This day is set up by the World Health Organisation and this year’s theme is young people and mental health in a changing world. We know that young people experience a lot of changes which can be unsettling. I think we all know how some things are much harder for young people today and interestingly last night when I was out with friends we were discussing just that. One of my friends admitted he sometimes finds using social media hard as whilst you know you are seeing a snapshot of only the happy parts of people’s lives you sometimes forget and feel you are missing out. So imagine how difficult that is for children and young people now growing up with, and being constantly exposed to, social media. For those being bullied there is no longer the respite that other generations had when they get home. A lot of children check their social media accounts during the night and so are sleep deprived which makes everything harder.
There is a horrific statistic that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of deaths among 15-29 year olds (World Health Organisation). So we need to teach our children how to talk about their feelings, for them to know that it is good to cry, to teach them compassion for those with mental health issues and how to ask for help.
I am constantly surprised how many men find it difficult to talk about their feelings to other men but are okay talking to me. Obviously I am glad they are able to talk to someone and it is a privilege to support them during their difficult times but it does worry and upset me that they won’t talk to each other as not every man has a female friend or relation. I have frequently asked men why they can’t talk to each other even when they know they have similar struggles and they just can’t explain it, it is almost like an unwritten rule. I know from talking to my friends how important it is that we are honest and vulnerable with each other. This is a key life skill and something we need to nurture from an early age as well as get rid of some of the damaging gender stereotypes.
Please all look after each other and if you are worried about someone else do ask them how they are doing & listen to what they say. Remember there are plenty of places out there offering amazing support, I shall include a couple of numbers below.
Samaritans – Call 116 123 – it’s free or email email@example.com
Childline – Call 0800 1111 – it’s free
If you have been bereaved by suicide and want some support I can email you a document with various resources so please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t suffer in silence and if I can help in any way just contact me.
Take care x