We know that people who have been in care are more likely to experience difficulties with their mental health because of experiences before coming into care and all the different emotions and feelings that leaving your family can leave you dealing with.

What is mental health?

Mental health is about our feelings, our thinking, our emotions and our moods. Looking after our mental health is important.

There are key times in your life that you might find more difficult than others, such as important events or exams. Exam stress can be really difficult and it is important you know that there is a lot of help available to help you manage how you are feeling and reduce some of the pressures.

There are lots of resources online, and your school or college will be able to help you find coping techniques that work for you.

We all have small feelings every day; these sometimes feel strong and overwhelming but they go away before too long.

Sometime we experience big feelings; these can feel strong and overwhelming for a long time and can stop us doing what we want to in our lives. These include:

Anxiety

Feeling anxious sometimes is normal – most people worry about something, and our body tells us we are anxious through the feelings we experience. These feelings are different for each person. If your anxiety stops you from doing everyday things, and the things that you enjoy doing, it can leave you feeling unhappy. It’s important that you find someone you can trust to talk to.

Depression

We all feel low or down at times but if your negative feelings last a long time it is important that you talk to someone about how you are feeling, particularly if you are feeling irritable, upset, miserable or lonely for long periods of time or not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed.

Self-Harm

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself on purpose. It can be very difficult to talk about and you may feel that no one will understand. But there is lots of advice and support out there.

If you are having feelings of self-harm or suicidal thoughts it is important that you don’t ignore the feelings. You must find someone you can trust to talk to.

Advice from others

It might be hard talking about it but please try.

 

Find an adult you trust to talk to.

 

You might think people won’t understand because they’ve not been through what you have, but try talking to them and build up the trust.

 

Get support

If you’e struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help – there are lots of support services available.

Young Minds provides information and advice on all aspects of young people’s mental health

Childline (FREEPHONE: 0800 1111) is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen.

The Samaritans (FREEPHONE: 116 123) offers a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever is getting to you.

The Mix (FREEPHONE: 0808 808 4994) is an online guide to life for 16 to 25 year-olds. It provides non-judgmental support and information on everything from sex and exam stress to debt and drugs.

About the author
This piece of content was adapted from a project created by members of York Children in Care Council (‘Show Me That I Matter’)
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