In 2023, mental health is and should always be one of our main priorities, but at what age should we introduce techniques to help identify and cope with our mental health.
The four types of mental health:
Mental health can be experienced by everyone in different forms and doesn’t have a boundary to what people can experience. Currently, it can be categorised into 4 types consisting of: mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and psychotic disorders.
1. Mood disorders
These can consist of conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and substance-induced mood disorder.
2. Anxiety disorders
Like mood disorders, examples can include anxiety, social anxiety, phobias, and separation anxiety.
3. Personality disorders
There are 10 common personality disorders, but a few examples can include borderline personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder.
4. Psychotic disorders
Psychotic disorders are when people lose contact with reality compared to a ‘normal’ person. These can include, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, paraphrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
These are only just a few examples of each of the types of mental health with many more unfortunately being undiagnosed in people who are unaware that they are suffering.
What awareness is already in place?
Looking into this article, the main purpose is to discuss at what age should we introduce the idea of mental health into people’s lives. This will look mainly towards school curriculums and what is available for young people to gain a good understanding of mental health.
So, what awareness is already in place? In 2020, the government announced a £500 million investment into mental health. To collaborate this, the UK government announced a further £79 million into boosting mental health support in schools to boost the support for children and teenagers. This involved the expansion of support for children and teenagers with increasing numbers of mental health support team departments in schools. The effects of these developments have enabled easier access and waiting times being reduced, meaning more youths are getting the help they need sooner.
Why should awareness begin with youngsters?
As much as mental health is a growing concern for adults, it should also be for children and young teenagers. If support is given and taught at a young age, mental frameworks and coping mechanisms can be taught to youths enabling them to speak out about their concerns and how they are feeling.
It is crucial that children and teenagers gain the confidence to speak out about their mental health concerns as it involves their safety and wellbeing and can impact all aspects of their life. Adults don’t necessary are aware enough to be able to recognise when a youth needs support with their mental health. This is crucial justification for why mental health awareness needs to begin at a young age so that children can speak out about their experiences and get the help they need. Mental health awareness is crucial to everyone on this planet but adults, however, have the confidence and self-drive to get help when they feel they need external support, but children do not.
What should we do to support youngsters mental health:
The start of introduction to mental health departments in schools has greatly improved children’s safeguarding and making them feel supported enough to speak out with their issues. Childline is frequently used by teenagers feeling the need to speak out and gain support but remain anonymous as they lack the confidence to individually speak out about needing help.
Modules should be introduced into school’s curriculum as young as the government can feel like school children can digest and process the information that they need for introductions to mental health awareness. Programmes should be introduced to help children and teenagers identify which mental health type or types they feel that they are suffering and backing the support of these individuals who feel they are at danger.
Creating a good coping mental framework in young people’s minds will help them better their futures. Beginning at young ages for mental health awareness will set them up for life to be able to identify and process the types and what they’re suffering with. This can be lead onto and help out issues that they may develop in the future with adult life stresses and workplace stresses.