New resource to support mental health in young people launched by Western Trust

THE Western Trust has launched a new resource aimed at encouraging young people to support their own wellbeing, called: ‘Young Person’s Mental Health – A Guide’.

The resource has been developed by Western Trust staff from across a range of departments and other public health bodies, including, Health Improvement, Equality and Involvement (HIEI), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and the Public Health Agency (PHA) Self-Harm Registry, with the shared aim of supporting young people and their parents and carers.

The guide has been written in the style of an easy to follow work-book and has been designed to encourage young people to reflect on their own wellbeing and to consider simple lifestyle changes to support and strengthen their mental health.

The resource includes a section listing available sources of local support and advice to assure young people they are not alone and there is help available to them.

Western Trust assistant manager of HIEI, Debbie Hunter, who led on the development of the resource said: “There was a need for a practical resource like this to help educate and empower young people.

“It aims to help young people to self-reflect and adopt positive changes in all areas of their lives, including diet, lifestyle, mood, sleep and thought processes - all of the things we know that contribute to strengthening and supporting our mental health.

“This booklet provides helpful information and answers practical questions to allow readers to consider making small yet effective changes to improve their wellbeing.”

Fiona Teague, head of Health & Social Wellbeing Improvement (West) from the Public Health Agency, said: “This resource will be a really useful asset for young people. Mental health is essential to our overall wellbeing and this guide has been designed to support young people and their parents as they navigate the ups and downs of life.

“This information is also timely considering the challenges young people face in the world today, particularly with Covid-19.”

Welcoming the launch Koulla Yiasouma, NI commissioner for Children and Young People, said: “The publication of this resource sends a clear message to young people in the Western Trust area that their mental health matters. It is only by removing the stigma that young people will be able to talk about the things that worry them.”

The resource is available to download from the WHSCT website at https://westerntrust.hscni.net/wpfd_file/

young-persons-mental-health-guide/ and hard copies are also available from the Health Improvement Equality and Involvement Department, Gransha Park, Derry/Londonderry by emailing health.improvement@

westerntrust.hscni.net

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