World Mental Health Day – 10th October

Mental health promotion and suicide prevention

WMHD LogoOn October 10th, people around the world will be taking part in the annual World Mental Health Day, drawing attention to the importance of mental well-being.

Organised by the World Federation for Mental Health since 1992 and supported by many of the national and international charities, this year the theme will focus on suicide prevention.

According to the Mental Health Organization, "more than 800,000 people die by suicide a year, making it the principal cause of death among people fifteen to twenty-nine years old. The UK suicide rate is 10.1 suicides per 100,000 population with the highest rate in Scotland (13.9 suicides per 100,000 population) and the lowest in England (9.2 deaths per 100,000 population) (Office for National Statistics 2017)

WFMH President, Professor Alberto Trimboli adds: “Suicide is a global public health problem that deserves the attention of all the actors in the field of mental health, including scientific and professional organizations, organizations for mental health users and their families, and universities. It is particularly important to have the attention of national health authorities since it is their responsibility to craft policies and directives aimed at establishing strategies to prevent suicide and promote the public’s mental health. The role of both print and audiovisual communication media and of social media is no less important, since their participation can have positive as well as negative effects, depending on how they address this subject.

Join us this year as we focus on suicide prevention. We are partnering and collaborating with many groups around the world to make this an amazing year of positive change. We hope you will support our efforts and keep the spotlight on suicide prevention!”

The key topics being addressed in the activities supporting World Mental Health Day this year include:

  • prevention of mental illness
  • promotion of good health
  • reduction in the stigma associated with mental illness
  • improved access to mental health care
  • Ultimately the goal of WMHD is to reduce the rate of suicide throughout the world.

    For more information about the campaign, visit the World Foundation for Mental Health website

    For a range of mental well-being resources including teaching materials, parents guides and staff training, join our Safeguarding Essentials service. Members can login now to distribute staff training on this topic

    World Mental Health Day 2019 Banner

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on October 04, 2019 09:40

    Mental Health Awareness Week - Social Media Causes Body Image Concerns

    Millions of teenagers worry about body image and identify social media as a key cause – new survey by the Mental Health Foundation

    Mental Health Awareness Week 2019Millions of teenagers in Britain worry about their body image according to a new British survey published by the Mental Health Foundation.

    The online survey of British teenagers aged 13 to 19 was commissioned as part of Mental Health Awareness Week which this year has the theme of body image.

    It found that almost one third (31 per cent) of teenagers felt ashamed in relation to their body image.

    Four in ten teenagers (40 per cent) said images on social media had caused them to worry about body image.

    More than a third of British teenagers (35 per cent) had stopped eating at some point or restricted their diets as a result of worrying about their body image.

    Four in ten teenagers (40 per cent) said that things their friends have said have made them worry about their body image.

    Thirty five per cent of teenagers worried in relation to their body image often or every day, and 37 per cent of teenagers felt upset and ashamed in relation to their body image.

    Jane Caro, Programme Lead for Families, Children and Young People at the Mental Health Foundation said: “Our survey has shown that millions of young people in Britain are worrying about their body image. Worries about body image can lead to mental health problems and in some instances are linked to self-harm and suicidal thoughts and feelings.

    “It is also clear from our survey that teenagers are identifying images on social media as a key factor that makes them worry about their body image. Conversations with their friends also have a major role in causing young people to worry.”

    The Foundation report “Body Image: How we think and feel about our bodies” highlights the range of commercial and advertising pressures on body image which are contributing to mental health problems for millions of young people and calls for immediate action across all aspects of society to safeguard the health of teenagers as they grow up.

    Jane said “Action starts in our families and homes with how we talk about our bodies and about eating, but we also need more regulation of advertising promoting idealised and unattainable body images. Social media companies should urgently up their game in taking practical steps to ensure that the content they promote does not exacerbate body image concerns.”

    A selection of resources to help support schools with mental well-being are available as part of our Safeguarding Essentials membership package. Resources include classroom materials, parent guide, school checklist and policy and a staff training course. Find out more

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on May 16, 2019 10:02

    Have your say: Mental Health - Young People and Teachers

    Almost half of young people experiencing mental health concerns turn to their teachers for support

    SGE Mental Well being sad 2In November, NHS released the findings of the “first national survey of children’s mental health to take place since 2004”.

    The aim of the survey was “to find out about the mental health, development and wellbeing of children and young people aged between 2 and 19 years old in England”.

    Key findings from the survey reported that:

  • One in eight 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder
  • Emotional disorders* were the most prevalent type experienced by 5 to 19 years olds
  • Mental disorders increased with age, reaching 16.9% of 17 to 19 year olds
  • When it came to education, the report found that on average 8.5% of children experiencing a mental health disorder were more likely to have played truant (compared to 0.8% without a disorder). This figure increased to 11.2% amongst those with a behavioural disorder*.

    In further striking findings, young people with mental disorders were twice as likely to have experienced cyber bullying in the last year. The report also found that young people with a disorder were more likely to have:

  • spent longer (four hours or more) on social media
  • compared themselves to others when online
  • felt that the number of ‘likes’ they got affected their mood
  • The survey identified that two-thirds of young people experiencing problems did have contact with a professional service and that teachers were the most commonly cited source of support. Reassuringly, only 10% of these young people felt that this particular support was unhelpful.

    With such a large proportion of young people turning to their teachers for support, it is concerning that a recent survey by Mental Health Foundation Scotland, most teachers felt they lacked the training to help pupils with mental health issues. The survey also identified that around half of the staff questioned felt that the pressures of the job had contributed to mental health issues amongst the teachers themselves.

    The report found that 85% of those surveyed felt that more training in this area could help them take better care of their own emotional condition.

    Have your say

    Do you feel that there is sufficient support for teaching staff around mental health issues? Do you think there is too much pressure on schools to deal with these areas? Have you or your school been particularly successful in handling the matter? Let us know your thoughts and suggestions using the comments section below.

    *Mental disorders were grouped into four main types: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on December 13, 2018 12:05

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