Mental Health Crisis
February 1st to 7th 2021 is Children’s mental health week. This is a chance to highlight how vital it is that young people have access to support for their mental health. We are in a mental health crisis; according to Young Minds 1 in 6 people aged 5-16 have a mental health problem and the number of people going to A&E with urgent mental health needs has tripled in the last 10 years. No young person should feel alone in their struggles. Dorset Mind your Head is part of a movement of change for young people in Dorset. It is our mission to ensure that we educate people about young people’s mental health, support recovery from mental illness and end the stigma around mental ill health.
Mental illness can often leave you feeling like you don’t have a voice or a means to explain what is happening to you. The theme for this year’s children’s mental health week is express yourself. It is a time to recognise just how varied the ways we can express ourselves are. It’s important to recognise that we are not all the same, are interests vary and the support we need varies too. Through Dorset Mind Your Head’s partnerships and through our varied services, we aim to create a tailored response to young people, so they can feel heard through the way they express themselves.
When we asked our young ambassadors, what expressing themselves for their mental health meant to them there were so many different answers. There are lots of fun ways to express yourself, whether you’re naturally creative or someone who finds that they are more practical; we all can get our emotions, thoughts and personality out in lots of unique and individualistic ways. From drawing and painting, to singing, to dancing around the house, to talking to a friend or writing something out on their phone. Creating doesn’t have to be something specific or something that ‘looks good’. It is simply in the act of expressing ourselves that we remind ourselves how important it is to show the world who we are. It does not have to be complicated- it can be as simple as choosing clothes that feel like us.
Dress to Express
For example, Emily describes how ‘My favourite way to express myself to the world and most importantly express myself for myself and my own wellbeing is in the colourful clothing and accessories I wear. Whenever I choose to put on a bright jumper or a quirky scarf, I feel comfortable in myself and feel that these sometimes really random outfits I where represent who I am inside! We are all so unique and our clothes are just one small way to reflect this, but I feel bold and brave in having my own multi-coloured wardrobe. I always feel like a walking talking rainbow and that thought always brings a smile to my face! So, whether it’s jazzy nail varnish or the snazzy shoes, I choose every day to express myself in a simple but fun way that makes me feel like me every day!’
We all have something to express. When we’re struggling with our mental health, often it makes us want to withdraw, to stop doing what we enjoy and to stop expressing. It can seem impossible to create anything, but we can, it can be in simple things, like what we wear, asking someone a question or doodling on scrap paper. Express yourself and encourage young people to feel supported to express themselves too, so they never feel like they are going through their thoughts and feelings alone.
Thank you to our Young Ambassador Emily for sharing her thoughts with us for this blog.
You can see Dorset Mind Your Heads services and other local support here.
For immediate support contact:
@samaritans: 116 123 – 24/7
@DorsetHealth: Connection 0800 652 0190 – 24/7
@GiveUsAShout: Text SHOUT to 85258
@CHILDLINE1098: 0800 1111 – Daily
@YoungMindsUK: Text YM to 85258 – 24/7