Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
Published: 17th May 2019
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. We should all try to be aware of our mental health and ourselves all year round, but this week can be used as an opportunity to raise awareness and discuss how we feel, allowing ourselves the time to think, reflect and take a moment.
The online world can play a role in fostering and encouraging positive mental health for young people. At the same time, there are potential negative impacts it can have on young people, including negative online relationships, body image pressures and exposure to upsetting or even harmful content. The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is Body Image – How we think and feel about our bodies. Here are some tips to improve how we feel about our bodies:
Our Safer Internet Day 2018 research looked at the role technology played in young people’s relationships, as well as the impact it has on their wellbeing. We found that almost one in five (19%) respondents aged 8-17 had thought about stopping using social media because it has a negative impact on their mood.
Empowerment through the Digital Leaders Programme
We hope that the Digital Leaders programme helps young people feel empowered to take control of their digital wellbeing. We encourage everyone to recognise their emotions and the way that their use of digital technology can impact on their self-esteem and mood, so that they are able to implement strategies to achieve a healthy relationship with technology.
It is important too that young people have support networks – whether friends, family, carers, or teachers – so they feel confident to speak up about any worries they have and can get the support they need. Additionally, we encourage Digital Leaders to support their peers with questions or concerns around how the online world affects their mental health and look out for their friends and others online.
If your time online is causing you stress or negatively impacting your mood then we recommend to take some time off from the online world and ask for help when you need it. Be positive online, report bad content and help others to maintain their wellbeing.
Let us know if your Digital Leaders organised something for Mental Health Awareness Week at [email protected] to be included in our next newsletter!
There are also many places that young people can go for support if they need to, these include:
Childline: call free on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk
Young Minds: visit www.youngminds.org.uk for advice about young people’s mental health, including their parent helpline (0808 802 5544).
Mind, the mental health charity: visit https://www.mind.org.uk/
The Samaritans: visit http://www.samaritans.org if you need to talk to someone