Amplify Blog - Youth Mental Health - One Step at a Time
The below blog is by Gefion, a QFCC Youth Advocate
This isn’t an original concept, but mental health really is just as important as physical health, and it’s important to keep healthy minds and bodies in order to be healthy in general. I’m no expert on mental health - sometimes it doesn’t even feel like I’m an expert on my mental health - but I have experience with mental health struggles whether I like it or not and I would like to share some things I’ve learnt from my journey so far.
Now listen here - mental health is valid! In the words of a friend of mine who had ankle surgery and who was validating another friend’s mental health struggles: “I have a cast on my foot, you have a cast on your head”. Of course, naturally, I laughed myself to the next class for how blunt it was said, but it really stuck with me. Much like mending a broken bone, mental health can sometimes need time, treatment and care to improve. Still, mental health doesn’t always have a quick fix. Here are some tips that may help:
- Getting supports (going to the GP for mental health is a good starting place; ongoing therapy; help lines; don’t give up on reaching out for help, don’t feel that you are and will always be alone because someone out there will care)
- If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, contact mental health services, go to your local emergency department or call emergency services on 000
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue: chat to a counsellor online or phone a counsellor 1300 224 636
- Creating own support system - gather your tribe! There is always going to be someone out there who cares about you!
- Be a very kind & nice friend to yourself – don’t bully yourself; sometimes it’s good to think about caring for yourself like you would care for someone else
- Acknowledging mental health is important (it’s valid to take time off work/study for mental health; diagnoses are very important for allowing people to get the right treatment)
- Keep doing things that you like or expand out and explore new things (it’s always good to set goals and have a hobby or find new ones … listen to positive podcasts, create music playlists, draw, write, dance, hike, cosplay, read, blog, jam, game, cook, join a D&D club … participate in activities you enjoy
- Find your own sanctuary - mine is going to Woodford and ‘hugging’ trees
- Consider pet therapy - rescuing some chickens worked for me - watching them is so entertaining. This isn’t always an option for everyone, but there are some ways to engage in pet therapy even if you are unable to have a pet.
- When you are having a hard time, be it a bad day or a long tough, rut, it’s okay to feel sad and need some time. From experience, I know it can be very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes it can feel like there is no light, it’s helped me to reassure myself by saying ‘this too shall pass’. Even if you just have to metaphorically float on your back and take a break from swimming, that’s fine.
Day by day, step by step, putting one foot in front of the other and arming yourself with tools and support for where each step is going to take you through life’s twists and turns to reach some goals and see bright lights at the end of tunnels.
Beyond Blue - Support services for young people:
Beyond Blue - Taking care of oneself:
Headspace - Support:
Reachout - Mental health issues:
Kids Helpline - Join My Circle:
The Brave Program:
Queensland Government - Happier Healthier:
Smiling Mind - Feeling It: