Let’s Talk About Mental Health

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Whilst working with the Young People’s Festival of Ideas, Cai’s curious as to how our understanding of mental health can change over time.

When mental health problems as common as they are, why aren’t we being taught about they properly?

One in four of us will suffer a mental health problem in a year. One in ten people aged between one and fifteen suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder. That’s about three children in every class suffer from some kind of mental health issue. When mental health problems as common as they are, why aren’t we being taught about they properly?

Everything important I learnt about mental health was through my friends, family and outside of school. We were taught the basics – depression was bad, so were eating disorders and so was self-harming. There was an emphasis on teaching us what the bad mental illnesses were.

Because of this lack of understanding about what mental health is really about, it creates a taboo surrounding it. Because it’s never really discussed, it can be difficult to talk to mental health.

Because it’s never really discussed, it can be difficult to talk about mental health.

The Young People’s Festival of Ideas is holding a debate to generate discussion about the way we talk about mental health. When exploring these ideas, I was wanted to look at the understanding young people have about the subject.

I’ve got three younger sisters – all of whom were brought up in a similar environment – and I wanted to find out what they understood and didn’t understand already. I was quite surprised with how spot on some of their comments were, and it was interesting to look at how their opinions changed as they got older.

Young People’s Festival of Ideas event ‘Let’s Talk About Mental Health’ takes place on 11th November at Arnolfini. Tickets are free, but you’ve got to book your place. Book tickets here

So let’s talk about mental health. Chat with us using @rifemag or #YPFoIs

If you’ve got any more questions about mental health, you can find out more from Off The Record on The Rife Guide