Mental Health

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What is Mental Health?

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Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects our every day life and how we think, feel, and act, making a difference to our capability to cope with situations.

What Does Good Mental Health Look Like?

You might have heard of mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, however a healthy mental state is not just the lack of conditions like these. In fact, a good mental health includes skills we might not often think about such as the ability to learn, manage your feelings, maintain relationships and cope with change. We use these skills every day: in school, with your friends and family – so it is important to take care of your mental health. Even if we don’t have mental health problems we all have a mental health – it is just like out physical health. Just like we need to keep our eye on a cough in case it’s a chest infection, we should support ourselves in terms of mental health. We should be wary of unhealthy lifestyles, they could turn into disorders.

The symptoms listed below are warning signs of mental illness*:

  • Withdrawal – recently not joining in with things, losing interest in
  • Drop in functioning — not working well; this could be at school, or in
    your social life, e.g. quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty
    performing familiar tasks
  • Problems thinking — you have problems with concentration, memory
    logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
  • Increased sensitivity — Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds,
    smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
  • Apathy — a loss of enthusiasm for participation
  • Feeling disconnected — A vague feeling of being disconnected from
    yourself or your surroundings; a sense of unreality
  • Illogical thinking — Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal
    powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or
    “magical” thinking
  • Nervousness — Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
  • Unusual behaviour – Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behaviour
  • Sleep or appetite changes — Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or
    decline in personal care
  • Mood changes — Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings

*according to the American Psychiatric Association

Understanding young people’s mental health #HandsUp4HealthyMinds

How Can You Look After Your Mental Health?Image result for mental health image no background

Not everybody has a mental illness, but regardless we should take care of ourselves mentally as we do physically. Here are some tips from the Mental Health Foundation to do so:

Self care and support for young people #HandsUp4HealthyMinds

Now that you know a little more about mental health, take this quiz by MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) on your understanding – and make sure to check out the rest of their website for lots more useful information!

Where Can You Get Help?

  • Your School Nurse – You can access your school nurse to talk about any issues, mental as well as physical. They can link you to other services. Find out where your school’s nurse office is and see if you need to make an appointment.
  • Your GP can assess you and refer you further. Contact your GP directly and make an appointment. You can find GP contact details on the Healthwatch Trafford website (
  • Talkshop Trafford logoTrafford Talkshop –  Talkshop is a specialist advice and information service for young people aged between 11 and 19 years old (up to 25 depending on circumstances). Based at Sale Waterside (postcode M33 7ZF), their aim is to support your needs through offering a variety of services in a friendly environment. The Talkshop staff team consists of qualified youth workers who offer a non-judgemental, confidential service to young people across the borough.
    The Talkshop operates a drop-in service Monday to Thursday afternoons where you can pop in to speak to a youth worker.  They offer help for mental health, sexual health, young parents, LGBT young people and many more!
    Drop-in times (as at Oct 2018):
    MONDAYS: 1:00-3:00pm (all) 3:00-5:30pm (sexual health)
    TUESDAYS & WEDNESDAYS: 1:00-5:00pm (all)
    THURSDAYS: 1:00-3:00pm (all) 3:00-5:30pm (sexual health)
    For help from the Talkshop, call 0161 912 2453, or email
  • CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
    This is the local specialist service – in our area it’s run by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. Sometimes problems are more serious or don’t get better with support from schools or self-help, so you may need more specialist help.  Ask your teacher or GP to refer you to CAMHS.
    Their office is based at Waterside House, Sale Waterside, M33 7ZF.
    Call 0161 549 6456 or visit their website where you can meet their whole team and get a virtual tour! See
  • Young minds – “We’re the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health.We want to see a world where no young person feels alone with their mental health, and all young people get the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.” Find their website here: 
  • The counselling and family centrelogoThe Counselling and Family Centre – This organisation helps 5 to 17 year olds face the challenges of growing up. They have lots of locations in our borough. For help from them, call 0161 941 7754, email or visit their website at for further info and to find your nearest centre:
    > The Family and Counselling Centre, Altrincham 
    > Broomwood Community Wellbeing Centre, Timperley 
    > Also provide services at Trafford Domestic Abuse Service on Talbot Road, Old Trafford Wellbeing Centre on Seymour Grove, and the Kath Locke centre in Moss Side. 
  • Trafford Sunrise – Trafford Sunrise provides support for children aged 5-12 years in coping with stress, learning how to relax and promoting emotional wellbeing. Trafford Sunrise also supports parents in learning about their child’s emotional wellbeing. Groups are available across the Trafford borough. To use Trafford Sunrise you need to get a professional (e.g. your GP) to refer you. For more information and help, visit their website at
  • Kooth logoKooth – Kooth provides free, safe and anonymous online support for young people. Monday to Friday 12pm – 10pm, Saturday to Sunday 6pm – 10pm. For help from this organisation, visit their website
  • The Mix – Nationwide support for under-25s, including advice around housing, sex and relationships, drink and drugs, and more. Visit their website here:
  • 42nd street logo - Supporting young people under stress42nd Street – A Greater Manchester young people’s mental health charity. Based in Manchester, they help 13-25 year olds in Trafford. They offer one to one or group interventions by self-referral or referral by GP, useful as an alternative to Healthy Young Minds if you have slightly different needs. For help from them, call 0161 228 7321 or visit their website
  • Beat eating disorders logoBeat – Supports people with eating disorders and holds many online groups. You can talk to people going through similar experiences with one of their targeted groups or talk to a trained advisor. Call their Youthline on 0808 801 0711 or sign up for a one-to-one web chat:
  • Papyrus logo - Prevention of young suicidePapyrus – This is a national suicide prevention charity, which provides confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person as well as helping others to prevent young suicide by working with and training professionals. For help from them, call 0800 068 41 41 or visit their website
  • Samaritans – f you need to speak to someone you can call the Samaritans day or night. They’re always open and here to listen. Call them on 116 123 for free, or get in touch another way:
  • Childline logo with telephone number 0800 1111Childline – Online support available 24/7, helpful for a range of problems. Tel 0800 1111 or visit their website at
  • Greater Manchester Youth Network – Their mission is to enable young people to have a positive impact on their own lives and the wider community and our values are
  • The Trafford Directory – You can find specific local mental health services by using the Trafford Directory. It has a section specifically for services for young people. Click here to go to the young person’s mental health pages.

Used any of these services? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

Urgent Help

If you think that you might cause harm to yourself or others, or are going to commit suicide, then you should call 999 or get to a hospital as soon as possible.

Samaritans - Its okay to talk logoYou can also get in touch with the Samaritans free of charge by calling 116 123 – they’re ready to listen to you and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their number won’t appear on your phone bill.