A teenager who is concerned about the long waiting times young people experience before accessing mental health treatment has created a self-help booklet.
Beth Sebbage made the resource, which contains activities young people can take part in to help improve their mental wellbeing, with support from Fixers.
The 18-year-old, from Hastings, East Sussex, says: ‘Sometimes professional help isn’t available – you could go and see a doctor and be put on a long waiting list for services.
‘So I wanted to provide people with something that they would be able to use in the meantime, to help them feel better.’
Last year Jessica Anderson, who is also campaigning with Fixers to improve mental health services, told how she faced a nine month wait for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Activities featured in the resource pack include making a list of goals, with the aim of giving young people ‘something to aim for and a sense of purpose’, and a word search featuring important words in friendships.
Beth, who works with teenagers aged between 15 and 17 in her role as an assistant team leader at National Citizenship Service (NCS), hopes the resource will increase young people’s understanding of mental health.
She says: ‘I feel like people don’t understand the difference between mental health and mental illness. We all have mental health, the same as physical health, and you can have good mental health.’
Click on the link below to view Beth's resource pack.
Beth, who plans to share the booklet with young people in East Sussex, adds: ‘My resource is aimed at teenagers because when you’re that age a lot of problems can start.
‘When you’re at school you have so many different things going on at once and the pressure of exams – I had friends at school who struggled with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.
‘Teenagers are told if they don’t get certain grades it will affect college and university and their CV and it can be a really stressful time.
‘You don’t always need to rely on professionals to help you with everything you’re dealing with – if there’s a long waiting list or you can’t see someone straight away there’s things you can do to help yourself.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.