Everyone has mental health – some people have good mental health, some people don’t

A teenager with mental health problems

Your mental health is how you feel about yourself emotionally, psychologically and socially. Everyone has mental health – some people have good mental health, some people don’t, and a person’s mental health can always change.

If you are suffering from problems with your mental health, you might be finding it difficult to cope with life, make the most of your potential, or interact with your family and friends. But the good news is that if you are experiencing mental health problems, there’s plenty of places you can turn to for help.   

What to do if you're worried about your mental health?

You might feel uncomfortable talking about problems you’re having with your mental health, or mental illness in general, but you don’t need to be – everyone has moments when they feel stressed, frightened or depressed. So if you’re feeling bad emotionally or psychologically, it’s definitely not something to be embarrassed about. In fact, each year there’s a Mental Health Awareness Week which encourages everyone to talk about their mental health, and works to remove any stigma around mental health problems.    

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and just like your body, your mental health can be harmed by many different things, including:

  • Abuse or neglect
  • Experiencing trauma through crime or violence
  • Social isolation
  • Being bullied or discriminated against
  • Feeling stressed or under pressure
  • Living in poverty
  • Having debts
  • Losing someone close to you
  • Having a physical health condition
  • Losing your job
  • Having to care for a relative
  • Substance misuse.

Children’s mental health is especially important, as if young people don’t get help with their mental health problems the issues they’re experiencing can stay with them when they get older.

What is well-being and resilience?

When you’re talking or reading about mental health, you may also come across the terms well-being and resilience. Your well-being is related to your mental health in that it describes how comfortable, healthy or happy you are. Your resilience (sometimes known as your emotional resilience) is your ability to react to and recover from the challenges you face. Just like your mental health, your resilience isn’t fixed, and you can take steps to improving it by looking after your physical health, finding a support network of people you can trust, or making changes to your lifestyle.

In the same way that if you’ve hurt yourself physically you might not be able to run, jump or move about like you used to; if you’re not healthy mentally, it may also be difficult for you to do certain things such as:

  • Go to school
  • Spend time with friends
  • Talk to people
  • Get enough sleep
  • Look forward to things.

If you want to find out more about mental health, you can look at some of the resources we’ve linked to on this page. 

Support and help  

 

Listening to others

It's important to remember that there are other children and young people out there who have been through similar experiences to you. Listen below to the voices of young people we have worked with who shared their story.