McCrindle released data today that 50 % of young people in Australia were experiencing Mental Health issues, whilest there is usually a level of Mental health issues the massive increase due to Covid could have long term implications.
A pandemic is not something to be taken lightly and has impacted on everyone’s mental health, add to this all the concerns around racial issues. It is important to acknowledge this and recognise what it is that is worrying us and take steps to deal with them. We cannot control what is going on but we can control what we do with these scenarios.
Talk about it: – Find a trusted person and make time to talk about it, sometimes sitting face to face is not the best way to go, but maybe going for a walk together or working on a project, raise it travelling in the car. Sometimes you might even need to message or text to try and get it out. I find too that it takes alot of small talk for people to feel safe and find the words to be able to talk about what is going on, be patient.
Take a break: – In Australia we have come off fairly lightly with the Pandemic but others in the world are not so lucky. Hearing about it on the news all the time or having it come up on social media can really get overwhelming. There is a thing called compassion fatigue when you just get to a point where you can’t handle any more issues. Switch it off for a while, ban yourself from social media and the news, watch something funny, go for a walk, read a good book, meet up with a friend.
Be patient and kind to yourself and others: – These are big issues we are facing, it is ok if we just can’t do what we would normally do. Don’t get too mad at yourself or other people just because you can’t keep it up right now doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do this forever. Sometimes taking a break or doing something fun for a while helps put things back in perspective.
Pray:- We are blessed as Christians with the gift of a God who cares and asks us to hand over all our burdens to God. You don’t have to carry this alone and you can’t. Let God carry the majority of it and trust God to guide you to what you need to do, learn or share. As human beings we can’t fix this alone but with God’s help anything is possible!
Get Help:- If it is all getting too much, get help. Go and see your local doctor for what your options are or check out some of these services.
Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health foundation, it has a number of really good resources to support young people through this time. Check out their website. Here.
You can also go to Head to Head a Government resources to help you find the resources you might need. Here.
I know in the midst of this it can be really overwhelming and feel like it is not going to end, but history proves to us that it will end, or as the old saying goes, this too shall pass. God does care about what is going on here and cares about you.
If you want to know more about supporting people with Mental Health issues we will be running a workshop at YouLEAD. Registrations open soon so you can tune in on the 8th August to learn more.
Karen Mitchell-Lambert is ordained in the ministry of Deacon and is the team leader of PULSE.