World Mental Health Day: Make it Count

On 10 October every year it is World Mental Health Day (WMHD) and this year’s theme is young people and mental health in a changing world. 

It’s important to talk about mental health all year round but every year WMHD highlights the need to speak openly and honestly about our mental wellbeing.

A stigma still exists around conversations about mental health, but it is just as important as our physical health.

Positive change

Earlier this year the Scottish government announced an extra £3 million in funding towards suicide prevention in the country.

This was followed by a pledge by first minister Nicola Sturgeon for an extra £250 million funding for mental health services, this includes £60 million for schools.

The new SCQF Mental Health and Wellbeing awards are also available now for schools.

Earlier today Prime Minister Theresa May announced she was appointing a minister for suicide prevention at the first global mental health summit in London.

Jackie Doyle-Price, a current health minister, will be tasked with ensuring local authorities have the tools to prevent unnecessary deaths.

Credit MHFA England

Extra funding and improvements to mental health services are a step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go to improve young people’s mental health.

In the classroom

Speaking about mental health openly in the classroom helps to remove the stigma surrounding the topic.

It can reassure young people that it’s ok not to be ok and teachers are there for help and support.

WMHD marks the beginning of new campaigns to encourage a discussion around mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has released Make it Count: Guide for Teachers. The resource aims to create a good school and classroom environment where children can thrive with good mental health.

Credit Mental Health Foundation

The resource includes information on different mental health issues, top tips for teachers, advice on how to talk about mental health at school and more.

Approaching conversations about mental health in a calm, sensitive manner with a knowledge of resources can make them more constructive and reassuring.

Getting personal

Discussions around mental health should be open in the classroom, but your own mental health should also be a priority.

A recent survey by mental health charity Mind revealed that 48 per cent of employees in the UK had experienced poor mental health at work but only half spoke to their employer about it.

Low mood, anxiety and stress were the main issues highlighted by the survey.

Sites like Mental Health At Work provide resources and advice for employers and employees on how to approach and aid mental health in the workplace.

If you or someone you know is experiencing high levels of stress or mental health issues contact Samaritans on 116 123.

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