What Do We Mean By Mental Health Difficulty?
When we talk about mental health, we're talking about how we feel, how we relate to other people and do day to day things. We experience mental health difficulties when we can't move past feelings of stress or depression, when we're finding it hard to cope and when the things we're worrying about or that are getting us down start to interrupt our lives. It's at times like this that we can use a hand.
While most young people are doing ok most of the time, it's also true that most mental health difficulties begin when we're young - this is when support and resources are needed.
Youth mental health is a distinct issue - the challenges are different, and we see the outcomes of poor youth mental health reflected in newspaper headlines and coffee shop conversations about eating disorders, self-harm, suicide, binge-drinking, teenage pregnancy, teenage depression and anti-social behaviour generally.
We will not and cannot address these issues if we don't support the mental health of our young people in a genuine, whole-hearted and strategic way. More than this, we will not address these issues without working with young people and placing them at the centre of policy and practice that impact them.