World Mental Health Day 2018 – Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World
Imagine a world where mental health has no stigma. Where we treat common mental health problems like a flu or a cavity, being able to call in sick, to take time off without the fear of being judged or labeled.
Today is World Mental Health Day and the 70th Anniversary of the World Federation for Mental Health. Yet there is still so much more to do to raise awareness and help those struggling with mental health.
This year’s theme brings attention to the issues our youth and young adults are facing in the world today and begins the conversation around what they need in order to grow up healthy, happy and resilient.
As a young startup with a mission to change the recruitment industry and cater to the needs and expectations of the millennial workforce, we are connected daily with young people and what the world looks like for them, and us, in 2018.
Here are some hard truths…
1 in 6 adults experiences a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression and 1 in 5 adults has considered taking their own life at some point. (World Federation for Mental Health, 2016)
The federation also points out that young people are spending most of their day on the internet – experiencing cyber crimes, cyber bullying, world conflict and catastrophic news. Suicide and substance abuse numbers have been steadily rising, LGBTQ youth are feeling alone and persecuted for being true to themselves and young adults are at the age when serious mental illnesses can occur and yet they are taught little to nothing about mental illness and wellbeing.
Perhaps we don’t have all the answers as to ‘why’ but could it be the pressure we feel in today’s society? Pressure to not only meet our parents’ expectations of stability (the job, the house, the family, all before 30!) but to also make a difference in the world, have an impact, be known, feel we matter. The latter aspirations are undoubtedly fuelled by the rise of social media, reality TV and overnight celebrity status. On top of it all, there’s the constant search for happiness. We find ourselves questioning, doubting, comparing: ‘Am I happy?’ ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘What is my purpose?’
This blog post may only scratch the surface, but we want to shine light on the challenges faced by young people like us and share a different perspective on understanding mental health.
- The main thing to remember is that you are not defined by your mental health issues or illness. No more than you are defined by a physical illness.
This realisation softens the guilt and inner dialogue we carry out with ourselves, which very often can be harsh, bringing us down even more. The more we work on gaining perspective of our identity being separate from our struggles and that we are deserving of love, support and help, the easier it is to open up about mental health problems.
Learn to trust that you will cope (better than you think)
You probably don’t give yourself enough credit, but are most likely dealing with those problems and emotions much better than you think. Also, many of the emotions we try to supress are perfectly normal. Acceptance and self-awareness will build your resilience to coping with poor mental health episodes.
- Thirdly, but probably the most important reminder is that struggling with mental health is NOT a weakness.
Most people experience poor mental health. And it never means weakness! You are not less of a person. It takes SO MUCH strength to acknowledge the issues, to talk about them openly, to seek help. You are brave, you are wise, and you are looking after your future self. Well done!
This conversation has just began, and we want to be part of it! And we need you to do the same, bravely and openly.
Let’s all use this year to emphasize the needs of our generation. It’s time to take a stand and demand more for the world’s young people – our future depends on it! #worldmentalhealthday
If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, or you're worried about someone you know - help is available. You're not alone; talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery.
Below are details on services and organisations that offer help and support directly to people with mental health problems:
The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day - in full confidence. Call 116 123 - it's FREE Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can call the Rethink advice and information line Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm for practical advice on: different types of therapy and medication. benefits, debt, money issues. police, courts, prison. your rights under the Mental Health Act. Call Rethink on 0300 5000 927 (calls are charged at your local rate).
Mind offer an information line to answer questions about: types of mental health problem where to get help drug and alternative treatments advocacy. Call the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 (UK landline calls are charged at local rates, and charges from mobile phones will vary considerably). Or email email@example.com.
The Mind Legal Advice service
If you need legal advice, you can speak to Mind about: mental health mental capacity community care human rights and discrimination/equality related to mental health issues. Call the Mind Legal Advice service on 0300 466 6463 (UK landline calls are charged at local rates, and charges from mobile phones will vary considerably). Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may find it helpful to talk to your partner, a relative or a friend about your problems. They may be concerned about you and welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to say. If this is not possible, you may prefer to talk to someone else you can trust, like a faith leader or a tutor. You can find out more about friendships and how to tell your friends on our friendships page.
Your GP may be the first person you talk to about your mental health problems. If you have a good relationship with your doctor, you may find it helpful just to know there is someone you can talk to about the feelings you are having. Your GP may refer you to specialist services if he/she feels they will help you. You can find information about talking to your GP about your mental health in our guide.
If you are unhappy with your own doctor, you can ask to see another doctor at the same practice or make an appointment with a different practice in your area. If you are unsure where to find other doctor’s surgeries, look in your local Yellow Pages or try the NHS Choices website.