Health and Wellbeing
Everyone has mental health, it is how we think, feel and act. Just like physical health, everyone has it and we need to take care of it. Just like physical illness we can sometimes become mentally ill.
If you are self-harming, you might feel lonely, isolated and like you can’t tell anyone about it – but you are not alone. We really encourage you to talk about it, and more importantly about how you’re feeling.
It might feel difficult (maybe even impossible) to start with. Sometimes writing, drawing or painting how you’re feeling can help too, or some of these other distractions.
We’re not saying it will fix everything, but usually it can really help to get it out – it can help you realise what’s going on inside your head and how you’re feeling, as well as helping others to understand why you may be behaving differently.
You could talk to a friend, family member, someone you trust at school, college or university, your GP, youth worker, or counsellor.
Here are some ideas that might help you to start a conversation about how you’re feeling:
- I’m finding (…) really hard right now;
- Can we have a chat about (…);
- I’ve being doing (…) to myself and I don’t know why;
- If you’ve got a moment I could really do with a chat;
- Can I talk to you in private please?
If you’re not quite ready to talk to someone yet, here are four websites where you’ll find information and support:
- Right Here – YMCA Right Here is a health and wellbeing project for 11-25 year olds based in Brighton and Hove. They offer advice and support on looking after yourself, visiting your GP, and self-harm and suicide prevention.
- Find Get Give – a mental health services directory for young people created by YMCA’s Brighton & Hove Right Here project in partnership with other local groups. This site allows users to search for support, share stories about their own mental health and give feedback on services they have used for others to read.
- Self Harm UK – Support for young people affected by self-harm.
- YoungMinds – A leading charity in the UK fighting for young people’s mental health.
It’s important if you’re harming yourself that you keep yourself safe. If you’re worried that you’ve done something serious, call 999 for an ambulance.
“You can contact Childline about anything. No problem is too big or too small. Whatever your worry it’s better out than in.”
You can contact Childline by phone, email, text or via a message board. To phone call 0800 1111. They have a video that shows you what happens when you contact them and lots of ideas and information about keeping safe. Their website is www.childline.org.uk.
There are things you can do to help you with your mental health:
Speaking to a trusted person about how you are feeling; this could be family, friends, doctor, school nurse or counsellor.
Get some regular exercise – Studies have shown a link between exercise and better mental health.
Do things you enjoy whether it is dancing, hanging out with friends or reading.
Try to eat regularly even if it is small but often, and try to make health choices.
If you are worried about yours or someone else’s mental health, speak to an adult that you trust, this could be teacher, family, doctor or school nurse.
There are some other organizations that can help:
Samaritans has a 24 hour helpline for anyone who is distressed or experiencing emotional problems – call 116 123 or e-mail jo@Samaritans.org.
Childline is a free, private and confidential service – call on 0800 1111. Also available is a 1-2-1 counsellor chat.
Rethink Mental Illness – call 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 09:30 to 16:00)
Call Saneline on 0300 304 7000 (18:00 to 23:00)
Call Mind on 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 18:00)
Resources and websites
There are lots of online resources which provide mental health information for young people. These include:
– Rethink Mental Illness offers information on symptoms, different conditions, diagnosis, treatments and living with mental illness. There are also tools that can be downloaded which can help you look after your mental health
– Invictus Trust, Mental Health Portal provides information for young people on depression, anxiety and self harm
– Mind, Mental Health A- Z covers a wide range of topics including anger, abuse, loneliness, panic attacks and phobias