This week is Mental Health Week - a national awareness week held each year.
Mental health is the number one health issue affecting young people in Australia. However, only 1 in 4 young people who experience mental health problems seek help.
Topics related to youth mental health include:
- Bullying, cyber bullying
- LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Intersex)
- Exam stress
- Relationship break ups
- Indigenous social and emotional well being
- Depression and anxiety
- Youth suicide
- Body image and eating disorders
If you want help with an issue that’s troubling you visit headspace.org.au - the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, helping young people aged 12-25 who are going through a tough time to get their lives back on track.
Okay, ladies, we get it – sometimes it’s hard not to give yourself a bit of a mental beating, but negative thoughts can make a situation a whole lot worse.
Head Bashers Anonymous
When Hannah’s BFF, Nicki, started acting distant, she blamed herself. “I thought it was me- whenever Nicki brushed me off, a voice in my head would whisper, ‘Maybe you’re not cool enough for her. Or you’re too boring. She probably wants to hang out with prettier girls who are much more fun’,” Hannah admits.
It was only when her bestie confided that she was having family problems, Hannah realised she’d done nothing wrong. “I’d head-bashed myself for no reason and made myself feel insecure.” If negative thoughts have become your normal way of thinking, it’s time for an emotional makeover so you can stop being a biacth to the most important person in your life... YOU.
Be your own bestie
Life skills consultant Tina Nikolovski asks, “You know the saying ‘treat others how you would like to be treated’? Well, don’t you deserve that same treatment?” Ahh yes! We don’t mean inviting yourself to the movies – we mean treating yourself the way you treat your best friend. You’d never tell her she was no good, or that she wasn’t smart enough – so why speak that way to yourself?
When you start to doubt yourself or dwell on things you can’t change, it’s up to you to put a stop to it. Take a few deep breaths and think about something positive or something you do well, like being a great friend or a good student.
Change your internal language
Tina says you need to value your uniqueness to overcome the constant comparisons. “Think of the things you’re already good at.” If you compare yourself to other people, all you’re doing is looking at what you don’t have and not what you do have! It’s time to change your perspective and focus on the good stuff.
“When it comes to getting ready for a party, you may think ‘I wish I was wearing what my friend is wearing’, but you should immediately shift that negativity,” Tina says. “Even if you need to visualise throwing your negative thought into the bin. Visualisation can really help you when it comes to clearing out any self-defeating thoughts.”
Compare = despair
Words like “can’t”, “won’t” and “don’t” are so last year. Stick to “can”, “will” and “do” to encourage yourself. Being a positive, self-confident person is hot, so when you look in the mirror, train yourself to find positive things first. If you don’t like your eyes, focus on your skin, or if you don’t like your skin, focus on your cheekbones.
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headspace's ‘Create a Better Story’ campaign highlights the importance of sharing personal mental health and help seeking stories to encourage others going through a tough time to get the help they need and get their lives back on track.