Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies. Body image issues and mental health problems of all kinds can affect all of us, at any age, at any time. 

One in eight 5-19 year olds have a clinically diagnosed mental disorder. Risk factors are cumulative with children exposed to multiple risks such as social disadvantage, family adversity and cognitive or attention problems being much more likely to develop emotional and behavioural problems.

‘Body image’ is a term that can be used to describe how we think and feel about our bodies. Our thoughts and feelings about our bodies can impact us throughout our lives, affecting, more generally, the way we feel about ourselves and our mental health and wellbeing.

An important key to promoting children’s mental health and feelings about themselves is to understand the protective factors that enable children to be resilient when they encounter problems and challenges. Resilience is linked to self-esteem and confidence and a belief in own self-efficacy and ability to deal with change and ability to adapt and being able to have a range of problem solving approaches.

 

These tips will give you some pointers on how to improve self-esteem:

  • Keep a top-10 list of things you like about yourself: Things that are not related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often.
  • Remind yourself that true beauty is not skin-deep: Look at yourself as a whole person, beauty is a state of mind and not a state of body.
  • Surround yourself with positive people: It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognise the importance of liking yourself just as you are.
  • Clothes: Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body.
  • Body image and the media: Reduce your amount of social and media access. Be aware of images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body and remember that these images may have been edited by Photoshop.
  • Do something nice for yourself: Do something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap or find a peaceful place outside to relax.

 

Mental Health Services in Brighton & Hove 

See here for a list of Mental Health Services for Children & Young People in Brighton & Hove.

Training

The LSCB offer training for Children’s Services staff to explore the way parental mental health difficulties can impact on the lives of children and young people. The day session explores how they can work together to create better outcomes for families. The aim is to promote effective working together across agencies when working with families where a parent or carer has a mental health problem.
See more about the event and how to book a place here.

 

Event – Body Image: How we think & feel about our bodies

Join the mental health charity Mind to explore the impact of body image on mental health and wellbeing through interactive activities, short films, information and friendly conversations. Take part in body collage and positive body image pledges. 

Come and say hello: Friday 17 May, 3-6pm in Wellsbourne Health Centre, Whitehawk

 

Read the body image report by the Mental Health Foundation

Read a blog from Mental Health Foundation CEO Mark Rowland on this year’s theme

 

 

Sources:

Children’s Society: Body Image

NHS: Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017