What causes mental health

Tackle the root causes. Prevention is better than cure. Looking after our mental health should be an everyday activity like brushing our teeth. 

Good mental health should be as important as physical health - there’s a huge emphasis on healthy eating, avoiding sugar, every child must do a minimum amount of PE, the same should be in place for mental health & I think PE should focus more on mental/physical health than being the next sports star - it’s too focused on the high achievers and also too focused on certain sports rather than ensuring every child finds physical activity that works for them. 

Bullying, poverty, disability, LGBTQ, racism, class, drug and alcohol abuse, single parent families... are some of the issues that can have an impact on mental health - we need to focus on real inclusion, making connections rather than divisions - local authorities too often talk the talk, who audits them and makes them  take responsibility when they fail our children? Schools are often a toxic environment, what is being done to ensure schools that make a difference, build strong communities and connections share their good practices and have them copied in similar schools that aren’t doing so well. 

Social media, peer pressure, body shaming, high expectations... what are we doing to ensure people are taking individual responsibility for tackling the causes of mental health issues - the consumer society obsession with having the newest, trendiest gadget/trainers/phone/bag - we should be embarrassed about this, not ashamed of having old things, it won’t just improve mental health if we tackle consumerism it will help our precious environment. 

 

 

Why the contribution is important

Communities have to take responsibility, the quality of mental health support matters but if we work from the grassroots up you will start to prevent mental health problems, then the support that’s so thinly spread can be accessed more easily by those in crisis. Adults need to be educated alongside our children on mental health issues and strategies that work. We seem to be attempting a sticking plaster approach at the moment, fire fighting, well we need firefighters but we need real, measured approaches that prevent the fires too. Every strategy used must be rigorously audited, if lip service is being paid rather than quality effective methods that needs dealt with too. 

by Luathmac on November 17, 2018 at 04:38PM

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Comments

  • Posted by Sarah87 November 25, 2018 at 18:40

    Poverty.
    Having both parents out working.
    Bullying.
    School/exam pressure.
    Social media.
    Lack of authority in schools being unable to stop the bullying.

    It's all contributes to poor mental health.
  • Posted by cairistiona2003 November 27, 2018 at 12:42

    I would agree with all of this. I am a parent of a child who suffered anxiety from the end of P7 into secondary school when her peers began to develop mentally and physically ahead of her and excluded or bullied her for not being so 'up-to-date'. We got the phone in S1 so she wouldn't be different and could keep in touch with others, but it became bit of an obsession for a while and contributed, looking back, to her anxiety. In the end, this anxiety led to serious ongoing mental health problems which she is still struggling with four years on.
    As parents, we don't have much guidelines on mental health. I would like more research and guidelines on how much social media and internet is healthy at different ages. There is a tremendous peer pressure and therefore pressure on parents to let their kids keep up with social media. I wonder if we will look back and see this as being as unhealthy as letting underage kids have regular access to alcohol and cigarettes. If there were health guidelines on social media use for pre-teens and young teenagers, this would help parents set limits (something I have found extremely difficult, especially since they are much more tech savvy than me). Free and easy to use apps to help us set limits are also needed.
    So yes, prevention is very important. I would agree with all of the above: bullying, school pressure, social media and lack of real action in the school to stop bullying when we complained. Yes, they talked to the people involved, but in one case it escalated the bullying as my daughter was then labelled a sneak.
    At one point, a group of boys were sexually harassing my daughter, and it even got to touching her inappropriately when she was too frightened and intimidated to say no. This happened in the school, sometimes even in a classroom if the teacher went out (which they shouldn't have). We complained and the guidance teacher talked to the boys, but in my view, the school needs to send a very clear message to people involved in sexual harassment. There must be consequences, such as being excluded from school. There is not enough done to deal with bullying and harassment. This sexual harassment, and the lack of action to deal with it, led to my daughter's anxiety turning into life-threatening anorexia.
    So, please. There is a lot which could be done to stop it reaching this crisis point, including what I as her mother could have done with hindsight.
  • Posted by Gardenerm December 11, 2018 at 11:57

    Not enough attention to the very worrying teens face from school teachers in secondary schools. Choosing options in second year is far too early for them to decide. Teachers constantly pressuring pupils in the build up to prelims and exams that their world depends on a excellent outcome.My daughter experienced a panic attack when entering the classroom on her Mods prelim. This eventually led to Panic disorder and Agoraphobia. She took a further year to get back into school and sit her highers. She had to give up her placement at college and is now finding it difficult to go anywhere. Support from Lifelink was sparse and not beneficial. Support from CALMS the same. Two years of being directed to online support ridiculous same old script.
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