This is hardly surprising as according to the Mental Health Foundation "Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5-16. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives." We need to look after and support our young people and while there is more awareness of mental health than in the past, more needs to be done to get to the root of what is causing the anxiety and stress to stop it from getting worse and continuing into adulthood.
Without support, mental health issues can grow and can then be a factor in students’ dropping out of college/university and possibly being responsible in the future for drug/alcohol misuse, self harm and even suicide attempts.
As mentioned above, mental health is common so we need to reassure our children and young people that they are not alone and there is support and information out there. It is important to try and get them to explain how they are feeling and to listen to their fears and concerns as feeling anxious is normal and we all experience it at some stage in our lives.
I use several exercises with my clients but think this is a good one to start with for children and adults. Remember, practice makes perfect so it may take time as our minds do like to wander!
1. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, how does the air feel as you draw breath?, notice your belly rising and falling and if your mind does wander, come back to your breathing again.
2. What can you hear, how does your body feel inside and out as you do this. If your mind wanders, return your focus to your breathing.
It will take time to convince the protective part of the brain that because it thinks there is trouble coming, doesn’t mean that it is and this will take time, but bear with it and in time you will get there.
Another technique I use is to balance your breathing such as Square Breathing. Think of breathing round a square, buy taking a breath in for 4 counts up the LHS of the square, hold for 4 along the top, out for 4 down the RHS of the square and hold along the bottom for 4 and repeat. This lowers the stress hormones, heart rate and blood pressure.
Mental illness – let’s keep talking about it and support each other.
For help or a chat on any of the above issues please contact me on 01252 706995
or firstname.lastname@example.org. I can help you like I’ve helped my previous clients to enjoy life
and feel like YOU again.