October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) it is a day to encourage people to talk about mental health. The term "mental health" often scares people, but in simple terms mental health is about how we think and feel about ourselves and our relationships with others. We all have mental health! Sadly as many as one in four adults and one in ten children experience common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Hot on the heels of World Mental Health Day comes National Parenting Week (17th – 23rd October). Adolescence can be a difficult time for young people and is often when the seeds of mental Health problems develop. We know that half of all people with ongoing mental health problems in adulthood first experienced their symptoms by the age of 14. We also know that parenting a teenager can be hard and it can be tough for parents to tell the difference between behaviour changes that are normal adolescent development and those that may be associated with an emerging mental health problem.
Since January Isle of Wight NHS Health Promotion Specialist Rachel McKernan has been delivering Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training to people who work with teenagers on the Island. YMHFA helps people to recognise the signs and symptoms of emerging mental health problems and equips them with the skills to support the young person until the appropriate professional support can be obtained. Using the voices of real young people it explores the pressures and stresses that young people face today and helps adults to understand the risk factors for poor adolescent mental health. Finally it helps adults to support the development of young people’s self care skills which help promote positive mental health and emotional development.
To mark National Parent’s Week Isle of Wight NHS is delighted to be able to offer the two day Youth MHFA course free of charge to parents on the Isle of Wight.
Rachel McKernan, Mental Health Promotion Specialist, said "Being Mum to two young men myself I know how hard it can be raising teenagers. As parents we often refer back to our own adolescent experiences to help guide us, but things have changed. Teenagers today are growing up in a very different world and face very different challenges to those of previous generations. Youth MHFA can help parents to feel more confident in supporting their teenagers through this tricky developmental time and to emerge as emotionally healthy young adults"
Any parent who is interested in attending this course should contact Rachel on 538024 or email email@example.com. The course is taking place at the Quay Art centre on the 19th and 20th October. Spaces are limited and will be offered on a first come first serve basis.
No Health Without Mental Health” HMG/DH 2011. www.dh.gov.uk/mentalhealthstrategy
2 “No Health Without Mental Health” HMG/DH 2011. www.dh.gov.uk/mentalhealthstrategy
Further details about Youth MHFA training can be found at www.mhfaengland.org.uk
Further details about national parents week can be found at www.parentsweek.org.uk