Mental health awareness is increasingly talked about, but still a subject that is off limits for many.
Our own mental health is an important matter however, and we can’t downplay or underestimate it.
The losses, restriction and grief of the past year have exacerbated mental health issues, particularly in young people.
Mental health in young people
Sadly, more young people than ever are struggling with their mental health.
Stop.Breathe.Think, a free and confidential mental health service where young people can talk or text about anything that is worrying them.
The charity recently conducted some research into the young people getting in touch. Alarmingly, the average age of young people getting in touch is just 14.
Some of the most common issues they are facing include anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Furthermore, the study revealed that the pandemic has made 82% of the younger generation feel anxious or worried, and 3 out of 4 feel overwhelmed.
To recognise this increase in younger people feeling worried, we linked up with Dale Vincent from Dale Vincent Coaching.
Confidence coach for young people
Dale is a confidence coach who works with young people here in Rugby, Warwickshire.
He says, “It is not difficult to see the damage that the pandemic and the state of the world has caused within our children. I am constantly asked by parents and schools for the best interventions to put in place to reduce the anxiety, overwhelm, stress and fear these children are living with both in school and at home.”
Dale has created the Young Life Warrior Project to support the growth of the children, physically, mentally and socially.
So he has given us a great fun way to help.
Young social toxicity
Dale tells us that social media is a significant factor in young people’s mental health.
The constant battle to fit in, compare to others and get the same levels of likes for posts is leading to some big social problems.
Young children’s minds are typically split into two phases:
- Imprint phase [0-7 years]
- Growth phase [between 8 and 12 years]
During these times, they are battling through:
- Social media dopamine traps of false momentary happiness
- Comparative behaviour
- Constant desire to be validated
- Inability to communicate ideas and stand up for their point in group situations
- Increasing self-doubt and low self-worth
To help, Dale has a great game, and all you need is a bag of coloured sweets e.g. Skittles or M&Ms.
Each colour of the sweet relates to an emotion:
🔴 Anger or annoyed
🟡 Happy or funny
🟠 Excited or proud
🟢 Weird or disgusting
- Put all of the skittles in a bowl
- Assemble the whole family around the bowl
- One person has to close their eyes and pick out a sweet
- Ask that person to share a memory relating to an emotion that corresponds to the colour of the sweet
- Once the memory has been shared, the sweet can then be eaten
- All that listened must thank the person for sharing
Things to remember
- Do not force a memory – it has to come naturally to make an impact.
- Do not share what was said outside of the circle to maintain trust.
- Reinforce that being vulnerable is being brave to lead by example.
BIG School Warriors from Dale Vincent Coaching
Dale is launching a BIG School Warriors event very soon. The event will focus on:
- Confidence boosting
- Growing resilience
- Stand your ground when experiencing bullying
- Growth through fear
- Maximum effort in class
Get in touch with him to find out more!