1 in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem each year. For young people who have a mental health problem, their their experience at school can have a big impact. Because young people may be talking or thinking about mental health for the first time, the way their classmates and teachers approach the issue is really important. These blogs explore what it's like to have a mental health problem as a young person, and how teachers and classmates can make a difference. 

Mental health stigma is still thriving in 2018

I was told by one of my classmates today that they didn’t ‘want to be involved with someone who self-harmed’ and then looked at me, knowing full well I am involved in that behaviour. It then really hit home how closed-minded some people are, and how we really need some better self-harm education for young adults.

Others are more ashamed of my mental health problems than me

"Crazy Eddie".

"Crazy Eddie" is a nickname one of my British school teachers gave me when I was attending primary school in West Africa, in an end of term review. I faked laughing along as I was mocked, as I had become accustomed to it, and beamed a deceitful smile. It became one of the few coping mechanisms I adopted while in denial. However, the embarrassment I used to face at that particular school was not always humoured like this.

At school, I never wanted anyone to know about my anxiety

For me, anxiety comes with shame. In school, I wanted nothing more than for my struggle with anxiety to go unnoticed by my peers and teachers. You could not have paid me a million pounds to admit it to anyone; all I wanted was to seem just like everyone else. Even now, it makes my cheeks go pink when I am reminded that I, so used to identifying as smart, capable and “normal”, have a disability.

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