This year, Youth Mental Health Day will be held on the 19th  of September and aims to raise more awareness and facilitate more conversations about the mental health struggles many young people face.

This year’s theme is #BeBrave. Whether it’s building confidence in facing difficult situations, building social confidence through learning to work together on team tasks, or learning to have the courage to fail by doing something new no matter what the outcome, being brave can mean something different to everyone.

Research shows that 22% of young people in 2022 were reported as being suspected of having a probable mental health issue, therefore, reducing the stigma surrounding mental health has never been more important.

Having access to the best mental health support possible is a fundamental human right, and part of getting young people the necessary assistance is in understanding how to discuss these matters. Whether it’s for the sake of your own mental health, or the mental health of someone you care about, here’s how to get the conversation started about mental health needs.

Sometimes all it takes is for one person to address their mental health for others to follow suit. We all have our own internal battles with telling others how we truly feel, and hearing about other people’s mental health struggles can help others to feel less alone.

If someone does open up you, use the following as an outline for how to make them feel supported:

Listen – Try to listen carefully and without interruption. In between gaps, let them know you’re listening and that there’s no rush. You may even want to suggest that they write it down if it helps.

Reassure – Let them know that it’s okay to speak up and that their feelings are respected and
perfectly valid.

Confirm – After you reassure them, confirm to them that these feelings are understandable and that how they feel isn’t something they need to hide or repress.

Look at helping them make their first call or message to set up a discussion with a Counsellor. Should you feel the need to act immediately in the case of a mental health emergency, don’t hesitate to call 999.

We all deserve the best possible access to mental health and wellbeing support. The team at Kelly’s Heroes are here to support anyone. No matter how alone you may feel, our counsellors are waiting to listen, help, and guide you to making the best decisions for your own wellbeing.

You can self-refer into our services by using our online form on our website or by using our emotional support service which runs 365 days a year, 7 days a week from 6pm-9pm.