Everyone has ‘mental health’. Mental health includes how we feel about ourselves and those around us, how we socialise and form relationships and how we learn from others and develop emotionally. Being mentally healthy also includes the strength to overcome difficulties and challenges in everyday life and have the confidence and self-esteem to be able to make decisions.
It’s normal to sometimes feel worried, anxious or upset when things don’t go to plan or you have pressures from areas such as school, work, friends or family. Everyone faces these life pressures but it is important to be able to manage them in a healthy way.
The issue comes when you are experiencing worries, anxieties or difficult feelings so much that they’re seriously interfering with your everyday life, like not being able to sleep as normal, not being able to study, not being able to go out with friends or take part in your favourite hobby. If you have these feelings for a few weeks or longer, you may need help and advice.
Mental ill-health is very common, around 1 in 10 young people have a mental health diagnosis. Additionally, there will be lots of others that are suffering anxiety or depression but have not had this officially recognised. If this is something you think you may be dealing with, you can get more information from the resources below or call the following helplines to get further advice and support.
It’s important to remember the sooner you reach out and get help, the sooner it will be to getting better. Mental health disorders are treatable and common, so there are many people who will understand what you are experiencing.
Support, advice and treatment is available in many forms and a combination of these can be put in place for someone. Firstly, a visit to the GP will kick start getting help. Talking to a trusted friend, sibling, parent/carer, youth worker, or teacher is also important. If you don’t know who to turn to or want to speak to someone initially that doesn’t know you, the following organisations are here to help:
Redbridge Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) – Tel: 0300 555 1182 or 0300 300 1624. In an emergency outside of office hours, call Mental Health Direct – 24 hour crisis line – on 0300 555 1000. You can find more information on the website.
Check out this Mental Health Useful Contacts Booklet developed by EWMHS.
They’ve also put together a resource list for help with anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic.
24 hour helpline for anyone who is distressed or experiencing emotional problems – call 08457 909090 or e-mail jo@Samaritans.org.
A free, private and confidential service – call on 0800 1111. Also available is a 1-2-1 counsellor chat.
Resources and websites
There are lots of online resources which provide mental health information for young people. These include:
– Rethink Mental Illness offers information on symptoms, different conditions, diagnosis, treatments and living with mental illness. There are also tools that can be downloaded which can help you look after your mental health
– Invictus Trust, Mental Health Portal provides information for young people on depression, anxiety and self harm
– Selfharm UK provides help and advice on self-harm – including eating disorders
– Mind, Mental Health A- Z covers a wide range of topics including anger, abuse, loneliness, panic attacks and phobias
– Stem4 Calm Harm an app for your smartphone that helps manage the urge to self-harm
– Stem4 Clear Fear an app for your smartphone that helps manage anxiety
– The Mix provides essential support with looking after your online mental health (for under 25s)
– In Redbridge, the YouCan Young People’s Participation Group have developed a handout for young people on self-help strategies
Local organisations and support can be identified using the interactive digital map – you can filter the results just to get those for young people:
If you are concerned about a friend or another young person’s mental health, check out the Good Thinking Guide ‘Looking Out for Your Friends’: