I’m sure many of you reading this can agree that 2020 was a rough year for many of us. It threw many challenges our way, unfortunately just entering a new year does not make all these challenges disappear. We have just entered our third national lockdown and now more than ever people are struggling with their mental health, especially young people. Therefore, this new year we must make it our mission to look after ourselves and other people.
At the start of January, I decided to place messages of hope and positivity on bridges in my local area along with crisis phone numbers and text lines. This meant a whole lot to me because I have struggled with mental health myself and I wanted to ensure that no one who is struggling with mental health felt along.
In lockdown a lot of young people are feeling alone and isolated with many also struggling with their mental health. The pandemic has caused many young people to become isolated from their support networks and without access to coping skills, leaving many hopeless for the future and isolated. Therefore, it is more important than ever before that we raise awareness of mental health and ensure those who are struggling receive the support that they need to see a way forward.
I hope that activism work like this starts an open and honest conversation about mental health and our well-being, amongst young people and the wider community in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot. As every day is a day that we should be talking about mental health. 1 in 4 of us will struggle with mental health in our lifetime and 50% of these mental health problems manifest before the age of 14, rising to 75% by the age of 24. It is clear mental health problems are a common issue amongst young people so we should make them common conversation. This will help those struggling with their mental health feel less alone and more understood amongst their own peers. There is no reason we shouldn’t be speaking about mental health and our wellbeing it affects all of us. All it takes is one simple little conversation to allow a person to reach out or feel less alone.
There are so many ways you can become a wellbeing activist and start a conversation surrounding mental health, discussing it with our families and friends or sharing mental health resources on social media. However, a lot of people want to do more to support offers and encourage positive wellbeing.
The Platfform 4YP Swansea Bay project are joining together young people and creating a plan for how we can do this! We are starting by making positivity pebbles and positive quote signs to put up! We want to show young people there is hope and that by getting involved, it can make you feel better!
At the end of the day, it doesn’t take much to positively impact someone’s day and possibly put a smile on their face. Be the reason someone smiles today!
Here is a video about positivity pebbles –