the school nurse, LSU or the intervention room. It is important to share how you feel and staff in school will not judge you.
If you are having a bad day find things that will cheer you up or take your mind off of things. For example:
- Take a bath
- Talk to friends or family
- Watch your favourite programme
- Listen to music
If you continually feel down it is a good idea to talk to someone about this. We can all suffer with mental health through parts of our lives.
Catch 22 is a service for the community which offers targeted and specialist treatment for young people age 25 years and under. They run substance misuse interventions which are confidential and non-judgemental about drugs and alcohol. This is to inform young people and give them a choice and improve their health and wellbeing. The service gives support to many other services such as youth-offending, youth support and education along with links to CAMHS practitioners.
In October 2018 Catch 22 launched a new service called Inclusion 22 which is dedicated to children aged 8-17 years old whose parents are misusing substances. There is a mix of group work and 1:1 Support in the community.
The services offer support in many areas including:
- 24/7 emergency crisis line for young people: 0800 599 9591
- Specialist harm reduction services
- Care plans made specifically for each individual
- Family support
- One to one and group interventions
- Support in the community
Referrals can be made from anyone, professionals, parents or carers and even young people themselves. To make a referral use their website and complete the necessary forms.
Do you ever feel like your mind is constantly going from one thing to another, unable to focus on what is going on right at this moment? Mindfulness can help this. It can reduce stress and anxiety, develop positive relationships with yourself and others and improve emotional resilience. It seem hard at first to be mindful but companies have developed apps so you can practise when you want. Free apps such as mindshift, stop, breathe and think and Breathr all work on mindfulness. You could also try Headspace which is free although watch out for premium parts that you pay for. Below is an idea of how you can be more mindful. Mindfullness will take practise and you will need to keep trying for it to work for you. There is lots you can read on mindfullness, try this website out for starters https://www.mindful.org/how-to-take-mindful-snack/
Another activity you can try is colouring, it is great to get yourself out of your head and just concentrate on what you are doing. Here is a link to free printable colouring sheets (there are lots online though) :
YPI is a charity based in at The Orchard in Basingstoke for free counselling sessions or mental health and emotional support for young people aged 11 to 25 yeard old. There is also support availables for parents or the family. They run both 1-to-1 sessions and group work.
It may feel daunting going to talk to someone but there are trained counsellors who are friendly and non-judgemental who can help support you to build awareness, understanding and strategies. They can offer help with a number of things such as, feeling lonely, depression, anxiety, problems at home or school, grieving, anger or self-harm. You can see the full list on their website. Anyone can refer to YPI.
Self-esteem is the way you think and feel about yourself. An individual with a healthy self-esteem will feel good about themselves and have a positive outlook. Those with a low self-esteem may not think highly or believe in themselves. It’s normal to have times when you feel down but if it carried on you may need to work on your self-esteem. Lots of things can affect your self-esteem and it can stop you from wanting to do things, but the good news is that even by doing little things you can start to build it back up again. Here are some ideas;
- Try out a new activity (maybe you could do this with a friend)
- Make a list of the good things about you
- Create a journal and record good things and achievements
- Try to change negative thinking. For example, ‘I’m stupid’ to ‘I can do this, I need to keep trying’. Think of the times you have managed to do things.
- Don’t try to compare yourself, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses
- Practise being assertive – have your voice heard but in a kind way
- Get enough sleep!!
- Set small goals that you can reach
- Concentrate on your real friends that will support you and want the best for you
- Don’t be so hard on yourself
If you try working on your self-esteem and you still don’t feel good, reach out for help. Talk to a parent or guardian, doctor, any one at school or a trusted adult.