Young people urged to take care of their mental health and wellbeing at Christmas

Young people are being urged to look after themselves this Christmas and not let the pressures of the festive season grind them down.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 7:19 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 8:18 am
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The call from mental health charity mind comes as the number of young people hospitalised through self-harming injuries has risen, according to recent figures issued by the NSPCC. In a bid to reach out to those who may be struggling, Washington Mind has developed a dedicated service to those aged between 11 to 25 years old who are experiencing emotional distress – working alongside a range of services including Children Adolescent Mental Health Services and Children and Young Persons Service, youth centres, schools and colleges.

Jacqui Reeves, services manager at the charity said: “Lots of images we see at Christmas time show happy families all getting along and having a wonderful time. But for some young people, Christmas can create feelings of anxiety.”

The charity has worked with young people to develop expressive groups such as “Underground Neighbourhood” a free group which offers a relaxed, safe place for self-expression through creative projects.

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The charity also issued signs to look out for when someone could be experiencing anxiety. These include: feeling worried all the time; tiredness; irritability; inability to sleep; difficulty concentrating; racing heartbeat; sweating; muscle tension and pains; shaking; breathing heavily; feeling dizzy or faint and changes in their appetite.

Those suffering from an anxiety, stress of panic are being encouraged to take part in breathing techniques to alleviate feelings of worry.

Mind advise people to make themselves comfortable and to let their breath flow, breathing through the nose and out through the mouth. For each breath, steadily count to five in and out, keep doing this for three to five minutes.

Our series of articles in the run-up to Christmas aims to encourage people to reach out to others and for those struggling – help and support is available.

Today, people are being asked to take a leaf out of a young person’s book and practice the act of compassion towards others.

For self-help guides visit