Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
May 10th to May 16th 2021 is Mental Health Awareness Week! Over the next few days, we will be sharing resources about mental health from other charities on our social media. We’ll also be encouraging our young people to take some time to rest and reflect on their mental wellbeing.
Awareness is More Important than ever
Over the past decade or so, society has become a lot more aware of mental illness. Many of us have at least some awareness of the topic, whether through personal experience, friends and family or just through information being more accessible online.
According to the charity Place 2 Be, as many as 1 in 6 children and young people are affected by mental health problems. The charity Young Minds have been carrying out various surveys throughout the coronavirus pandemic, monitoring the mental wellbeing of young people in the UK. Alarmingly, one of their reports found that 80% of young people who responded felt the pandemic had made their mental health worse.
Here at Connect, our main goals have always been to support young people in our local community and reduce social isolation. Loneliness can be really bad for mental health. According to the Mental Health Foundation, loneliness and social isolation can increase a person’s chance of developing a mental illness, such as depression and anxiety.
With nearly a quarter of young people in the UK saying they ‘often’ feel lonely, social isolation among children and younger generations is a massive health issue (You Gov).
After a year of coronavirus restrictions and general uncertainty, a lot of people are probably feeling pretty stressed, upset, confused, lonely or anxious. This Awareness Week, it’s important we talk about these issues and make sure that as things continue to re-open and restrictions ease, we are being considerate towards others and conscious of our own mental wellbeing.
At Connect, we want to create an inclusive environment where young people can feel safe and welcomed. We want our young people to feel free to talk to us and the wider group about any issues affecting them or causes they are passionate about.
Tips for Looking after your Mental Health
Talk about it! The more open we can be about mental health issues, the easier it is for people to come forward and seek out support. Reducing the stigma that can still surround mental illness is an important step to supporting people who are struggling.
If you’re having a difficult time or know someone who is, it’s okay to seek out professional help and support. We’ve put together a list of great charities and organisations below who support people experiencing mental health issues.
It’s important to take time to do things you enjoy! Spending time doing a hobby, watching your favourite film, chatting to friends, or going outside can help reduce stress.
Be patient and kind with yourself. Some days might be more challenging than others, but try to think how you would react if someone you cared about was ill. You would probably encourage them to take their time, do something enjoyable and ask for help if they need it. Treat yourself the same way!
Resources and Support
Talking about your mental wellbeing can be difficult or even just awkward sometimes. However, it’s important to seek out help and let people know if you’re not feeling well. These organisations and charities have helplines and resources for people needing support with their mental wellbeing.