Mental health includes social, psychological and emotional well-being. Mental health refers to the ability to function and deal with daily life and everything it represents.
The phrase ‘mental health’ is often thought to refer to mental health problems. It is the case, however, that everyone has mental health. People have times when their mental health is good and also times when it isn’t. Mental health can vary over time, just like physical health.
Mental ill health is a phrase used to describe a range of conditions which can lead to changes in feelings or behaviour. These conditions include; anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and psychosis. This is not an exhaustive list.
One in ten children experience mental ill health and over 50% of mental health illnesses start before the age of 14.
If you have any concerns relating to mental health, you can contact your school’s safeguarding team for support or signposting to additional help.
Early Warning Signs
Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviours can be an early warning sign of a problem:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Shouting or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your children or getting to work or school
Mental Health and Wellness
Positive mental health allows people to:
- Realise their full potential
- Cope with the stresses of life
- Work productively
- Make meaningful contributions to their communities
Ways to maintain positive mental health include:
- Getting professional help if you need it
- Connecting with others
- Staying positive
- Getting physically active
- Helping others
- Getting enough sleep
- Developing coping skills
- National Wellbeing Services
Resources to help talk about mental health; everyday tips; personal stories; activities to boost your mood; looking after yourself and your family; wellbeing for young people; relaxing; sleep; music to support your mood; other resources and information/support
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Support for men in the UK of any age who are down or in crisis via a helpline, webchat and website.
www.thecalmzone.net 0800 585858
Make it Count – A guide for parents and carers from the Mental Health Foundation
This guide is for parents and carers to help children understand, protect, and sustain their mental health.
Mermaids supports gender-diverse children and young people until their 20th birthday, as well as their families and professionals involved in their care.
MIND – A charity campaigning for everyone experiencing a mental health problem to get support and respect.
Information and Support
NSPCC – Children’s mental health: Guides for parents
Advice for parents to help them support their child / children / a child / children known to them who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal feelings or self-harm.
Place2Be - Supporting your child's mental health
Parents / carers / families have an important role in teaching children and young people how to understand and manage their feelings as they grow up.
Rethink Mental Illness
Provides a range of services nationally and locally, including advocacy, carer support and crisis services
www.rethink.org 0121 5227007
Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. We're here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
www.samaritans.org 116 123 (24/7)
Provides out of hours mental health and emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental ill health including friends, family and carers.
0300 304 7000 (6pm-11pm 7 days a week) www.sane.org.uk
Stonewall campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain.
Young Minds – fighting for young people’s mental health
Parenting isn’t always easy! And it’s OK to ask for / seek help.