What does mental health mean to you? For many young people the phrase is meaningless, and as much as ones physical health is looked after, the same cannot be said for their mental health.
So what is mental health? The way you behave, and the way you feel are all down to your mental health. Whether you feel happy, bored, or sad, it is due to your mental health. When you feel good about yourself you don’t really pay attention to your mental health, however when you feel low and negative about yourself you tend to think about it more.
If you feel down, lonely, or sad for a prolonged period of time, you do not have to put up with it. You don’t deserve to feel this way. There are places for you to go, things that you can do to make yourself feel better. Just as we are all prone to catching a cough or a cold, we are also prone to experiencing some sort of emotional distress.
Feeling as if you need to talk to somebody about your feelings, is not something to be embarrassed about. Think about it as taking medicine for your mind, its the sensible thing to do when you have too much on your plate. There is no short supply to the places you can go for help, a place that I have found of great use in times of need is the Interchange Counselling service.
During a time in which I felt like I needed extra support I turned to a professional. Over approximately a two month period I attended weekly sessions at the Interchange Counselling service. It wasn’t like any of the counselling sessions I had experienced before, where I never felt like I had truly explored my thoughts and feelings. During my first session, I rated myself on a scale of one to ten for various things such as thinking positively, self esteem etc. Throughout my experience at the Interchange I was talked to as an equal, and my counsellor helped me realise where my issues lay. I had been told time and time again what was wrong with me, but at the Interchange I saw it for myself, which in turn helped me to help myself. At the end of my time at the Interchange, I rated myself on my self esteem and positive thinking yet again. I had drastically improved, and I was in shock at how low I had ranked myself before.
It is through embracing my own mental health, both the good and the bad, that I have been able to receive help and recover during times of need. Everyone should be able to do this, regardless of your race, religion, gender or orientation, you have mental health and you have a right to look after it.
Written by one of the Y-Act Service Users. Click here to find out more about Y-Act.