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Mental Health Toolkit

World Mental Health Day takes place on October 10th every year, with the overall objective to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilise efforts in support of mental health, and given the theme of this year's Libraries Week has a focus on well-being this seemed very well timed. 

This year’s theme is young people and mental health in a changing world and to mark the occasion Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England is launching a brand new set of free to -access resources, designed to support young people aged 8 to 24. 

The #HandsUp4HealthyMinds toolkit has been developed to empower anyone in contact with young people, including teachers, tutors and parents/carers, to better understand youth mental health and offer support. It includes guidance on self-care, stress and talking tips and further resources to support young people’s mental health

MHFA England is able to offer case studies and comment from youth mental health experts, young people and school and higher education staff from across its network. Feature ideas include top tips on how to support young people and insights on the biggest issues facing young people’s mental health today.

The facts

According to recent ONS statistics, MHFA England identifies that suicide is now the most common cause of death for both young men and women aged 10 to 34 [1]

Reinforcing the need for increased mental health literacy, recent research has found that many teachers are under pressure when trying to support young people with their personal struggles:

  • More than half of mental health issues start by age 15 and 75% develops by age 24[2]

  • Almost four in five (78%) teachers have seen a pupil struggle with a mental health issue in the past year [3]

  • One in seven teachers (14%) said these cases involved suicidal thoughts or behaviour [3]

  • Anxiety is the most common issue, with two-thirds of the 300 teachers surveyed by the mental health charity Stem4 having come across a young person at their school dealing with the condition in the past year [3]. Alongside this, almost half (45%) have witnessed a student with depression. Other common problems include eating disorders (30%), self-harm (28%) and addiction (10%) [3]

  • Between 1995 and 2014 the proportion of children and young people aged 4-24 in England reporting a long-standing mental health condition increased six-fold, meaning that by 2014 almost one in twenty children and young people in England reported having a mental health condition [4]

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