What are the symptoms of a mental illness? - Life skills
Often it's not just one thing, but a combination of changes. There's people to help, both inside and outside of College, so you and your family are not alone.
Mental health issues are more common than you think with 20% of adolescents experiencing a mental health problem in any given year.* Mental health can also have an impact on physical health too.
Things to look out for:
Feeling worried – if the anxiety is continuous, and interferes with a normal daily routine. This could affect physical health too with heart palpitations, breathing problems or restlessness
Feeling depressed or unhappy – if the person is lacking any motivation, drive or energy to complete even the basic day-to-day tasks and has lost enthusiasm in something that may have previously engaged them
Emotional outbursts – this could range from distress to anger or withdrawal in a short space of time
Sleep problems – this could range from sleeping too much or too little, anything that is on-going and out of their normal routine
Weight or appetite changes – this could signal depression or an eating disorder if out of the norm, and if unintentional
Quiet or withdrawn – everyone needs support from time-to-time but a huge change could indicate a mental health issue such as depression or bipolar
Changing in behaviour - start a conversation off if you notice ongoing changes about how they may be feeling, or whether they'd like help and advice from someone outside of your family or friend circle
Substance abuse – this could be anything from alcohol to drugs
Feeling guilty or worthless – this could be a sign of depression if the person has lost confidence in themselves and sees themselves as a failure.
If you are worried about a loved one there are plenty of support options available – please don't feel like you can't approach anyone with your concerns.
At College we offer a counselling and support service where a student can refer themselves. Contact them today and they can talk to your son or daughter about a whole range of topics ranging from anxiety and depression to bereavement and eating disorders.
Other useful places to contact are: