What are mental health problems?
In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.
Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you're frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness, or even worse.
Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Could I be ‘going mad’?
Experiencing a mental health problem is often upsetting, confusing and frightening – particularly at first. If you become unwell, you may feel that it's a sign of weakness, or that you are 'losing your mind'.
These fears are often reinforced by the negative (and often unrealistic) way that people experiencing mental health problems are shown on TV, in films and by the media. This may stop you from talking about your problems, or seeking help. This, in turn, is likely to increase your distress and sense of isolation.
However, in reality, mental health problems are a common human experience. Most people know someone who has experienced a mental health problem. They can happen to all kinds of people from all walks of life. And it's likely that, when you find a combination of self-care, treatment and support that works for you, you will get better.
Useful links for students & parents / carers
Anxiety UK offers advice and support for people living with anxiety.
B-eat provides information and support for people affected by eating disorders
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) supports men's mental health
FRANK provides confidential drugs advice and information
Hearing Voices Network runs an online forum and local groups across the country.
Mind Out offers mental health advice and support for anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+
No Panic offers help and advice about anxiety disorders, including a helpline and recovery groups
StudentMinds supports students with their mental health
YoungMinds supports children and young people with their mental health