Posted on 12 December 2017
If you have watched the news lately, you might have seen the latest shocking figures on mental health for young people. One in ten teenagers are now suffering with a mental health problem so the government has admitted that the services it offers young people are not good enough and has promised to improve things.
Several newspapers and websites followed individual cases where a young person has struggled without help and support, often for years. One thing I found heart-breaking in these stories was how these young lives were being wasted, years of misery replacing what should be years of discovery and excitement.
And the damage could be permanent. A recent study has shown that people who suffer mental health problems in childhood are more likely to be permanently sick and unemployed at the age of 55. What a waste of human potential we have already seen and how important it is to stop this in the future.
So, it is heartening to see some promised government action on this. One very good thing about the government proposal is that it aims to intervene before problems get too bad. The government wants to ensure that there is a teacher in every school who is trained to spot mental health problems as health secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote in the Sun last week.
These teachers will have responsibility for co-ordinating services and spotting the issues which can cause mental health problems in the first place, such as bullying. I think this is excellent news, but I would like to see us all beginning to emphasise positive mental health and wellbeing, rather than just reacting to problems. We don’t want to be just okay, we want to be happy and fulfilled. That should be what we aim for everyone, and especially for young people who are just starting out on their lives.
There are many and varied reasons why young people are experiencing so many mental health problems, but I do believe that the solutions to many of these problems might be closer than we think.
Rather than being reactive, that is waiting for problems to arrive, why don’t we start by providing all our young people with the tools to start out on a healthy and happy life. Rather than waiting for problems to arise we should be helping young people develop a world view which is resilient and positive. This is where cognitive hypnotherapists such as myself can help so much.
It all begins with our unique beliefs about the world. There are so many ways of seeing and interpreting the world, of understanding and explaining what happens to us, this never ceases to amaze me. Often when I reflect back on the day after a busy clinic at my Harley Street hypnotherapy anxiety clinic I am struck by how many different and varied belief systems I have heard about that day. We all have our way of seeing the world, made up of our unique experiences and memories and filtered through our own belief systems.
There is a key here to developing resilience and self-esteem. As we build up our own picture of the world and our personal belief systems, we will develop in response different habits and ways of coping with the world. The important thing to understand is that we create our own way of seeing the world based on our experiences in life. Your unique world view will be influenced by your experiences and people around you, but it is made by you and it is under your control even though it may not always feel like that!
You can probably recognise this in yourself. Most of us have an inner voice which can be helpful or harmful, can encourage or criticise, can make us feel worthless or valued. How good it would be if we encouraged people, from the youngest possible age, to control and mould that inner voice so it helped rather than hindered us through life.
This can be done through various therapeutic techniques including hypnosis. In hypnosis your mind is especially receptive to new and creative ideas and can learn and change much quicker and more thoroughly.
I would love to see schools offering hypnosis as well as other techniques, delivered by a trained and qualified professional, to any young person who wants it. It can set them up for life with a positive inner voice, a robust sense of their own worth and the tools to overcome the difficulties and challenges which we all face.
If you would like to explore your own belief system and how it can help you through life contact me.
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