Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health issues amongst young people were a prevalent concern. In fact, one in six young people in Wales have diagnosable mental health issues and this is sadly on the rise.
Therefore, it’s important that we support young people with their mental health struggles and point them and their parents and guardians towards useful and effective resources. Another way we can show our solidarity with young people is by celebrating Youth Mental Health Day and spreading awareness of mental health concerns among young people.
Youth Mental Health Day 2022
What is Youth Mental Health Day? Well, this is an awareness day that is celebrated on September 19th 2022; it was started by the charity stem4 who want to promote positive and healthy mental health in young people such as teenagers and those who support them through the provision of mental health education, resilience strategies and early intervention.
The aim of Youth Mental Health Day is to encourage discussions and understanding around mental health in young people, ensuring that young people and those who support them are taking steps to improve the wellbeing of themselves, children and teenagers. In turn, stem4 hopes to make sure all young people are living happy, healthy, and carefree lives not just during the awareness day, but all year long.
The theme for this year’s Youth Mental Health Day is #ConnectMeaningfully; whether we like it or not, we’re living in a digital world where we’re able to access around-the-clock social media, chat with friends and family online no matter where they are in the world, and find the answers to any possible questions in a matter of seconds – sounds fantastic, right?
Well, although we are more connected than ever before many young people and adults alike are feeling a strong disconnection with others, even more so during and after the pandemic. However, in a survey conducted by BBC Radio 4 (The Loneliness Experiment), it was found that young people aged between 16-24 are the loneliest age group in the UK, with 40% of respondents feeling lonely ‘often’ or ‘very often’.
In light of this statistic, Youth Mental Health Day 2022 invites young people to reflect on their connections, whether that’s friends, family, teachers, or peers, and share the story of their genuine connections and how others can foster positive relationships with the hashtags #YMHD and #ConnectMeaningfully. Stem4 has a wide range of resources available for schools, young people and adults to ensure that everyone can celebrate Youth Mental Health Day and learn how to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
The Importance of Good Wellbeing from an Early Age
Awareness days like Youth Mental Health Day are essential to ensuring we’re all learning about and reflecting on the mental health of young people. With the number of young people experiencing mental health issues on the rise, it’s essential that we look out for and maintain the wellbeing of the young people around us.
Having good mental health and wellbeing as a young person is very important. It’s through having these solid emotional foundations that young people are able to navigate everyday life as well as the difficult times and situations that life throws at us every now and then. Being resilient and strong enough to cope with negative thoughts and emotions is what gets us through uncertain times, but if young people aren’t or are unable to live a healthy lifestyle then they might not grow to become well-rounded, happy adults.
So, what can young people do to ensure they live a healthy lifestyle and maintain their wellbeing? They can try out one or more of these techniques: They could carry out some, or all the following:
- Physical Health – this includes exercising regularly to boost your endorphins and eating a balanced and nutritious diet.
- Relax – whether it’s with a good book, watching your favourite TV show, or putting on a facemask, find ways to relax and unwind.
- Rest – it’s important to get your eight hours of sleep every night to ensure you process the day and are well-rested for another exciting day.
- Support Systems – talk to your connections to #ConnectMeaningfully, whether it’s friends or family, be sure to talk and rely on them for help and support.
By combining these tips into your daily routine, you’ll be helping to ensure that those difficult times don’t get the better of you and that you can cope with anything that may happen.
How Adults Can Support Young People
Parents, guardians and teachers can also help with supporting young people’s mental health through being active and present support systems. The most important thing you can do is listen; most of the time young people will be worried that no one will want to listen or understand what they’re going through and experiencing. Being able to have an open and honest relationship with the young person will aid in them trusting and feeling comfortable around you enough to confide in you.
While listening is the first step, you must also help with making them feel better, whether that’s carrying out the tips above, spending quality time with them, or seeking professional help. During these steps, let the young person know that you’re there for them, and involve them in any decision-making so they continue to feel heard and safe.
Training That Can Help
These steps will aid in maintaining the mental wellbeing of a young person, but sometimes more practical and hands-on experience is a better way to understand and learn about mental health.
Here at MHFA Wales, we can offer a number of courses through our experienced and fully qualified trainers that will help you fully understand how to take care of the wellbeing and mental health of a young person. We can offer:
- Youth – Mental Health First Aid Wales – 2 Day Course
- Youth – Mental Health First Aid Wales Instructor Training – 5 Day Course
- Mental Health Awareness – Half-day Course
Through any of these training options, you’ll be ensuring that you have the skills, resources, and capability to maintain the mental health of a young person. Although this may seem daunting and a lot of responsibility at first, having the confidence and understanding to help a young person struggling with their wellbeing will help to make the world of difference.
To find out more about us, the types of training we provide, or book a course through one of our licensed instructors, visit our website and help to ensure the happiness of the young people around you.