Mental health right now is a pressing issue in our society. More help and awareness is being offered now more than ever before and more people are being open. I sit down with an anonymous student to discuss how their mental health is and discover more about mental health in teens. 

My first question was about their current mental health and they told me that it fluctuates. It all depends on their day and/or their week and their mental health could be good or bad, it changes a lot. I moved onto ask them about what was currently affecting their mental health and what factors made it worse and they provided me with a clear picture. Several factors affect this student’s health such as friends with severe mental health issues and their school exacerbating their mental health problems by providing poor mental health support and not helping to improve their standard of mental health at all. They said the support was of an “incredibly low and inferior standard”. Clearly, we can see that schools affect teenagers’ mental health and depending on what support is provided, students’ mental health can be affected.

I also spoke to them about the strategies to they use to cope and they said they sometimes it’s hard to cope as sometimes they use a technique called “wall of numb”, which is where they block everything out. This shows how mental health can have a major impact on people’s lives and it’s especially crucial to try and maintain good mental health as a teenager as school is important. However, they also said that they went to therapy and that this was beneficial as it provides structure. As a teenager, you usually don’t know what you’re going to do next and there’s a lot of pressure with exams and peers so possibly this structure provided by therapy is a good start to improving mental health. 

Overall, they said that mental health is important so you need to take care of yourself. The mental health of those who are around you can affect you including your friends and your teachers. The way teachers treat problems can impact your mental health, for example if treat a big problem lightly, so it’s important to have good teachers. Friends’ mental health can also impact your mental health so you should still care for your friends but prioritise your own mental health. Most of all, it’s important to have resilience when you’re dealing with poor mental health, even though it can be hard to maintain it with the pressures of teenage life. They said “it might seem like it will never get better but hang on and it will”.