Prince Harry came forward this week to talk about his experience of depression and anxiety, while promoting the Heads Together Campaign collaboration with this year’s London Marathon. His admission has created a big stir, as if the action man with good looks, high status and lots of money should be any different to any other human being walking this earth when it comes to the fundamentals. Family problems, relationship breakdown and bereavement are just three of the universal challenges that are likely to floor us when we least expect it. The costly pay-off can be depression and anxiety. Hard enough for adults to find their way through. For young adults and children, impossible to do alone. But you are not alone. There’s help out there.
Official data says that 1 in 10 young people suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. Approx. 1 in 15 young people deliberately self-harm and that nearly 80,000 young people suffer from severe depression*. No one can fail to be astonished and dismayed with these facts. Or want to find some solutions.
For Harry, health came through counselling and exercise and support gained from sharing. His message is that you are not alone. Whether you, or someone you know, is not coping, guidance is available. Finding the courage to talk about it, brings change.
But learning about how to maintain mental health in advance has huge benefits too. Reading good self- help books even before we have to experience these problems, helps us gain insight into strategies for coping while our heads are clear. It also gives us an idea of how to empathize with and keep a listening ear to others. Emotional intelligence is a learned and highly valuable commodity. Why wait until you are out of your depth to learn to swim?
Books in the Library today.
* Mental Health of Children and Young People in GB,2004. Truth Hurts: Report of the National Enquiry into Self-Harm among Young People. Mental Health Foundation, 2006