Mental health

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Billie Eilish. Prince Harry. Kanye West. Ariana Grande.

These are just a few of the celebrities who have spoken up about their struggles with mental health in the last two years, in an attempt to fight the stigma associated with mental illness. “Took me a long time to realise it, but the key is to not be afraid to open up,” said Johnson in April last year.

This Thursday (10 October) is World Mental Health Day. According to the charity Mind, one in four people in the UK experience mental health problems every year. Many say that the social stigma attached to these problems can make recovery even harder. In 2017, the young royals launched the Heads Together campaign to encourage people to talk about their difficulties.

You do not have to have been diagnosed with a mental health problem for this to make a difference. Talking about your feelings is one of the best ways to keep yourself mentally healthy, along with exercising, eating well, and asking for help if you need it.

If you are struggling with feelings of sadness, anxiety, panic, stress or loneliness, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor — especially if it is beginning to affect your daily life.

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Assembly

In this powerful video, a university student explains how it felt to live with depression. Why are stories like these important? And what useful advice can we learn from it?

Activities

  1. Class debate: Social media is bad for young people’s mental health.
  2. Mental health is not just about those who are currently struggling. We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Create a poster which gives advice to young people on staying mentally fit and healthy.
  3. This week, keep a diary about how you are feeling. The entries could be as short as a sentence a day, or they could be several pages long. It doesn’t matter, as you don’t have to share them with anyone. At the end of the week, discuss what you learnt from the experience with the rest of your class.