Young people open their minds to mental health

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Monday, May 14th, 2012
For the past three months a number of young people from across the Southern Trust area have been ‘opening their minds’ to mental health issues. With the help of staff from BEAM (Bardic Educational Arts and Media) young people from Newry have spent many weeks learning about mental health and developing and being involved in short dance, drama and mime pieces. Their work culminated in a Celebration Event held in the Bardic Theatre in Donaghmore last week. Mental health is the emotional resilience which enables us to enjoy life and to survive its disappointments and pain. Unlike physical health, it can be an area that many people find difficult to talk about, particularly young people. It is estimated that as many as one in five people at any one time suffer from a diagnosed condition such as depression or anxiety. Between 10% and 20% of our teenagers will suffer from depression at some time. The Open Your Mind event is designed to encourage young people to explore mental health issues, focusing on the factors that can impact on mental health and encouraging young people to seek help if they experience problems. Deirdre McParland from Southern Trust said, “Open Your Mind aims to foster a greater awareness and understanding of mental health issues amongst young people. We believe there is no better means of achieving this than through the voices of young people themselves. I congratulate all of the young people who took part in the programme and for becoming involved and I encourage their youth leaders to continue the excellent work with their youth groups.” Christine, a young person from Newry enthused, “It was a really enjoyable experience and it give me a better understanding of mental health issues. We all can do simple things to keep us mentally healthy.”
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