Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World

11/10/2018

Today, Wednesday 10 October is World Mental Health Day and on this day each year thousands of supporters come together to celebrate this annual awareness program and bring attention to mental illness and its effects on people’s lives worldwide.

World Mental Health Day was created by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992 as a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. This year’s theme and focus for the campaign is ‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World’. Children growing up in our world today constantly battle the effects of human rights violations, wars and violence in the home, schools and businesses. Young people are spending most of their day on the internet – experiencing cyber-crimes, cyber bullying, and playing violent video games. Suicide and substance abuse numbers have been steadily rising and LGBTQ youth are feeling alone and persecuted for being true to themselves. Young adults are at the age when serious mental illnesses can occur and yet they are taught little to nothing about mental health. Good mental health is just as important as good physical health and maintaining it should be a priority for everyone. Research has proved that mental health begins in infancy and 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 Years old) have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem.

20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year.
50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

One in four people in Northern Ireland will experience problems that affect their mental health, yet very few of us are willing to talk about the subject openly. Those with mental health problems often face stigma and discrimination, and fear of these can prevent them from getting help and hinder their recovery.

When it comes to our wellbeing evidence shows that good relationships-with family and friends and our wider communities- are important for our mental and physical wellbeing.  We as a Trust value the mental wellbeing of staff and communities. So during World Mental Health Day we hope people will have ‘Coffee and Connect’ ideas within their own organizations to promote good mental health.

There are lots of connecting ideas you can find in the Coffee and Connect Information pack which can be downloaded on www.setrust.hscni.net click on Healthy Living and then on ‘Mental health and Emotional Wellbeing’ and it is available for download on the resources section. You can also find 5 Ways of Wellbeing on the site to complement the Coffee and Connect idea.

For more information or to request an information pack please contact Maureen Bruce by email: maureen.bruce@setrust.hscni.net