Thoughts from RBAir’s Clinical Lead, Lucy DeHavas, on World Mental Health Day
What are mental health and wellbeing?
Mental Health is defined as our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing, encompassing how we think, feel and act. The holistic wellbeing of an individual in these three areas is also inter-dependent upon the wider context of family, community and society.
Wellbeing is also supported by what is known as “protective factors”: conditions or attributes in individuals, families and communities, which increase our overall well-being and mitigate the risks.
This means that an individual’s mental health and wellbeing is not dependent on just that one person, but the combination of every part of that person’s life. At Red Balloon, our student’s mental health and wellbeing is therefore considered as “Everybody’s Business”.
How can we support the young people in our lives?
Here are some of the ways young people have told us they would like us to help support their mental health:
- To be listened to and treated with respect.
- To see the same professionals (such as therapists or mentors) consistently and to form trusting relationships with them.
- To have help with building strong caring relationships with their family and peers and help with improving their self esteem
- To receive an individualised proactive approach to well-being that works with thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
- To have quicker access to psychological help from external services.
At Red Balloon we have a joint focus on education, wellbeing and social re-engagement – “three arms around the young person”. All parts of the Red Balloon provision are delivered by staff who keep these five ways of helping identified above (as outlined by our students) at the fore of all they do.
Just like safeguarding, wellbeing must be everybody’s business.
Make Mental Health and Wellbeing For All a Global Priority
The theme of 2022’s World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.’
For over 70 years, we’ve been working to make sure that mental health is treated on a par with physical health. Mental health problems exist in our lives, families, workplaces and communities, impacting everyone. We need to do as much as possible to prevent mental ill-health – as individuals and as a society. We will continue to call on national and local government to prioritise reducing the factors known to pose a risk to people’s mental health, enhancing those known to protect it and creating the conditions needed for people to thrive.
World Mental Health Day is also a chance to talk about mental health in general, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to talk about things and get help if you are struggling.
Whoever we are, and wherever we are in life, mental health is something that affects us all, and we all deserve to have support when we need it.
Advice lines and further support
If you need support or advice on mental health, for yourself or others, there are a number of advice lines you can call and apps and websites you can visit for help. Remember, you do not have to face things alone.
YoungMinds Parents Helpline
Call for free 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri 9:30 – 16:00).
Available in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Children under 19 can confidentially call, email, or chat online about any problem big or small
Freephone 24h helpline: 0800 1111
Sign up for a childline account on the website to message a counsellor anytime
A confidential helpline, email, webchat and telephone counselling service for young people under 25.
Freephone: 0808 808 4994 (daily 13:00-23:00)
Youth Wellbeing Directory
Lists of local services for young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Offers information about advice and counselling services in the UK for young people aged 12-25 years
MindEd for families is a website where you can hear about other parents’ experiences and find clear, helpful guidance on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
This blog was originally published in October 2020, but has been updated for October 2022