Children’s Mental Health Week

Hear from Surrey’s Young Mayor

This Children’s Mental Health Week, Surrey’s Young Mayor, Natalie Wingfield, would like to share her tips and experiences around mental health as a young person in Surrey…

Growing together

This year the theme for children’s mental health week is growing together. so, I would like to share with you my growth to this date and share with you some tips I’ve picked up along the way:

At the start of lockdown, just as many others felt, I was unhappy. I was unhappy with the situation the world was in, with the reactions to it from other people and how I felt myself. I felt very trapped and overwhelmed. I felt very busy, even though I had nothing to do. But I decided to rethink how I was going about my life. I found new friends, I found resources to make myself happier, and I stopped consuming the content that was making me feel that way. I got external help and started working on myself. I took the time to reflect the paths I had taken and the paths I wanted to take in the future. I learnt ways to help control myself and stop myself from feeling this way. I am now still working on myself and finding new ways to cope with the anxiety and “overwhelmingness” that I feel.

I have found different methods that help me cope with my anxiety, but there are many other techniques that you can find from reliable resources (some of which I will list below). Some ways that have helped me is the 54321 method. You count 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell and one thing you can taste. This helps me as it changes my mindset and stops me from overthinking as much. I also find going on walks good. I like to go on at least 1 walk a weekend, and I find it quite relaxing as it clears my mind and helps me relax so that I can go and get some work done. I also found that not eating or drinking caffeine helped my body function better and stopped me from being as continuously anxious.

Anxiety

Anxiety shows differently in different people. Everyone reacts differently to it. The main symptoms are:

Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge, being easily fatigued, having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank, being irritable, having muscle tension, difficulty controlling feelings of worry, having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness. -NIMH

If you think a friend/family member has anxiety, try to let them know you are there for them. Try to validate and reassure them, make sure that they have a support system. 

The awareness of not just anxiety but mental health in all, and reducing the stigma of mental health, will greatly help today’s society and help keep the next generation from facing the same circumstances that we did. Even if we can’t do that, we can work to make everything more accessible for them and reduce the stigma of mental health. We can work together to make sure that people with mental health issues are heard the same as anyone else and that they have people who they feel like they can talk to. 

I would like to leave you with a quote that I find quite inspiring, and some links to helpful websites for different uses:

Take your time healing, as long as you want. Nobody else knows what you’ve been through. How could they know how long it will take to heal you?

Abertoli

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/ – This is on the official NHS website and is a great resource for all. There are links to different services, self-assessments, symptoms, research, and more.

https://www.mind.org.uk – Mind has lots of resources if you want to learn more, or if you would like to help the charity, mind accepts donations on their websites, that will drastically help them get more reach within the work that they do.

http://www.pinktherapy.com – Pink Therapy is a safe space for LGBTQ+          people. They help provide therapy for people part of the community that need mental health advice and help. They provide resources as well as therapy.

https://www.mindworks-surrey.org/ – Mindworks in Surrey.

Hope you all have a relaxing week,

Natalie

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