Haileybury Turnford School Q&A
We asked the pupils at Haileybury Turnford School to submit any questions they had about mental health. Here are my answers to their questions:
1. How do you cope when your brain tells you that people are only praising you just to humour you and you are not actually talented? (Obvs these are anonymous and the answers will be to help everyone but this student has autism (and is actually very talented and hardworking but that’s not the point).
In this case I would say to look for the evidence. Who is telling you you are talented? What would they gain from praising you if they didn’t mean it? What evidence is there that they are not telling the truth? What evidence is there that they are telling the truth? Keep asking yourself these questions. A teacher would not grade you to humour you - they will grade your work honestly. Finally don’t take feedback from someone you wouldn’t go to for advice, listen to those you trust (teachers, parents etc)
2. How do I help someone?
It may sound simple but let them know you are there whenever they want to talk, or hang out. You could say that you have noticed they are acting differently so you wondered if everything was ok. Don’t pressure them to talk if they are not ready, but if they know you are there they can come to you when they are. The important thing is to let the person know they are not alone and you are there for them.
3. What should I do if I want help but am too scared to ask?
When you’re feeling down, don't struggle on your own. There is lots of help and support available – you just have to reach out to get it, but it can be scary.
Here are a few steps you can take that can it feel easier:
Decide who the best person and who you would feel most comfortable talking to? Many of us prefer talking to family or friends, but you may prefer to talk to professionals (these include teachers, helplines, online discussion forums or a GP or therapist).
Pick a time and place. Choose a time and somewhere you feel comfortable, so you can talk uninterrupted.
Decide what outcome you want? Do you just want to be listened to? Would you like more practical or emotional support? It's okay if you don't know, but it helps to think about what you would like to achieve from the conversation.
It can be helpful to make notes so you remember to include them in your conversation. Or you could let the other person read your notes if talking is difficult.
Explain how you feel and what support you would like. They will then have a better idea of how to try and help you.
4. What are the best things to do for wellbeing/to make me feel good?
A few things I recommend are:
Getting a good night's sleep
Keep a healthy and balanced diet
Spend time outside (sunlight is proven to help with mood and well being)
Find a hobby or activity that gives you joy and you can relax doing.
Exercise daily - even if it's just a 10 minute walk
Spend time with other people
Live in the present - don’t spend time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future
Most importantly laugh and enjoy yourself, try not to take everything too seriously!