About mental health

Mental health sounds scary. But actually it’s just about how we think, act and feel everyday.

A mental health problem is when a life event, situation or problem disrupts the way we think and feel. This can either be temporary – following a sad or traumatic event, for example – or it can be more long-term.

In general, the term ‘mental health problem’ is used to describe a whole range of difficulties, from stresses and bereavement, phobias (when you’re scared of something) and eating disorders to the more serious forms of depression, and illnesses such as schizophrenia.

If you are worried about your mental health, or that of a friend or family member, here are some of the signs that there may be a problem:

  • A gradual or sudden deterioration in your school or college work
  • Feeling exhausted or tired all the time
  • Not turning up at school or college
  • Withdrawing from your social life or stopping sports you used to enjoy
  • Mood swings and feeling irritable a lot of the time
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Significant weight loss/gain
  • Hearing or seeing things that others don’t
  • Mistakenly thinking people are ‘out to get you’ or are laughing at you

If you are feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or finding it difficult to cope, you need to tell someone. Find out where you can get help.

Compiled from www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk.