The focus of this year’s World Mental Health Day on the well-being of young people has been hailed as ‘timely’ by the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council.
‘Young people and mental health in a changing world’ is the theme for World Mental Health Day on 10 October, which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to support efforts to improve mental health care.
According to the World Health Organisation, half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause and suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
Against this backdrop, and the most recent report from the Children’s Commissioner which highlighted issues in mental health provision, Council Chair, Councillor Sean McPeake, is urging young people to explore ways to look after their mental health and that of their friends, while also encouraging parents and teachers to make sure they know how to support children and students.
“While we need to look after our mental health all year round, World Mental Health Day is a platform to raise awareness of mental health issues, and, crucially, to highlight the organisations and programmes which are designed to help anyone who is experiencing mental ill-health.
“The focus this year on young people and adolescents is timely and welcome, given the well-documented pressure they can experience in this digital age and the increasingly adverse impact modern life is having on their well-being. In such a fast moving society it’s important we remember to take the time to actually speak to people and ask if they are OK. These simple words can make a huge difference to anyone who may be struggling mentally.
“Recognising the early warning signs of mental ill-health in ourselves and others and, crucially, knowing what to do or where to go for support is very important.
“Just as important, however, are the steps we can take to be mindful in our everyday lives, helping to strengthen our mental health and make us more resilient and able to cope with the challenges of the modern world”.
For more information, help and advice, visit https://www.mindingyourhead.info.