7th-13th of February marks Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme, Growing Together, encourages young people and adults alike to focus on their personal growth and how they can help others to grow. Celebrities, including well-known actors, musicians and athletes, have created videos sharing their emotional growth journeys, discussing topics such as exam stress and navigating challenges within friendship groups.
Physical and intellectual growth have obvious markers, such as outgrowing clothes or acquiring knowledge and skills, however, our emotional growth is less clear to us despite it being an essential part of our development. If a young person in your life is struggling to manage their emotions or develop meaningful relationships with others, use Children’s Mental Health Week as a springboard to spark up a conversation.
Communication Is Key
Take time to discuss mental health issues with others even if there are no obvious signs of distress. Some people learn to suppress their emotions at a young age so it may not be immediately obvious that they are in a bad way. Open up a dialogue within which they feel safe to express their current state of mind, acknowledging any newfound stress or challenges that may negatively impact their mental health. Greater communication leads to an increased awareness of the difficulties young people face, which, in turn, can accelerate mental health intervention if needed.
Common Causes Of Stress And Anxiety Amongst Young People | Mental Health Week
Many children feel under pressure to perform well at school. The volume of work during exam times can seem overwhelming and this can lead to increased anxiety, especially when coupled with a fear of failure. If a child falls behind with homework, this may eat into their recreation time which can also cause stress levels to rise.
Young people often feel under pressure to fit in, which can cause them to act in a way that they do not agree with. This creates inner conflict and feelings of discomfort. If a child is being bullied, they may experience intense feelings of worry and anxiety and you may notice a change in their behaviour. The presence of cyber-bullying continues to increase, with a study carried out by the Office for National Statistics stating that one in five children aged 10-15 had experienced online bullying.
Parental separation or deaths within a family can cause children to become withdrawn or act out. When young people experience unexpected or unwanted change, they can find this very difficult to deal with emotionally. Monitoring their behaviour and mental health during these times is vital.
Big Life Changes
Other events that may cause young people to suffer mentally include moving house, starting a new school, the birth of a sibling or the introduction to a parent’s new partner. Try to demystify such events so that the child has a clear understanding of what to expect from the new situation and encourage them to talk about their feelings, particularly anything that is causing them unease.
Try as we might to shelter our children from catastrophic world events, the pervasive nature of the media makes it difficult to avoid stories of war, terrorism and natural disasters. This may cause them to worry about their safety, as well as that of their family and friends.
How To Access Help For Young People
If you are worried about the mental health of a young person in your life, or you are experiencing stress or anxiety yourself, book an appointment with your GP. They will discuss your options moving forward and offer advice on how to monitor emotional anguish. Talking therapies are often recommended as a place to start.
Dr. Jan C. Wulff is a certified Life Coach with years of experience in dealing with stress and anxiety. His 5-step BrainTuning® System takes patients on a journey of personal growth, leaving them better able to handle their emotions. He begins by exploring how a person views themselves and the world around them, bringing to light thought patterns that are negatively impacting their life.
Dr. Jan explains how we are responsible for our thoughts and emotions, rather than placing the blame on events outside of our control. Whilst certain external stimuli may act as triggers, we are ultimately accountable for every feeling that we experience and every action that we make. Via a series of recommended daily exercises, uniquely tailored to the individual, clients begin to break down their pessimistic notions and escape the cycle of automatic negativity.
If you feel that you, or someone close to you, would benefit from Dr. Jan’s transformative coaching sessions, book a Discovery Call with the man himself. Simply click here and complete the contact form.