Mental health awareness

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Emma Stone. Prince Harry. Ruby Wax. Ryan Reynolds.

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 that is still 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.

It is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. 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 of talking to a doctor — especially if it is beginning to affect your daily life.

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Assembly

In a video by the charity Fixers, young people from the UK talk about how they overcame mental illness.

Activities

  1. Make a poster which gives advice to young people on how to stay mentally healthy.
  2. Research a type of mental illness with which you are unfamiliar. Write a report which explains what it involves, how many people have it, and how it is treated.
  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 learned from writing the diary with the rest of your class.