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Mental health and Wellbeing

Everyone feels low sometimes or experiences stress or anxiety due to exams, family problems, or changes in your life. But if these feelings continue over a long period of time it is important that you seek help.

Mental health issues can affect anyone at any age, but as a health subject, it is less talked about and less understood. 

We all have mental health and emotional wellbeing, and this is just as important as our physical health.

Our mind and body are connected, and if you're feeling depressed, stressed or anxious, this can affect how you feel physically. You might experience symptoms like:

·         Trouble sleeping

·         Change in eating habits

·         Feeling tired

·         Lacking energy or enthusiasm

·         Aches and pains

·         Struggling to concentrate

Info and advice on emotional wellbeing and mental health issues:

Anxiety

Anxiety is very common - up to 1 in 6 young people are thought to experience anxiety.

Anxiety is the feeling of fear or panic. In some situations, like before an exam or giving a presentation, this is completely normal, and even healthy.

But if you feel anxious, fearful or nervous for long periods of time without an obvious reason, it might start to interfere with your life and become a problem.

How do I know if I have anxiety?

There are a range of physical and emotional symptoms you might experience if you have anxiety.

Confidence and self-esteem

Confidence and self-esteem can play an important part in your happiness and how you feel about yourself. If you don't feel very confident or have low self-esteem, it might affect other areas of your life. The good news is there are loads of ways you can start to improve your confidence.

Tips to improve your confidence: 

·         See friends and family - talking to others and having a good time with the people in your life will bring you closer to them and give you support and comfort

·         Make the effort with new people to expand your circle of friends and boost your confidence

·         Eat well - food can have a big effect on how you feel, and eating fresh fruit and veg and drinking more water can give you bundles of energy!

·         Exercise - a bit of exercise here and there can really improve your mood, its science! When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals which make you     feel good, increase concentration, and help you sleep better.

·         Write down something you like about yourself or something that makes you happy every day, and put it somewhere you'll see it. You'll soon realise you have lots of great qualities and reasons to feel good!

·         Be part of something and get involved in your community - having a role in a charity or local group such as new Horizons can improve your confidence as you'll be helping others, learning new skills and making friends.

·         Act - acting as if you are confident in certain situations can actually make you feel confident - the same way that smiling and laughing can make you feel happy.

·         Music can help lift your mood and make you feel good about yourself - check out 8tracks music where you can listen to free playlists and choose your mood.

  

 Depression

“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.”

Despite what you may think, depressed people don’t look a particular way.

Depression affects anyone, at any time, for any reason. And when it does, depression can affect every aspect of a person’s life – how they think, how they feel, and how they behave towards their family and friends.

How do I know if I have depression?

Feeling hopeless, having no motivation, reduced performance at school, guilt, sadness and low mood, constant tiredness, and losing interest or enjoyment in things that you normally like doing, are all symptoms that you may have started to notice.

You might also experience aches and pains or feel anxious too.

The key point is that depression is more than simply feeling like this for a few days – it’s about these feelings going on for weeks.

What can I do about it?

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms it's important that you talk to someone like your Nurse or Doctor, or confide in a friend or adult you trust.

There are also some other things you can do to try and improve your mood: 

·         Feeling frustrated

·         Self-harm

·         Stress

Support on St Helena:

Ask the school nurse for advice on who can help you.

The school nurse offers a drop-in service for young people to come and chat to about any social, emotional and physical health and wellbeing issues.

The mental health team offer counselling for young people who feel their emotional wellbeing is suffering, whatever the reason may be.

You can go to your nurse / Doctor for help at any age. Anything you talk about is confidential and will be kept between you and your nurse / doctor unless you or someone else is at risk..

 

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