Things have moved on greatly since my teenage years and since 2010, when I was diagnosed with depression.The world seems to have become a much more open place regarding the topic of mental health.Â Though we have far to go in this country especially, it is good to see that there are so many more resources freely available for people suffering from mental health issues. For this week’s Friday’s Five, I’ve put together a list of a few which really stood out to me at the moment. Most of them focus on young people but are really applicable to all, and as well as offering support they offer information for others interested in the topic.
So, where to begin?
I was made aware of this website recently as a sportsperson from my home town was being highlighted in the paper as getting involved. TackleYourFeelings is taking mental health and putting it into the zone of sportspeople, people who young people would admire and relate to, in particular rugby players. As well as players telling their stories and experiences in the realm of mental health, the website also offers a test which you can take to check just how well you’re really doing. If it senses that there is an issue in a particular area (work, family, relationships), then it will guide you to resources which are available to help you. There is also an option to join the conversation yourself in the “Tackle Your Feelings Cafe”, which will undoubtedly become a great resource of tales of survival and living with mental illness. Definitely well worth a look, and is a great one for teenagers into sport.
Walk In My Shoes is a charity for mental health in Ireland, focused on 18-25 year olds. Linked with St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, they’ve recently rolled out their “Mind Your Selfie” campaign. The campaign consists of a variety of e-books which can be downloaded from the website aimed at teachers of primary and secondary schools, as well as college students, offering advice for looking after mental health. Statistics show that 75% of people who have mental health issues showed signs before the age of 25 so the purpose of this campaign is early detection as to ensure the best path of treatment possible. Even if you’re not a teacher or a college student, they’re well worth a look if you have any young people in your life. It’s never a bad thing to know the signs to look out for, just in case.
Filled with tips and advice about numerous mental illnesses, YourMentalHealth is a HSE run website aiming to arm people with as much information as possible. The website provides supports for young people, parents, guardians and adults in general, including a list of supports available in your geographical area if you need further help. You may have seen their #LittleThings campaign on bus shelters and signposts around the country, or on Twitter and Facebook. This is fleshed out more on the website, where people have shared their stories in mental health. Most interestingly, they provide an eSuicideTALK course which over the 1-2 hour courseÂ offers a space to safely explore some of the more challenging issues relating to suicide. It makes sure each participant finds what role they can play in suicide prevention. I’ve undertaken an in person course in this subject and found it very beneficial so would definitely recommend this.
Niall Breslin’s mental health campaign website is full to the brim of information which is incredibly useful, and stories that are extremely relatable. There is quite literally something for everyone. It’s full of articles from experts in different fieldsÂ -Â pregnancy related mental health issues, teenagers with exam stress, child anxiety and suicide awareness. Clinical PsychologistÂ Dr. Clare Kambamettu has also ran a very successful CBT course through blog format.Â You can find itÂ here if you’d like to try it out. Describing itself as a movement for wellbeing, A Lust For Life is a very useful resource for anyone interested in bettering their physical, mental and spiritual health.
Aware is a fantastic mental health charity, which operates a number of supports both on and offline. Most notable of these is their online CBT courses which are 100% free and run a few times a year. Their site is full of information about depression and bipolar mood disorders, complete with various fact sheets and sections devoted to educating not just the people affected but also their family and friends, which is a very important step. The information isn’t aimed atÂ any age group in particular, but it does have a section offering a four module support programme to teenagers called Beat The Blues. It’s a cohesive website full of resources that will be valuable to anyone who is interested in or suffering from ill mental health.
Hopefully you’ll find these resources useful in both discovering more about mental health issues, and dealing with different issues you may have – I’ve certainly found them great to deal with and well worth supporting.