Home Children and Young People Mental Health: little ways to make a big difference
Graphic for World Mental Health Day

Mental Health: little ways to make a big difference

by Laura Johnston

World Mental Health Day, on Tuesday 10 October, is the perfect opportunity to take some time to think and talk about mental health – and most importantly of all, to take action to support our mental health.

There are some simple things we can all do to be kind to ourselves which can make a big difference to how we feel:

Being active helps releases feel-good hormones which can help reduce anxiety, stress and help you sleep better. Start off easy with a daily walk or do what you can within your own abilities to keep active.

Make time to look after yourself, especially if you’re caring for others.

Catch up with friends or family it’s okay to tell someone how you’re feeling and to ask for help. You can also make contact with one of the support helplines listed below.

Sleep well having good quality sleep is so important, try to keep to a regular routine of getting up and going to bed at the same time.

Drinking less alcohol can help you to feel less tired and more energetic, improve your sleep and your health overall.

Find your little big thing

For World Mental Health Day 2023 Every Mind Matters is launching a campaign to encourage people to ‘find your little big thing’ to highlight that ‘doing the little things can make a big difference to your mental health.’

There are little things we can all do to lift our mood or ease our anxiety and we need to find what works for us.

This could be as simple as taking a walk in nature, prioritising our sleep or opening up to a friend. Our little thing, if we keep doing it, will make a big difference to how we feel.

The Every Mind Matters website also has free self-care resources and support available to help you to look after your mental health, including the free Mind Plan.

Simply, answer 5 short questions to get a free personalised mental health action plan, with tips and advice to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health, said:

“In these ever-challenging times it’s really important we try and incorporate some of these simple actions and activities into our daily routines to help us look after our mental health. Doing these little things regularly really does help to manage everyday stress and anxiety in our lives.

 

“Things that might be helpful include being active, getting out in nature, practising breathing techniques, getting support to tackle money worries or prioritising our sleep. Talking to a friend, or spending time with loved ones, is often also a good first step.

 

“These small things can add up to make a big difference and ultimately help us to cope with life’s challenges.”

She added:

“The Every Mind Matters website has some fantastic free self-care resources and support available which can all help you to look after your mental health, including free apps to help you get active helping reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress”.

 

“There’s also support available 24/7 for anyone in mental health  crisis and in need of urgent help.”

Mental health crisis support – If you are in mental health crisis and no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation and need urgent help, you can call the NHS Mental Health crisis line. NHS staff will then support you to get the help you need. Available for people of all ages, including children and young people, available 24/7. Call freephone 0800 051 1508.

Mental Health support

Sometimes anxiety can get out of control and start having a negative impact on your daily life. There are lots of places to which you can go or direct people for support:

Adults – support and advice helplines and services

The services below can offer support to help look after your mental health or if you are concerned about someone you know.

  • Shout – offers confidential text messaging support for times when you need immediate support. Trained volunteers can help with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression and will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. Simply text the word “REACH” to 85258. Find out more giveusashout.org/
  • Samaritansa safe place to talk 24 hours a day about whatever is troubling you. Call 116 123 or find out more samaritans.org/
  • Talking Therapies – free NHS therapy for people with common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, to help you change the way you feel by changing the way you think.  Online therapy available 24/7, with weekly online support from your therapist.  Six-week course also available to help you to develop skills to manage your mood. Visit merseycare.nhs.uk and search talking therapies.
  • Listening Ear – provides face to face counselling support for people of all ages including children and young people.Call 0151 488 6648.  Find out more https://listening-ear.co.uk
  • Silver Line – for those aged 55 and over is a helpline which provides friendship, conversation and support. Free to call 24 hours a day on 0800 470 8090 from a mobile or landline. Find out more thesilverline.org.uk/
  • AMPAROsupport for anyone affected by suicide. Call 0330 088 9255 or find out more amparo.org.uk/
  • StayAlive app – for those at risk of suicide and for people worried about someone. Suicide prevention resource which provides information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis including a safety plan and LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive. Download free on both iOS and Android devices.
  • Every Mind Matters – offers expert advice, practical tips and personalised action plans from the NHS to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Visit  Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Children and young people – support and advice helplines and services

Young people up to the age of 18 experiencing emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties which are causing difficulties in their school, family or social life can call 01744 415640. This service is available 24/7, for children and young people who are registered with a GP in Knowsley, Halton, St Helens or Warrington.

The agencies below can offer support to help you look after your own mental health or if you are concerned about someone you know.

  • Listening Ear – provides face to face counselling support for people of all ages including children and young people. Call 0151 488 6648.  Find out more https://listening-ear.co.uk
  • Kooth – provides online support and counselling, information, advice and support for young people in secondary schools. Find out more kooth.com or speak to your child’s school.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) works with young people up to the age of 18 who have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties which are causing difficulties in their school, family or social life.  Speak to your GP, health visitor, social worker or school health advisor who will be able to refer you into this specialist service.
  • Papyrusfor children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned about a young person. Call 0800 068 4141 or find out more papyrus-uk.org
  • DiAmond – for children and young people who have been affected by domestic abuse and require support for their mental and emotional wellbeing.  Call 0151 488 6648. Visit Emotional Support for Domestic Abuse – Listening Ear Merseyside (listening-ear.co.uk).
  • Butterflies – for children and young people who require mental and emotional support following bereavement, loss or separation.  Call 0151 488 6648. Visit Affected by Bereavement & Loss – Listening Ear Merseyside (listening-ear.co.uk).
  • ADDvanced Solutionsprovides support for children, young people and their families living with neurodevelopmental conditions, specific learning difficulties and associated mental health needs. Call 0151 486 1788. Visit addvancedsolutions.co.uk
  • Young Minds – offers lots of practical tips and advice and real-life stories from other young people who have struggled with their mental health and how they got through it. Parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s mental health up to the age of 25 can get advice from the confidential helpline – call 0808 802 5544. Lines are open 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.  Webchat and email advice also available via the website find out more  youngminds.org.uk