How Everyone Can Help the Mental Health of Our Youth

These are simple little things that anyone and everyone can do to share more love and care and concern for our youths who are suffering from mental anguish.

Peer Support Mental Health in Singapore

What can we do to help youth mental health? We can share more love and care and concern for our youths who are suffering from mental anguish by sharing the concepts of self-love, forgiveness and gratitude.

Self-Love

Self-love is about embracing one’s flaws and strengths and self-acceptance. There are three statements that I am still learning how to live by: “You are enough”, “There are good things inside of you” and “I am allowed to be a masterpiece and be work-in-progress at the same time”. Anyone can spread the message to youths in mental anguish that they do not need to be perfect to live, no matter how much they have done wrong, they deserve to know that there are good things inside of them. Also, we can spread the message to them that what matters the most is the effort to get up from bed and do things that matter to them. We can encourage the youths to list down all the strengths that they have and are capable of. We can support them by discussing with them in ways that they can start to build on their strength and occupy their time with meaningful activities that interest them.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is about forgiving oneself for what they may have done. They may blame themselves too much and this affects their self-esteem. We can encourage them to forgive themselves if they have held too much blame in their hearts. We can also encourage them to forgive the situation that they are in. We can let them know that they are the chosen ones to be put in such a situation because they can overcome it. We will need to give them a lot of words of kindness and support for them to ride through their mental health. We need to lend our hearts to them to let them know that they are not alone. No one should be alone to cope with their youth mental health.

Gratitude

Gratitude is about counting the blessings that life has given us. We can speak to the youths with kindness to count their blessings so that they can feel joy in their life.

Mental Health Recovery

Youth Mental Health Support Group

It is essential to have mental health support groups that can support youth mental health. It would be beneficial for a group of youths who may be struggling with their mental health, and who are interested to improve themselves, to come together for a mental health support group. They can be engaged in topics, self-love, forgiveness and gratitude. They can do some activities together. A mental health support group is a place where they can share freely about what troubles them. For example, in the topic of self-love, each of them can share their strengths and their favourite hobbies. The facilitator’s role would be to affirm each of them so that they can feel empowered and validated. In the area of gratitude, each of them can take turns to share what they are grateful for on that day and they can discuss whether gratitude works for them. If it works, they can discuss the benefits of gratitude and how it can impact youth mental health. Resilience Collective has started a peer support platform “Circle of WE” to offer a safe space for individuals living with mental health challenges to find emotional, social and informational support.

Resilience and Mental Health

Anyone can give youths an active listening ear without judgement. Sometimes, youths need to be seen and heard to feel better. They need someone to listen to them and be in their shoes. They may feel that they are struggling on their own. It is important to give them hope that they are able to progress from their current state. Hope is a powerful energy that brings you out from darkness to light. Hold onto the hope and things will get better. Hope tells you that you can overcome the burden of youth mental health. Give these youths hope that they can thrive. Hope is the lighthouse in the darkness.

Authored by: Nur Afiqah. Afiqah is a peer in recovery who loves books, poetry and photography. She is looking forward to meeting more like-minded people.