Press Release: GLM Youth Mental Health Campaignadmin
01 August 2019
Youth Mental Health: Do we have a Problem?
The world as we know it today is incredibly complex. Remarkable advancements have been made in the last few centuries, providing us with sophisticated concepts and technologies that now shape our daily lives. In what feels like an instant, we are able to travel, learn and connect with others. The human mind, once exercised, has the capacity to make extraordinary accomplishments. But what would happen to our world, if our minds began to falter?
Startlingly, mental health problems have become a worldwide phenomenon. An increased number of youth are becoming emotionally withdrawn and mentally overwhelmed. Most worryingly, many of our youth are suffering in silence. They do not have the awareness, support or techniques required to manage their mental conditions. Due to this frustrated situation, often, their education, relationships and wellbeing are directly affected. It’s upsetting to consider that a young person may feel as though their entire life is falling apart, just as it’s beginning.
What is Mental Health?
According to the World Health Organisation, mental health can be defined as ‘a state of well-being’ in which a person ‘realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life’ and ‘can work productively and fruitfully’. Our mental health also relates to the way we think, feel and behave. It affects the way we feel about ourselves, and the way we perceive the world around us. For this reason, a mental health condition can drastically impact a person’s quality of life, and relationship with the world.
Is There a Problem?
In July 2019, the BBC reported that within primary schools there has been an increase, by almost 50%, in referrals to child health services over the last three years. This is vastly distressing, as a number of young children remain on waiting lists for years, before receiving any help. Their conditions can worsen and become more complicated as years pass, which sadly contributes to the fact that around half of all mental health problems remain rooted in childhood. Additionally, NHS Wales write that:
• 1 in 5 children will have a mental health problem, in any one year.
• 1 in 15 young people self harm.
• 1 in 4 of us will experience a serious problem with our mental wellbeing at some point in our lives.
This, therefore, is a reality that affects each of us personally – and if not, then at least someone very dear us. As youth reach adolescence, we know that they experience a number of physical and hormonal changes. This can be intense and confusing for them at times. At this critical stage, we must also be sensitive to their mental wellbeing. Most people with mental health conditions feel ashamed and embarrassed about their situation, and therefore don’t speak to anyone about what they’re going through. This results in the deterioration of their condition, which puts their general physical health at greater risk. As a community, we must raise awareness on the topic of mental health so that people no longer feel as though they need to suffer in silence. We must educate ourselves so that we can empathetically support the next generation through conditions that they can surely overcome, with the appropriate medical, societal and spiritual guidance.
What is GLM going to do?
As a Mosque that strives to Educate, Inspire and Serve the community, we believe it is crucial to take part in the conversation of mental health. As Muslims we do not shy away from addressing the reality of our communities, and therefore believe it imperative to normalise this conversation. It is unacceptable that 70% of those affected by mental illnesses have experienced some form of discrimination due to their condition. Islam is a religion that favours ease, over difficulty, and so no one should have to pretend that they are okay, when they are not.
This summer at GLM, we are holding a three-day Youth Mental Health campaign, to begin this conversation. We extend our welcome to all youth: we invite you to join us, and take part in discussions, activities and interactive workshops on the topic of mental health. Medical professionals and Imams will also join us, to guide the conversation.
With your help, we can overcome this problem.
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre
20 Green Lane
Birmingham, B9 5DB
Tel: 0121 713 0080