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Children and young people mental health

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is something which every person has, no matter age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability or religion.

Some people have poor mental health which can cause mental illness and other people have good mental health, however it fluctuates.

Some days your mental health will feel poorer than others but none the less it's important you look after your mental health. If you don't it can lead to difficultly in life.

Mental health illness can be hard to see unless you know the signs.

Why is mental health important?

Mental health is important for many reasons.

If you have good mental health you should still look after it as much as someone with poor mental health.

Poor mental health can lead to many physical complications as well as emotional. If you struggle with serious mental illness it has been proved that you are more likely to die 10 or even 20 years younger than the average person.

The more common issues you will find is that you become socially isolated and may get into arguments more easily. Everyday becomes a chore and you are constantly battling with yourself to be productive.

This stress can also weaken your immune system to cause further illness.

Other problems include low self-esteem, this can lead to self-harm and further issues with friendships and relationships.

The biggest yet most obvious problem is you become unhappy, if you are not happy about your life, yourself or your job this will lead to you not being yourself.

It is common for people to also have suicidal thoughts and in the worst case commit suicide and this is why this is such a vital issue to talk about.

View the children and young people mental health directory of local services and organisations

Ways improve your mental health

There are quick and easy ways to improve your day to day mental health.

These are targeted at everyone, as everyone can struggle from this time to time.

  • Drink water
  • Eat healthier
  • Do exercise
  • Have a daily routine
  • Walk with good posture and confidence
  • Try to limit social media
  • Make sure you don't procrastinate and create plans
  • Make time for yourself

Common mental health problems


This is a mental health issue which can cause high amounts of stress. Lots of people believe that anxiety is just when you feel stressed, however, there are many symptoms which come out of it as well such as panic attacks.

Anxiety is extremely common in the UK with 1 in 6 adults experiencing some form anxiety in the last week alone. It is also a growing issue with young people experiencing increasing anxiety about exams due to pressure and social media.


Depression is a mental health issue where you are in a consistent depressed mood, with an ongoing feeling of worthlessness or guilt. It is hard to focus and remember details, and you may have a lack of energy due to over or under sleeping. It can be hard to gain pleasure in any form of activity and you could even think about suicide. This mental health issue is the second most common with 3/100 people experiencing it in 2016. There are many types of depression and it can often go unrecognised by the people around you.

Eating Disorders

There are many different types of eating disorders; the main ones being anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia is when you are under a certain weight due to a lack of nourishment. Most people believe it is when you starve yourself however this is not always the case it is also when you only intake a set amount of food only to then exercise and work off all the calories.

Bulimia is different because this can be when you eat large amounts of food only to get rid of it all later. This can be from taking laxatives and or by making yourself sick. Eating disorders are most common with females between 16 and 40 but now an increasing amount of males are suffering. The consequences of eating disorders are bacterial infections, swollen throat, and bowel problems as well as organ failure and even death.

Organisations that can help you

The Zone Plymouth

The Zone have a (drop in) service where you can go in and talk to people and it will remain confidential.

Livewire Youth Project

This is for young people and they offer services from youth work support to counselling. This is a self-referral service and there is no waiting list. 

Plymouth Options

This is just for people who are 16 and over and they offer support to those suffering common mental health problems. 


Providing information and support friends and family who have someone they are close to with mental health issues


This is who you can call if you are feeling low or suicidal and they will listen off the record and this is open to anyone.

NHS One You

This is an advice and information website that talks about the common mental health issues. 


This is an online counselling service where you can talk to a qualified professional over the internet. This also has information and stories of other people who may be going through similar things as you. 


This is a private and confidential line where you can talk to a counsellor for free on 08001111.

Simply counselling

They provide private counselling for young people in Plymouth. For more information, visit

Plymouth and District Mind

They offer support to Plymouth and surrounding districts who are experiencing mental health issues.

View the children and young people mental health directory of local services and organisations


  1. Mental health issues don't affect children. This is unfortunately untrue with 75% of mental health illnesses beginning before someone turns 18.
  2. If I go to the doctor and get diagnosed I won't get a job. If you get denied a job due to mental health that is discrimination and against the law. If you do feel like you've been discriminated against you can not only complain to the company but also take legal action.
  3. Mental health problems are rare. This not true with one in four British citizens having mental health struggles every year. This proves that this is a serious issue which is not spoken about enough.
  4. Mental health issues causes you to be unpredictable and violent. Not only is this not true, it's proven that you are 10% more likely to be a victim to a violent crime if you're suffering with poor mental health.

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