Young people urged to look after their mental health this Christmas

A young man suffering from anxiety looks up information on mental health issues
A young man suffering from anxiety looks up information on mental health issues

Reach out to young people.

The call, from mental health charity MIND comes as the number of young people hospitalised through self-harm injuries has risen, according to recent figures issued by from the NSPCC.

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind runs a range of projects dedicated to supporting young people aged between 13 and 25 who are experiencing emotional distress.

Kate Larkin, from the charity said: “Self harm is essentially a coping strategy some people use to help them through challenging times. “Stopping the self harm without addressing these challenges may be counterproductive so it’s important to identify alternative coping strategies instead.

“People who self harm often experience stigma with others incorrectly assuming it to be attention seeking behaviour. To best support someone who is self harming it’s important to listen to how they’re feeling and not judge. Harm minimisation in terms of effective first aid, using clean implements and the like can be beneficial while alternative coping mechanisms are developed.”

The charity has also issued signs to look out for when someone could be experiencing anxiety.

These include: feeling worried all the time; tiredness; irritability; inability to sleep; difficulty concentrating; racing heartbeat; sweating; muscle tension and pains; shaking; breathing heavily; feeling dizzy or faint; changes in their appetite.

Those suffering from an anxiety, stress or panic are encouraged to take part in breathing techniques to help alleviate the feelings of worry; to make themselves comfortable and to let their breath flow, breathing through the nose and out through the mouth. Each breath, steadily count to five in and out, keep doing this for three to five minutes.

Our series of articles in the run-up to Christmas aims to encourage people to reach out to others and for those struggling - that help and support is available.

Today, people are being asked to take a leaf out of a young person’s book and practice the act of compassion towards others.

For access to self-help guides visit wellbeinginfo.org/self-help/health/recognising-depression/