Today marks the WHO World Mental Health Day, which this year focuses on ‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World’, an issue very close to the CareTech Foundation’s mission as well as central to much of the work of our founder company CareTech plc. We asked two of the CareTech plc team to set out their thoughts on what World Mental Health Day means to them and the challenges of mental health amongst young people.
Helen Stokes – Managing Director for Specialist Services at CareTech sets out her thoughts:
Keep on talking, keep on supporting!
“We are told that mental health does not discriminate, but is that true?
Over the years I have witnessed those with mental ill health being verbally belittled or abused, shirked at and shunned by some members of the public, and equally those professing to be mental health professionals. But hey, we are in the twenty first century……………….
Mental health affects everyone, not just those who experience the debilitations, but also the families, friends, workplaces and society as a whole. We have been encouraged to talk openly about mental health; celebrities and members of the royal family alike have supported and championed such campaigns. In my opinion, however, we need to look at our younger generation for guidance in this.
I was talking to one of my daughters last week (I emphasise talking, as it wasn’t via a text, WhatsApp or a Facebook message!); she’s 17 and that can be a tricky age. But she took me back when she openly talked with what appeared confidence and relative ease about her own mental health. She was self-aware and explained that at college and within her social group they have been encouraged and empowered to talk about their mental health and support each other.
This is the generation we can learn something from. The barriers and stigma I have experienced weren’t there. I am a realist and know this isn’t the case for all, but there definitely appears to be a generation shift.
So, let’s continue to talk and support!”
Mark Lazarus, Head of Service – Greenfields Adolescent Care, offers his thoughts:
“Greenfields puts relationship building and therapeutic interaction first, mediating the impact of early trauma. The trauma recovery model paves the way for interventions that are tailored and sequenced in a way that really can make a difference and are conducive to the recovery process.
We begin by understanding the care journey of the child, creating an environment where experiences and memories are conducive to their recovery through our sequenced interventions, that matters to them and to us.
It is our understanding of the child’s journey, where we not only treat the symptoms but focus upon the root causes to help the child to begin their own personal journey of recovery, that allows us to have the greatest impact!”