Britain Get Talking
We are very pleased to announce our involvement in ITV's Britain Get Talking campaign, which aims to promote mental wellbeing.
The campaign launched during Britain's Got Talent: The Champions, with Ant and Dec pausing the programme for a minute of silence to encourage viewers to talk to each other. Of course, no one was expecting life-changing conversations to happen in that minute itself! But the aim of this moment was to draw attention to the value of positive and supportive conversations that help to build strong relationships, to get people talking about mental health and to direct people towards the brilliant Britain Get Talking website full of further information and support.
There is clear evidence that building good relationships - with family, friends and our wider community - is positive for our wellbeing. Having strong relationships means that we can share our feelings and know we're being understood. It means we can support those around us as well if they are going through a difficult time.
When children and young people are struggling with their mental health, it can be particularly hard for them to talk openly about what they're going through. In fact, when we polled young people who had looked for mental health support, 61% said that they hadn’t initially told anyone how they were feeling because they were worried what people would think. That’s why we encourage parents and carers to have regular conversations with their children about how they’re feeling from a young age.
We're very pleased to support Britain Get Talking by providing advice for their website on how families can have those conversations, and how parents and other adults can support young people if they're struggling with their mental health. There are top tips from our Parents Helpline team, video explainers from ITV actors and presenters, and games and activities to try out. We're proud of what we've developed and hope it really helps those families who want to talk more about how they're feeling but are struggling to do it.
Of course, many young people don't live with their families, or have difficult relationships with them. We would encourage any young person who's feeling isolated or struggling to cope to reach out to someone they can trust - that could be a friend, a teacher, a colleague, a doctor, a counsellor or a helpline. And, through our new #HelloYellow guide, we want to share tips on how to support young people who do reach out.
It's also crucial that specialist mental health support is available to every young person who needs it - something we've been campaigning for over many years. You can support our #ActEarly campaign, calling for more early intervention mental health support for young people, by signing our petition.
There has been a worrying rise in conditions like anxiety and depression among children over the last few years - and the reasons for this are complex. When we polled young people with mental health problems about factors that they felt had had a significant negative impact on them, they listed pressure at school, concerns about how they looked, traumatic experiences in childhood, and difficult relationships with family or friends as major factors.
Talking won't solve all these problems, but it can help young people to make sense of what they're going through and find further support. That's why strong relationships are so important. We all need to show each other that, no matter what you're going through, you're not alone.
For more about the campaign, visit the Britain Get Talking website: www.itv.com/britaingettalking
If you are going through a difficult time and don't know where to turn, go to www.youngminds.org.uk/find-help
Take part in #HelloYellow and show young people they're not alone with their mental health: www.youngminds.org.uk/helloyellow
If you're a parent and you're concerned about your child, go to www.youngminds.org.uk/parents or call our Parents Helpline.
Join us in calling for better mental health support: www.youngminds.org.uk/actearly