Youth Mental Health Day

Youth Mental Health Day

How to support healthy mental health in children and teenagers

When we think about being ‘healthy’, we jump straight to the thought of exercising, eating and sleeping well. However, making sure we have a healthy mental well-being is just as important. To celebrate Youth Mental Health day, we want to talk about different ways that children can improve their mental health at difficult times.

Staying connected. The past few years have been a time of isolation and disconnection from those around us. The ways in which we socialise shapes our individual identity into the person we are today. Staying connected it can offer us ongoing benefits for our mental health, relieving stress and anxiety, as well as improving our overall self-esteem and mood.

Social media is a tricky one. It can have a positive role in promoting communication between friends and family. But can become troublesome if it is the only connection children have. Social media can have negative effects such as increasing feelings of loneliness and lower self-esteem when seeing other people’s “perfect lives”, which is why it is so important to limit our screen-time. This can also benefit sleep as allowing yourself a technology free bedtime routine can ameliorate your sleep pattern and overall wellbeing. Spending time away from your phone and in the outdoors, rather than being trapped inside behind a screen can bring many benefits such as increasing vitamin D intake, providing exercise and allowing time to appreciate nature and our surroundings.

Listening to music can help reduce both anxiety and depression, boosting overall self-esteem. Music acts as a form of art that brings people and communities together. So, whether this means singing out your stresses or writing your feelings down as lyrics in a song, making music a part of your day-to-day can help children and young people to express themselves, feel connected to a community and bring a sense of joy and release.

Set aside time to reflect and focus on yourself. Having habits that you can do on a daily basis are so important to our overall mental health. Practicing small acts of kindness each day can help to boost your mood. Setting aside some time in your day to play outside with your friends, cook a meal for your family or have some time outdoors. By doing these you may feel more connected and appreciate the smaller things in life.