We’d like to highlight the amazing work being done around the world to both prioritise and de-stigmatise mental health. World Mental Health Day tomorrow is about supporting each other and having conversations to enable and encourage open and honest dialogue around wellbeing and mental health.
The focus this year is particularly on young people, so Åse and I decided that we would go out and ask some young people (aged 14 - 26) their views on 2 questions. The first was:-
“what is the hardest thing about being a young person today?”
“… social media; social media; pressure of internet; social media; stress with school; stress with exams; social media; social media…”
It was interesting how little hesitation there was when they answered this question. It was absolutely, without doubt, social media that was seen as the hardest thing to cope with as a young person today. Next was stress. Our young people are feeling a lot of stress around school work and exams!
Our next question was:-
“What does Mental Health mean to you?”
“ …living behind a facade; anxiety and depression; not feeling good about yourself; not too sure exactly; something to do with how you’re feeling; not coping; not to be taken as a joke…”
With this question, there was less of a theme. Some responses showed they knew a bit, but not necessarily enough or didn’t feel confident to reply. There were a variety of answers.
What was encouraging was how open and honest the young people were in their responses and how they did not shy away from the questions. They certainly seemed to be aware of mental health although not necessarily as confident or unanimous in their replies..
So our job then would be to keep the mental health momentum that seems to be with young people today going. To keep the conversations flowing so that when they enter the workplace this type of conversation and relatability is standard practise.
And something else we can do. We can add our voice in support of World Mental Health Day by wearing a green ribbon or something green tomorrow, 10th October 2018.
If you feel it or think it….SAY IT!