“Alarm clock goes off, I am lying in bed, my head feels fuzzy and my body is heavy. All I can think about is ‘how will I manage to pull the covers back’ and actually get out of bed to face yet another day filled with worries, sadness and what feels like utter despair. I am dreading getting out of bed, I know the day will be spent on trying to avoid people and the demands they put on me. Let alone trying to avoid the ever returning question from every one ‘how are you today?’ when it is so clear that no one could cope with an honest answer. I have come to realise a very simple fact, no one wants to know the truth, people just expect the standard reply of ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ I wonder how they would react if I told them that I am not coping!
Every single second of the day, I am acutely aware of the thoughts that keep churning in my head, the endless focus on how miserable I feel, the constant repeat of the same negative sentence, that I am worthless! My life reminds me of being stuck in a hamster wheel, running and running, with nowhere to go, no way to get off safely and having to live the same routine day in and day out.
If only I could feel like everyone else, like all those people who reply ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ Surely, they have found a way to be happy, surely, they do not suffer like I am? If only I knew the answer!”
These thoughts have kindly been shared by a young person who is living with depression. What it clearly highlights is the sad fact that mental health issues are still riddled with too much stigma. This in itself, results in many young people being afraid to open up about their struggles leading to a lack of early intervention for them and their family. Unfortunately, parents are equally affected by this stigma and the lack of support, as they are left confused and unsure where to turn for help when their child is faced with mental health problems.
The government, last week, announced further cuts in mental health funding around the country to total £4.5 million this year. That is why more and more people are being forced to turn to the third sector and charities in search of help.
With these cuts in mind, the launch of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Princes Harry’s charity, Heads Together, could not have come at a better time. Not only does the newly formed charity work to end the stigma surrounding issues relating to mental health, it is also partnered with some fantastic well established charities such as Mind. Heads Together is furthermore working with some lesser known charities who focus on helping children and young people, bringing their valuable work into the much needed limelight at such a crucial time. Charity partners include the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families who have been pioneering mental health care for over 60 years. Place2Be provides help for pupils and teachers in coping with young peoples’ emotional challenges and Young Minds who help children and young people find help when needed.
Asking for help is the first step to getting support, whether you are a parent or a child. We need to encourage our children to communicate openly by providing them with a safe non-judgemental environment. As this is the Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May), it is the perfect opportunity for you to start a conversation with your child about mental health issues. Maybe begin by showing them one of the videos from the Heads Together campaign, such as the informal discussion between Lady Gaga and Prince William, where they talk about how it’s OK to say you’re feeling sad or anxious and not to feel ashamed, click video below.
6 Recommended Mental Health Blogs
It is clear that finding advice and personal stories online can prove to be a great starting point for many people. At Support 4 Kids, we believe in writing material to match our reader’s interests, however, we also love to bring you targeted content from external specialised sources. To help you get started today, we have compiled a list of some of the best mental health blogs currently on the market which we frequently visit ourselves due to their great content.
A brilliant site that is well laid out, it is easy to identify subject areas and they have a section purely for mental health. Articles are written by a large pool of contributors bringing you insightful stories based on personal experiences, among others. You can also sign up for the mailing list and be notified of newly released blogs.
You can find a high number of relatable articles and if you are interested in a specific topic, you click the subject and the relevant blogs will be featured. Besides having a blog section, Mind provides practical information for those living with mental health issues. You are even able to reach out and request specific help from their phone helpline.
This site is packed full of helpful information when faced with mental health issues, ranging from being a carer to support groups. Finding the actual blog area can be a bit difficult but we have provided you with the direct link. Unfortunately, there are no blog categories to narrow down your search but there are tons of good articles if you take the time to browse.
Mental Health articles that are based on evidence-based material provided by experts and practitioners from the field. You are able to sign up to their service to receive the latest research articles, connecting with professionals and even undertake training to widen your horizon either as private individual or to gain CPD training.
This is an initiative led by Mind and Rethink (listed above), their pledge is end to mental health stigma through the use of awareness campaigns. The blog section is called ‘personal stories’ which is a true reflection of their engaging stories, which are also easily sorted by using the elaborate choice of categories. They encourage you to get involved and share your own awareness activities.
The place to go to for a mixture of personal stories as well as articles based on research and science. From their menu pick from either ‘personal stories’ or ‘research and science’ to fine tune your search, locating content you are interested in reading. They also run a great campaign called ‘Dare to Swear’ supporting by several celebrities, definitely worth checking out.
Support 4 Kids is behind all mental health campaigns that work on breaking down barriers surrounding the limiting beliefs that exist in society. Our Boost Young Minds course can help parents and provide some young people relief from their daily struggles. It is our aim to continue researching, developing and recommending ways for young people to take control of their lives in a positive and productive manner.
By Tina Elven