Mental Health conditions are very common. Most people will experience problems with their mental health during their lifetime. Most will recover over time but there are also lots of people who live successfully with a mental health condition. You probably know some.
Whether you are concerned about yourself or a friend the important thing is to be open and talk to someone who can help, like your School Health Nurse. There are plenty of places that offers support and guidance.
Take action: If you are worried that you may have a mental health condition, you should visit your GP or talk to someone in your family or at your school. If you don’t want to talk to someone face to face, writing a letting can be a good alternative. Childline offer some guidance on how to write your letter.
What are the different types of health conditions?
There are a wide range of mental health conditions, each type has very different symptoms, causes and behavioral changes. Oxfordshire Health have created four informative films that help to explain mental health conditions which affect young people, explore treatment options, and understand the experience of living with a mental health condition.
Find out more: Watch the first four short films to find out more about Anxiety, Psychosis, Personal Disorder and Neurodiversity.
Where can I go to get support?
If you are worried about your mental health you should visit your GP to discuss your worries and to receive some advice from a health expert. If you have visited your GP, or if you are too worried, there lots of people and organisations whom can help; these include:
- Speak to your parents or carer.
- Visit your school Health Nurse.
- Discuss your concerns with your teacher.
- The Mix.
- Young Minds.
In addition, if necessary; someone, usually a parent/ carer, GP or teacher can also refer you to CAMHS. CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) is an NHS service which assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioral or mental health difficulties.
How can I support my friend?
Anybody can help someone with a mental health condition, you don’t have to be an expert! You may think that it can be difficult – but it’s easier than you think. If you notice someone acting differently, ask them if they’re okay, not once, but twice!
If you’re worried about the well-being of a friend, inviting them to hang out with you is a great way to start a conversation about mental health, you could:
- Invite them for a coffee.
- Go for a walk.
- Listen and be there for them.
Find out more: If you would like to find out more about how you can help a friend, this blog from Time to Change offers some useful help.
How can help improve my own mental health?
At some point in our lives we all feel stressed and anxious – it’s normal! There are some simple ways that you can help to improve your mental health, these include:
Eating right – Eating the right food can help to improve you mood, give you more energy and help you to think more clearly.
Taking part in regular exercise – Exercise is a crucial way to improve your mental health because it improves your mood, reduces stress and helps you sleep better.
Socialising – Spending time with friends and family is a great way to distract yourself and have some fun.
Get the right amount of sleep – getting the right amount of sleep is super important as it helps to reduce stress.
Take action: If you’re struggling with your sleeping, the app Sleepio is a six-week online programme to help you solve your sleep problem.
What is Neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity refers to the range of differences in individual brain functions and behaviours, there are many different types of Neurodiversity, these include:
The treatment for Neurodiversity is mainly medication, which is subscribed through your GP; although it is proven that mindfulness and meditation can also help – especially for those with ADHD.
Find out more: This short film from Oxfordshire Health offers some more in-depth information on Neurodiversity.
When should I seek help?
It can be difficult to know when to seek help with your mental health, its common to question whether or not you can handle it yourself, or if you should seek medical help. Seeking advice may be a wise idea if you’re:
- Worrying more than usual.
- Finding it hard to enjoy your life.
- Having worrying thoughts which are hard to cope with.
By visiting your GP then can make a diagnosis, offer support and treatment, as well as referring you to a mental health specialist.
If you decide that you can manage on your own, these top tips can help:
- Talk to your friends and family – no one should feel ashamed to talk about their mental health, Time to Change offer some great advice on this!
- Take time to relax.
- Get enough sleep.
- Distract yourself from the problem.
- Ensure you're eating the right food.
- Take part in regular exercise.