This week is dedicated to raising awareness of all issues relating to mental health, and it’s a cause we should all support. While huge strides have been made to reduce the associated stigma in recent years, there is still a long way to go.
At The Prince’s Trust, we know how devastating the effects of mental illness can be for young people. As well as affecting levels of happiness, behaviour and social skills, mental health issues can make it more difficult for young people to access employment or training opportunities. This can easily become a vicious cycle as we have seen the negative effect long-term unemployment can have on young people’s self-esteem and wellbeing.
Within our programmes, we purposefully embed activities and discussions around wellbeing and healthy lifestyles to provide support for those young people furthest from the jobs market. Many support others who face mental health conditions or struggle with such challenges themselves.
The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is relationships, encouraging us to think about the way we interact with each other and the effect this has on our state of mind. Relationships of all kinds play a huge role in our lives and our communities cannot flourish without them. For young people in particular, the opportunity to build relationships with others whether in school or a work environment can be integral in helping to develop confidence and employability skills.
I’d encourage everyone to support this cause, not just this week but all year round.
Director, North of England at The Prince’s Trust