Wednesday 10 October is World Mental Health Day and this year’s theme is Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.
As part of the day leading local mental health charity Carlisle Eden Mind are urging young people to ‘look out for their mates.’
A spokesperson said: “Through our Mates in Mind training which we have been delivering in schools since 2015 we encourage young people to demonstrate everyday kindness when their mates are in a difficult place emotionally. It helps them to reach out, to listen respectfully, to be helpfully nosey and to ask questions. It also encourages them to try to understand their mates and keep to the simple task of being kind and keeping our Mates in Mind.”
As we all know resources are very tight for supporting young people with mental health issues and therefore we start from the position that our closest friends know us best and may be able to help by following some Top Tips:
Mates in Mind Top Tips
Signs – look out for signs they are having a hard time. Has their behaviour changed, do they seem more emotional than normal, have they withdrawn and are they doing less of the things they used to?
Talk – be helpfully nosey and ask them how they are doing? Keep talking to them, even if it is not about what is going on for them. Your mate will find it even harder if you avoid them because you don’t know what to say.
Be honest; say if you don’t know what to say, but keep talking.
Listen – remember just listen, you don’t have to know the answers but you can probably try to understand your mates worries.
Do stuff – be kind and help them, encourage them to do stuff they used to enjoy e.g. cinema, sleep over, sports, gaming, shopping.
Even if they say no, keep encouraging them and keep inviting them.
Get help – remind them there is help out there for example from their parents, Doctor or school. Encourage your mate to speak up and talk to someone to get help. If you are worried, speak up on their behalf and get help for them.
Remember if your mate shares or you are worried, they are thinking about suicide (taking their own life) tell a trusted adult immediately and seek help.