What is Mental Health?

When someone says ‘mental health’, they are usually talking about your state of mind.

If your mental health is good, you probably feel confident and capable of dealing with life and other people. If your mental health is not so good, life can seem a lot more difficult and you may feel like you are not coping very well.

Of course, it’s normal to have ups and downs and many people have mental health issues from time to time. But if you feel like life never gets any easier, and there is nothing you can do about it, it’s possible that you could be suffering from a mental illness.

Mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders have a bigger impact on how you think and behave than other mental health issues and these illnesses need treatment, just like any other illness.

Common Mental Health Issues For Teenagers

Many people your age feel down or upset at times. It’s common to think things like:

  • I feel alone
  • I hate myself
  • I’m being bullied
  • I feel angry all the time
  • I’m in an abusive relationship
  • I’m too fat or skinny
  • I think I might be gay or bi
  • I drink too much
  • I’ve got a drug problem
  • I’m being sexually abused

One of the most serious mental health issues you can have is feeling like you want to hurt yourself, or worse, wanting to kill yourself. If you are self-harming or having suicidal thoughts, it’s definitely time to get help.

How can I improve my mental health?

The good news is that, like most physical illnesses, mental health issues for teenagers and adolescents can be managed or treated. There’s plenty you can do for yourself, and there’s plenty that other people can do to help.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Eat well
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Find out more about your particular issue – Talk to an adult you trust or you can also ask your doctor or a mental health professional for advice
  • If you’re using drugs or alcohol, slow down – as these tend to make things worse, not better
  • Learn some relaxation techniques to help you deal with stress
  • Practice mindfulness or meditation daily

Remember – Your mental and emotional health and well-being is just as important as your physical health. Good mental health allows you to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at you and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.

Where Can I get Help?

Teenline – www.teenline.org.uk

We are here to help support you when you need it most. Whether you just need to talk or need practical support to make sure you get what you need, then visit our live chat now. You will find it on the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Childline – www.childline.org.uk

Young Minds – www.youngminds.org.uk

Your Local GP – make an appointment to see your doctor

For urgent medical attention –  contact Accident & Emergency (A&E) at your local hospital or make Emergency GP appointment

For urgent medical advice –  you can call the NHS  on telephone number 111 (England) or NHS Direct (in Wales)

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