It’s a scary, emotional word. That’s the theme of this year’s #worldmentalheathday. As every parent knows all too well, looking after their children’s young minds is every bit as important as caring for their physical wellbeing.
According to YoungMinds, the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity, roughly three children in every school class have a diagnosable mental health condition and the number of children and young people who have arrived at A&E with a psychiatric condition has more than doubled since 2010.
Today many charities, supported by celebrities, athletes, politicians and even Royalty are urging us all to become more aware of how to help those struggling with mental health issues.
The Mental Health Foundation have also issued a ‘WAIT’ checklist to help us spot the signs of someone who is at risk of committing suicide:
W – watch out for signs of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour.
e.g. social withdrawal, excessive quietness, irritability, uncharacteristic outburst, talking about death or suicide.
A – ask are you having suicidal thoughts?”
Asking about suicide does not encourage it, nor does it lead a person to start thinking about it; in fact it may help prevent it, and can start a potentially life-saving conversation.
I – it will pass – assure your loved one that, with help, their suicidal feelings will pass with time.
T – talk to others – encourage your loved one to seek help from a GP or health professional.
If you think you, or someone you know, is developing a mental health problem, seek help. Speak to your GP, tell someone you trust or contact any of the organisations below for help.