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
    people
  • 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.

Used this service? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

  • 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 (www.healthwatchtrafford.co.uk)

Visited a GP? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

  • 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 talkshop@trafford.gov.uk.

Used this service? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

  • Healthy Young Minds (formerly CAMHS) – Sometimes problems are more serious or don’t get better with support from schools or self-help, so you may need more specialist help. Healthy Young Minds are a local service which can help! Ask your teacher or GP to refer you. Their office is based at Waterside House, Sale Waterside, M33 7ZF. Call 0161 716 4747 or visit their website at http://healthyyoungmindspennine.nhs.uk/im-a-young-person.

Used this service? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

  • Trafford Sunrise logoTrafford 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 https://www.justpsychology.co.uk/pages/28-trafford-sunrise

Used this service? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

  • 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 http://www.kooth.com.

Used this service? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it 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 http://42ndstreet.org.uk/

Used this service? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

Used this service? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

  • 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 https://papyrus-uk.org.

Used this service? Tell Healthwatch Trafford about it here.

  • 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 https://www.childline.org.uk/

Used this service? 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. https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us/what-happens-when-you-contact-us