At SkyWay one of our core areas of focus is Health and Wellbeing. We look to support young people’s emotional, physical and mental health by running a range of healthy eating, indoor and outdoor activities which promote health and wellbeing. We offer one to one and group sessions utilising the solution-focused therapy model which is particularly useful when supporting young people through challenging and stressful periods.
Mental health issues often can’t be seen but can have a significant impact on someone’s social, emotional, and physical well-being. Mental health issues can be triggered by a variety of things such as stress, emotional and/or physical trauma, drug and/or alcohol misuse, and genetic causes. In most cases, the exact cause of a mental health issue can’t be pinpointed. Research from University College London shows that people in positions of social and/or economic disadvantage are much more likely to report mental health issues.
Research suggests that 20 percent of young people have a mental health issue in any given year in Britain, with most people starting to experience them in their teens and early twenties. Despite how common mental health issues are there is still a stigma surrounding them which often works as a barrier to people getting the help and support they need.
Help and support to maintain good mental health or to manage issues is available. Mind is a UK charity that promotes good mental health and supports people affected by mental health issues. Here are some tips from their website on ways to promote good mental health in your daily life:
- Talk about your feelings. Everyone goes through difficult times and no one should feel as though they need to face them alone.
- Have positive relationships with people. If people spend time with positive and supportive people, they are more likely to feel better about themselves and more engaged with the world around them.
- Take care of your physical health. Maintaining a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and a good sleep pattern helps reduce anxiety, boosts self-confidence, and releases endorphins – the ‘feel good’ hormones – which improve your mood. Good physical health will also help keep your energy levels up.
- Have a hobby. Make time to regularly do something that you enjoy. This could be anything! Music, gardening, writing, drama, etc. Learning something new and engaging in creative activity boosts confidence, opens a new avenue to express emotions, and can help you relax.
- Help others. Volunteering in your community or helping friends and relatives when they’re need has a positive impact on those around you, and your own mental health. It’s a win-win!
- Challenge yourself. Set yourself goals that you know you can achieve with a bit of effort, and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line, whatever that may be!
- Relax. Even if you don’t feel like you’re going through a stressful time, make time to relax. Walk away from the computer, close the books, and take a break.
- Know yourself. Knowing what affects your mood can help you feel more in control of your life.
- Take care of yourself. Especially if you’re going through a difficult time, don’t push yourself too hard. Get help from people around you and stay safe.
- Accept yourself. Nobody’s perfect, but everyone has value. Try not to compare yourself with others and learn to love and accept yourself as an individual. Learning to accept yourself is one of the most important steps to take in staying mentally healthy.
This month Mind will facilitate a series of workshops on Mindfulness at Fawcett Youth Club. According to Mind, practicing ‘mindfulness’ involves paying attention to the present moment and understanding your own feelings. Mindfulness has been shown to improve mental health because what we do and the way we think has the biggest impact on mental well-being.
If you or someone you know is suffering from poor mental health, SkyWay can support you! Please feel free to approach any member of the SkyWay team.
If you want more detailed information on mental health and ways to get help, visit Mind’s website: www.mind.org.uk
Off Centre is a counselling, therapy, advocacy, advice and psychosocial service for young people aged between 11 and 25 who live, work or study in Hackney.