A group of young people from Fixers are offering their top tips for dealing with mental illness as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Research from the Office of National Statistics shows that one in ten children and young people between the ages of five and 16 had a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder.
1. “Get a journal, and write down what's on your mind. Even use creative writing to turn it into a story. Once finished, breathe. If you don't have enough energy for a bath, get in the shower and then put on some clean pyjamas. You'll be able to breathe better and sleep.”
Megan Lambert, 18
2. “Studies show the positive effects of swimming on mental and physical health, and I can personally say this is true. After a stressful day, hitting the pool was a relief; it was so quiet. I had time to myself where all my concentration was on me - not on homework or work or life. As exercise releases endorphins, this relieves some symptoms of depression and gives you a real feel-good-factor - whilst also getting you fitter and physically stronger too.”
Georgia Fuller, 21
3. “Speak to someone, whether this is someone you know or through an online anonymous service/organisation. It always helps to get it out, rather than bottling it up. I also recommend listening to music, watching a film, going for a walk/getting fresh air and writing.”
Hannah Kara, 21
4. “Open up about your mental health, the sooner you do that the sooner you will be on the road to recovery.”
Danny Bowman, 21
5. “Writing a blog can help in several ways. It can allow your mind to keep itself busy instead of thinking negative thoughts, and can allow you to express your feelings in a positive way. This in turn can allow you to help others who are going through a similar situation to you.”
Alex Jones, 18
6. “Take part in a fast-paced sport. Releasing adrenaline can be the most natural way to open your mind if you're feeling apprehensive about speaking to someone!”
7. “Meditation and having a hobby to focus on can help wonders. Honestly though, it's learning to find the happiness in little things and eventually getting to a point where you don't need to rely on anyone to stay alive. That doesn't mean pushing others away though.”
Alaina Harrison, 19
8. “Using adult colouring books has helped me to relax and ease my mind. I also go for walks and spend some time with nature - taking in all my senses and appreciating the world around me.”
Savannah Lloyd, 18
9. “Mental health thrives on isolation and secrecy. To break the cycle recognition and communication are key!”
Sam Thomas, 30
10. “Speak about it! Talking can really help prevent the isolation that often comes with mental health problems. Also find something you enjoy doing. It can be difficult to find but even the smallest things like colouring or writing can give you a focus to help get through it. Doing voluntary work can really help as it gives you a purpose and a focus on something!”
Naomi Lea, 17
To hear more about what young people feel are the key problems and solutions associated with mental health, read our report ‘50 Fixes for Mental Health: It's Time You Got It' here.
If you are looking for a creative outlet, why not try Alicia’s colouring book, which helped her cope with anxiety?
For more help and advice visit Mind.
Naoimi's project was supported by the Wellcome Trust