Let’s talk about mental health
– by Gabriel Astorga.
Far too often the words ‘mental health’ can automatically fill our minds with negative images of outdated treatments and cold, lonely hospitals.
But mental health is nothing like this, it’s like nothing we see in newspapers or films. It is the whole mental wellbeing of a person – positive and negative. Mental health disorders affect around 1 in 10 people, and I am so glad NCS have decided that this is something we need to discuss.
What is mental health?
“Mental health” can be thought of as:
- The way we feel about ourselves and the people around us
- The ability to interact socially and maintain relationships
- The way we can learn from others emotionally and psychologically
Having a good mental health is the how we overcome challenges and gain the self-esteem and confidence. We can all work towards improving our mental health even if we don’t feel like we can.
What can strain our mental health?
Just like our body health, if we put too much strain on our mind, we can damage it. Sometimes we don’t even know if we’re straining ourselves until we’re completely drained. The pressure can be caused by work, growing up or even by fighting with family and friends. All of these things put a strain on us and it can make us feel down.
We need to remember that it’s completely normal to feel worried, upset or anxious. It’s what makes us human, but we shouldn’t let these emotions control us.
Mental health issues can range from anything like depression to eating disorders. Nearly 80,000 youths are suffer depression and there’s a possibility we know someone with this condition. As friends or maybe even just a classmate, we should reach out and try to understand and help those who feel like they’re suffering through this alone. Usually affecting people throughout their teenage and adult life, but there is hope for anyone going through this.
When do we get help?
It can be extremely difficult to express your feelings to someone, especially since it makes us seem more vulnerable. But, when these difficult feelings start to interfere with our lives, then we need to start doing something about it. These feelings won’t just go away and could last for days or weeks.
The best way to solve it is to get help as soon as possible.
What can we do?
We need to stop making mental health taboo and start actually talking about it! The more we can talk about it, the more we can tackle the issue.
You can always talk to someone. A teacher, a friend or a parent would be a good first step. If not, there are helplines and websites you can contact who can help, or a medical professional that can also give some advice.
NCS has helped me realise that there will always be someone there to listen to you and your worries. These charities are just some of many devoted to helping teens like us: