Who supports you to grow your mental health?
This year’s theme for Children’s Mental Health Week (Feb 7-13) is Growing Together. It’s all about encouraging positive mental growth, reflecting on your own mental health growth and helping others to grow with you.
This week, we’ll be sharing 5 great ways to focus on your mental health growth – check in with us every day for a new self-help mini project including lots of great tips and advice to help you grow your mental health.
Day 3: Support Balloons
Midway through our Growing Your Mental Health campaign seems like a good place to stop and have a think. A chance to pause and reflect before moving forward. Let’s use today to focus on our wider circle – namely, the people who help and support us with our mental health.
Why A Support Network Is Important
Having people you can trust and rely on can help you face challenges with your mental health. Supportive people can be a shoulder to cry on and a driving force in helping you stay motivated and upbeat. These people are your support balloons. They’re there to help you cope you with the lows and will always stand by your side, every step of the way.
Identify Your Support Balloons
Have a think about who your support balloons are. You may have one, two, or maybe a few. It could be a family member, a friend, a teacher at school or a counsellor.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Who do I turn to when things get tough?
- Who can I talk to about how I’m feeling?
- Who do I text when I feel down?
- Who is it that makes me feel like I can achieve anything?
Jot down the names of your support balloons on a piece of paper or doodle balloons like the ones below.
Identifying our support balloons allows us to be thankful for the people around us who help us face challenging times. It’s also helpful to remind yourself that you’re not alone, and that there are people (and pets!) around you who truly love and care for you. Support balloons mean we can face the challenges of mental health face on with our heads held high!
What To Do If You Don’t Have A Support Balloon
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a supportive person in their life. This can make you feel incredibly alone and vulnerable. Asking for help isn’t always easy when you’re struggling with your mental health. You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings or worry that opening up will leave you feeling even more vulnerable. You may not know who to turn to or worry that you might confide in the wrong person. You may even feel like you’re a burden. But the best thing you can do if you’re feeling down is to talk about it.
You could talk to a teacher, school counsellor, or speak to a trained Childline professional on 0800 11 11. If you’re struggling to think of what to say, or are finding it difficult to talk about your mental health, try one of these openers:
- “I’m not OK and I need help with my mental health”
- “I’m really struggling at the moment. Can I talk to you about it?”
- “I really need someone to talk to. I’m not OK.”
To get more help with asking for help, click here.