One in four of us will experience a serious problem with our mental wellbeing at some point in our lives. This means it is highly unlikely that any of us will make it through life without having a mental health problem or being close to someone who does.
If you have a broken arm or someone notices that you’re bleeding then they will help you or at least point you in the direction of help, “You wanna get to the doctor, love” is a common phrase, but why doesn’t it apply to our mental health?
Your mental health (or emotional wellbeing) is about keeping your mind and emotional self healthy and resilient (that means that you can recover easily after trauma). Everyone has mental health, but some people struggle to maintain their positive mental health. Having poor or negative mental health can affect a person’s concentration, emotions, the way they react and perform in everyday tasks, and cause major disruption within their lives to a point as severe as not being able to get out of bed in the morning, socialise or interact with people, or perform properly at work or in a place of education.
The RCT Youth Engagement and Participation Service understands that mental health is an important issue and we are working with partner agencies to raise awareness, offer advice and support, and champion mental health services that are accessible by young people.
In 2017 we held two #RCTPositiveMentalHealth conferences which engaged with over 100 young people and 60 staff from organisations that work with young people. We asked young people; via consultations like Viewpoint and our Youth Forums, what issues were factors in why they were bullied (bullying has a major negative impact on mental health) and we found that:
- Appearance and Body Image was the number one most voted for issue, followed by
- Friendships and Relationships
- Sexual Orientation.
Young people and staff worked on these issues and an educational DVD was produced, and the YEPs service continues to work towards increasing our knowledge and the support/advice we offer to those struggling with mental health issues. We also work closely with Children in Wales and the UK Youth Parliament who have had previous mental health campaigns working with the health boards and other partners.
You are not alone and you should talk to someone if you are struggling. There are a number of services that can offer information, advice and support. Here are a few below:
Cardiff Youth Council made a fantastic resource for young people looking for mental health information called: Mind Hub. You can find a list of services, definitions, terms, and much more on the website that are specific to Cardiff and the surrounding areas. PLEASE NOTE: this website is not manned and any updates are made by young volunteers, this is not a helpline and does not deal with personal/individual queries.
As always, if you are worried about your (or someone else) life or are in immediate danger then please contact the emergency services on: 999.