Mind matters

What do you do to keep your body healthy? Perhaps you eat a balanced diet or you exercise regularly. When you are ill, you might take medication or go to the doctor.

Taking care of our mental wellbeing is just as important as our attending to our physical health. Having good mental health can help us to relax, achieve more, and enjoy our lives fully. We can’t all feel great all the time – but checking in on negative emotions and talking about them help to prevent more serious problems.

About one in four people experiences mental health problems at some time in their lives, but many cases go undetected for years. This is often down to feelings of social embarrassment or shame, which prevents people speaking up and getting the right help.

Organisations around the world are fighting this stigma – from the Australian movement Man Up, which works with men to break down harmful stereotypes, to the UK campaign Every Mind Matters, which helps people take simple steps to improve their mental wellbeing.

Both focus on talking about your feelings. This might start with telling a friend that you are feeling low to taking a bigger step and asking for more help when you need it.

If you are struggling with sadness, anxiety, panic, or loneliness, don’t be afraid to talk to an adult – especially if the feelings are beginning to affect your daily life negatively.

How will you make sure your mind matters this week?

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Assembly

Do you enjoy having lots to do? How does being busy affect your mental health? In this video, the School of Life investigates what happens to our brains when we have a full schedule.

Activities

  1. Take this brief quiz for a personalised plan for good mental health every day.
  2. As a group, make a list of tips for improving mental wellbeing and present them on a poster.
  3. Watch this advert and discuss your reactions with a partner. Is it effective? Did you learn something new?