Today marks Youth Mental Health Day 2023, and here at Changing Futures North East, we believe in supporting children and young people when it comes to their mental health in order to create a positive and bright future.
One of our Children's Wellbeing Practioners, Emily, has some very handy tips in helping young people on how to #BeBrave and how grown ups can encourage their child to talk about their feelings.
Tips for young people on how to be brave when discussing their mental health:
Talking about mental health can be a scary but important step towards seeking help and support. Children and young people should have a supportive environment in which they can discuss anything that may worry or upset them. Here are five tips that you can share to any young person on how to be brave when discussing their mental health:
- Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a quiet, comfortable, and private space to talk about your mental health. It's important to feel safe and relaxed when discussing your feelings and concerns. Timing is also key; pick a moment when you and the other person are not rushed and can have a focused conversation.
- Start with Trusted Individuals: Begin by confiding in someone you trust, such as a close friend, family member, or a counsellor. Sharing your feelings with someone who is understanding and empathetic can make the process less intimidating and more supportive.
- Plan What You Want to Say: Organise your thoughts before starting the conversation. Jot down key points you want to address or write a letter expressing your feelings. Having a plan can help you communicate your thoughts and emotions more clearly.
- Use "I" Statements: When talking about your mental health, use "I" statements to express your feelings and thoughts. For example, say "I've been feeling overwhelmed lately" instead of "You make me feel overwhelmed." This approach can help avoid blame and urge a more empathetic response.
- Be Patient with Yourself: Understand that discussing your mental health can be challenging, and it's okay to feel nervous or emotional. Be patient with yourself and allow for breaks if needed during the conversation. Remember that bravery isn't about being fearless; it's about facing your feelings and seeking help despite any fears or anxieties.
Remember that seeking support and talking about your mental health is a courageous act that can lead to improved well-being and a stronger support network. Don't hesitate to reach out to professionals if you need guidance or additional support in managing your mental health.