Norfolk In-care Council (NICC) ©2018 Norfolk County Council

Mental Health

The word health means the working order of your body and mind.

So mental health means the working order of your thoughts and feelings.

Experts believe that up to 25 per cent of people under the age of 16 have a mental health problem at any one time and between 10 and 20 per cent will need some specialist help at some time.

These problems include experiencing depression, self-harming, eating disorders, substance misuse and suicide.

Famous people who have been depressed include Patsy Kensit, Janet Jackson, Caroline Aherne ('The Royle Family') and Winston Churchill!

Most people experience mental distress at some time, and it can affect your ability to handle day-to-day problems and enjoy life. The distress can be caused by a wide range of life events, such as school stresses, relationship problems or the death of someone close, which can all happen to anyone at any time.

As a young person you have to cope with many changes, both physical and emotional and you need the support of friends and family to help you through. You will be faced with growing independence, mood swings, new anxieties, and the development of sexual and emotional awareness. Self-image is really important too. The way you feel about your looks, body shape and size, and how you think other people see you affects your self-esteem. Sometimes these problems get 'on top of you' and are hard to cope with.

We all get sad, angry or stressed out sometimes, so try to chill out when you don't feel good. Mental distress is common and can happen to anyone, so if you feel you really can't cope you're not alone. It's also not your fault, so don't feel guilty or under pressure to 'pull yourself together'. After all, if we didn't experience the bad times, we couldn't appreciate the good ones half as well.

The important thing to remember is that these problems are very common and you are not alone - and there are loads of things you can do to help -check out the links page for some ideas.

To see a young-person friendly version of the CAMHS strategic plan click here.

Glossary

What does it all mean?

Art Therapist: An Art Therapist uses art as therapy with people experiencing problems. They help you create art and in the process learn about yourself and any worries you may have and how to cope with symptoms of their problems or illness.

CAMHS: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. A team of people from different professions who help young people who are experiencing mental health problems through a variety of therapies.

Play Therapist: A Play Therapist encourages children to play out their feelings and problems instead of talking about them. There are two different types of play therapy called directed and non-directed therapy. They are differ in the involvement of the therapist and who is in charge.

Psychiatrist: A Psychiatrist is a doctor of medicine who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of thinking, feeling and behaviour and is able to prescribe medication to people to help problems.

Psychologist: A Psychologist studies behaviour, feelings, motives and thinking. They use this knowledge to help people solve personal problems or to enable a group, like a family, to work together better.

Psychotherapy: Therapy in which a person can talk with the therapist and explore difficult emotions and experiences.

Source: R U OK